Bell tower at St Ignatius Church at sundown

Perennial Questions Through Symposia

The symposia are a signature of the SII program. Symposia occupy a unique place in the University curriculum in that they bring together students from across a range of majors to discuss perennial questions of humanity through the study of specific texts, traditions, and ideas.

Like the convivial conversations known as symposia in classical Greece, SII symposia are places for generous, creative, and learned discourse about specific topics in the arts and humanities. By carving out time and space for conscious, slow, and careful thought, symposia help counter what Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, S.J. has called the “globalization of superficiality” or the “cut-and-paste” mentality.

Students complete four symposia over their four years at USF. Topics vary by semester; recent offerings have included:

  • AI, Faith, and Ethics
  • Art in the Age of Exploration
  • Autobiography of Malcom X
  • The Brothers Karamazov
  • The Dao of Pooh
  • Early Christian Art
  • The Enlightenment
  • Horror Films
  • Exploring the Quran
  • Glorious Villains of Antiquity
  • Jesuit Spirituality
  • Manners and Etiquette
  • Outlaws in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Literature
  • Power and Persuasion in Jesuit Arts
  • Reading Dante with Aristotle and Aquinas
  • Renaissance Arts in Florence
  • Society and the Supernatural
  • The Search for What Matters
  • The Spanish Inquisition
  • Women in Philosophy
  • Christian-Zen Spirituality