Best Plenary Ever?

Special guests made an appearance at a recent plenary lecture–wrapping up “a perfect semester of Great Con.” -Paige Miller-Hughes ’13


Thomas Jefferson, Maximillian Robespierre, Abigail Adams (front row), and Alexander Hamilton, Olympe de Gouges, and the Marquis de Layfeyette (back row), explain the American and French Revolutions.



Our guests got along for the plenary…but that didn’t last long.

2012 Con Grad. Dinner Discussions

A group of Great Conversation graduates, missing the discussions and camaraderie they enjoyed during their years in Con classes, has decided to resurrect the tradition in an exciting new way. Creating a “Continuing Conversation” group, they will read and discuss short works they select themselves, including Great works of poetry, essays and short stories. In addition to discussing these readings, the group will reminisce about Great Con moments, plan future events and revel in one another’s company.

The “Con Con” group meets informally weekly, reserving a table on the upper level of Stav Hall. Their first meeting was Sunday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 pm.

For more information, please contact Bjorn Wastvedt ’12 ( or Zoe D’Amour Senecal ’12 (

Continuing Events

Every meeting of the Great Conversation is “an event”. When Great Con classes meet in the classroom, professors and students act as partners, exploring sweeping themes and ideas that have shaped and defined Western culture. The Great Conversation, however, is not contained within the stone walls of Holland Hall.

Great Conversation goes to the Guthrie Theater

Outside of classtime meetings, students in the the Great Conversation frequently arrange dinners, films or attend lectures with their cohort camarades. Classes organize on-campus events, which in recent years have included dramatic presentations of Medieval mystery plays, a “Dionsian Festival”, a “Milton Marathon”, a “Beach Party” graduation festival, and various musical performances. Field trips organized by the program and its professors have recently taken the Great Conversation to the Guthrie Theater, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and St. John’s Benedictine monastery.

Here a few images from recent Great Conversation events:

“Great Con. Beach Party” (classes of 2012 and 2013)


A group of sophomore girls hang out at the Beach Party.


Professor Groton plays volleyball with her students outside of Ytterboe.


Students eat and socialize with Professors Galbraithe and Santurri.


Professor Casson with his children at the picnic.

Field Trip to the Walker Art Museum (class of 2011)


Group photo in front of the Walker’s iconic “Spoonbridge and Cheery” sculpture.


Students enjoy a picnic lunch after exploring the museum.


Professor Marsalek and students play on an interactive piece in the Walker’s sculpture garden.