Honors Colloquium

Our biannual book discussion and common reading for all students in the Honors College
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What is ​Colloquium?

Each semester, all Honors College students explore a new topic through a common reading.  We come together for one night over a meal and share thoughts in small groups led by university faculty and staff members.  Generally, the discussion is accompanied by a keynote, expert panel, or other group activity.  

Colloquium topics are drawn from all areas of study.  Recent topics have included books on honesty, free speech, DNA and genetics, local food movements and sustainability, economics, immigration and American identities, and Victorian vampires.  We read novels, non-fiction, and sometimes even graphic novels and comics.  Colloquium is never the same twice, and by the time you graduate you'll have read a diversity of topics that help stretch your knowledge in news and unexpected ways.  

Faculty & Staff interested in participating should contact the Honors College office​ for more information or to sign up to be a table leader.

Honors Colloquium / Mackenzie Burke
Past Colloquium topics

2020-21: The Year of Resilience

  • Spring '21: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Fall '20: The Land of Open Graves by Jason DeLeon

2019-20: The Year of Stuff

  • Spring '20: Garbology - Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
  • Fall '19: Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik

2018-19: Facing Failure - A Year of Learning from Mistakes

  • Spring '19: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by ​Dan Eagan
  • Fall '18: Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margins of Error by Kathryn Schulz

2017-18: The Year of Conversation

  • Spring '18: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by ​Krystal Sutherland
  • Fall '17: How Does it Feel to Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi

2016-17: The Year of Curiosity

  • Spring '17: What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  • Fall '16: Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes​ 

2015-16  

  • Spring '16: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • Fall '15: Unlearning Liberty by Greg Lukianoff

2014-15

  • Spring '15: Running the Books by Avi Steinberg
  • ​Fall '14: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

2013-14

  • Spring '14: Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Fall '13: The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen​

2012-13

  • Spring '13: Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie - A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss​
  • Fall '12: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman

2011-12

  • Spring '12: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Fall '11: The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt​

2010-11

  • Spring '11: "Introduction to Freud's Dream Psychology" by Andre Tridon & "A Counterblast in the War on Freud: The Shrink is In" by Jonathan Lear
  • Fall '10: Apology by Plato​

2009-10

  • Spring '10: Satchmo: the Genius of Louis Armstrong by Gary Giddins​
  • Fall '09: Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet by Steve Squyres

2008-09

  • Spring '09: Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington & Amartya Sen
  • Fall '08: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis

2007-08

  • Spring '08: The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer & Jim Mason​
  • Fall '07: "Pearls Before Breakfast" by Gene Weingarten, Washington Post

Upcoming books:

2021-22's Honors College Theme is "The Year of Connection"

Decorative text "Year of Connection 2021-22"

Both texts this year were chosen to address this theme.

Fall 2021 Colloquium : Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

 

Cover image for the book Klara and the Sun

The first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

Current Honors students can access a free digital copy of the book on Red Shelf in the Honors College Canvas Course.