The Friday Seminar

Thinking Across the Disciplines

Fridays 12:00-2:00 PM (16-136) 

The Concourse Seminar is dedicated in the spring to the critical epistemological question of how we can know those things that we think we know.  We will consider what knowledge consists of, how we acquire it, and how we can feel certain enough in it to provide us with a direction forward.  These broad concerns are not all addressed in the same way across the disciplines, as the standard(s) for truth claims can vary considerably depending on the object of one’s inquiry.  Over the course of the semester we will hear from a variety of MIT Faculty from a range of Science, Humanities, and Social Science disciplines about some aspect of their own work.  You will have the opportunity to see how different disciplines think: how they frame questions, how they gather evidence, and how they use that evidence to answer their questions.

Spring 2017 seminar schedule

February 10: Professor Anne McCants, History (Director, Concourse)
How to make a difference in this world

February 17: Lourdes Aleman, Office of Digital Learning
The Growth Mindset: Why your views on intelligence and talent matter for academic success

February 24: Professor Haynes Miller, Mathematics
Truth and Beauty in Mathematics

March 3: Professor Marah Gubar, Literature
How to Think About Children: Childhood Studies in the Academy and Beyond

March 10: Professor Tamar Schapiro, Philosophy
Natural hierarchies? The authority of adults over children, and of reason over passion

March 17: MIT Librarians
What Information Science Tells Us about How We Know What We Think We Know

March 24: Jolyon Bloomfield, Concourse
Ballroom dancing: the Waltz

March 31: Spring Break (No seminar)

April 7: Campus Preview Weekend (No seminar)

April 14: Professor Arthur Bahr, Literature
The Page before Print: the Strange and Beautiful Lives of Medieval Manuscripts

April 21: Professor Mark Goulthorpe, Architecture
Heuretics: Theory of Invention

April 28: Marika Knowles, Harvard Society of Fellows
How to look at French paintings: from classicism to impressionism

May 5: Professor Anne McCants, History (Director, Concourse)
On Political Correctness: Power, class, and the new campus religion

May 12: (No speaker)

Past Friday Seminar Schedules

Fall 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Fall 2014

Fall 2013

Spring 2013