First Fridays Salons

12/03/2003

Contributed by Patricia Zimmermann

The Culture and Communication Program in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies announces the inauguration of the First Fridays Salon on Friday, December 5, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Klingenstein Lounge.

First Fridays Salons will be held in various locations around campus on the first Friday of each month during the academic year. Locations will be announced in Intercom.

Modeled on French literary salons, samizdat kitchen table talk in the USSR, and digital media networked think tanks, First Fridays Salons will provide opportunities for informal intellectual dialogue, encouraging debate and exchange on topical issues related to understanding the flow and consequences of the contemporary cultural and communications landscapes.

Topics will not be announced in advance to insure that the salon can be responsive to current events, ideas, controversies, and media. In addition, the First Fridays Salons rely on the element of intellectual surprise to insure that all participants are on equal footing.

Robert Sullivan, assistant professor of speech communication, will be coordinating the salons on behalf of the Culture and Communication Steering Committee. As an undergraduate student at Emerson College in Boston, Sullivan recalls, communications majors would gather in a faculty member's office after classes on the first Friday of each month for improvisational intellectual jam sessions. Faculty, students, and staff could argue outside the box of traditional classroom hierarchies and play with applying communication concepts to historical and current events as well as media practices.

The Culture and Communication Steering Committee decided to adopt the First Fridays Salons as way to sustain a sense of intellectual place for the new program and its students.

The First Fridays Salon is open to all culture and communication majors and minors, culture and communication faculty affiliates, graduate students, administrators, and other interested faculty and students who want to explore how culture and communication dynamically shape each other.

The First Fridays Salons are jointly sponsored by the Culture and Communication Program and Tanya Saunders, dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies. Complimentary food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.

For more information, please contact Robert Sullivan, or culture and communication liaison Pushpinder Singh.

Contributed by Patricia R. Zimmermann

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