Sixty Minutes in Present Politics

Friday, December 6, 2019

Sixty Minutes in Present Politics is an initiative created by current DS students Zaporah Price and Nick Jacobson (pictured here with Professor Bryan Garsten). Sixty Minutes was inspired by discussions in Zaporah and Nick’s Historical and Political Thought section with Professor Garsten. As told by Zaporah and Nick: When we discussed the H&P readings, it was impossible to ignore their relevance to our lives today. From the debate between Socrates and Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic over whether justice is the control of the powerful over the weak to Socrates’s Apology and the decline in 21st-century jury trials, the parallels between the ancient world and ours could not be more stark. To create more space for these discussions, we conducted three forums over the course of this semester with professors from both the fall and spring H&P cycle. Over 50 students (around half of Directed Studies participants) attended these forums, and we are now planning on expanding this initiative to all three strands (H&P, Literature, and Philosophy) in Spring 2020!

Below are two testimonials from students in various sections who attended one of the three forums:

“Brilliant! Very enlightening—best hour of my week. [The forum] is like our class but with incredible continuity of theme.”

“So cool that we had a chance for questions that relate to our studies, but stem from all of our own interests—modern and ancient. Thank you!”