ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Many Brown seniors dedicate a significant portion of their senior year to crafting a thesis. Others design a capstone project based on an independent study or concentration. Some take up leadership positions in Swearer Center programs, where they thoughtfully edit the program structure based on observed opportunities for improvement. Still other students create an original clothing line, website, or theatrical production. These capstone projects exemplify the concept of education that the University’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education argued for, “a more inclusive concept of education—indeed, one so inclusive that conventional distinctions between general education and the concentrations, between the curricular and extracurricular, even between classroom and community need to be rethought.”
Unlike student thesis presentations hosted by academic departments or closing dinners organized by extracurricular programs, Theories in Action puts students from all different disciplines in conversation with one another by grouping students into panels with interdisciplinary themes. At last year’s conference, fourteen different panels hosted conversations on topics ranging from “Understanding Providence” to “Digital Expression” to “Evaluating Planet Earth”. Each panel participant was given about 10 minutes to present her/his work, and a concluding portion of time was left for dialogue with audience members. Students may alternatively apply to present a poster in the conference poster session. At last year’s event, nine students presented posters on topics ranging from translating Japanese poetry to microchip diagnostics for HIV.
The interdisciplinary panel presentation format creates a unique opportunity for collaboration among students. Theories in Action is also unique because it offers student presenters the chance to discuss their work with an audience that reaches across the Brown campus community and to the Providence community at-large.
Sponsored by the Curricular Resource Center and the Dean of the College, the conference spans three days in late April. Selected applicants are invited to attend training sessions (given by professors and graduate students), where they learn helpful hints on how to construct a dynamic and engaging talk or poster. Students who are chosen for a group presentation are grouped into an interdisciplinary theme after being selected, at which point all members of the panel are encouraged to contact one another, as well as a designated facilitator.
Theories in Action is a chance to publicly reflect on the social relevance of your work. It is an opportunity to share your knowledge with a diverse audience and to come together with classmates around the common curiosities, concerns, and passions of your capstone achievements.
FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS CONFERENCE, A CAPSTONE PROJECT MAY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
• Independent study • Thesis • Campus or National Fellowship • Department Prize Winner • Art installation • • GISP/ISP • Final Theater/Dance/Vocal Performance • Grant Project (Creative Arts Council, Research at Brown, etc.)
• Community Service Project (Swearer Center Coordinator, etc.) • Long-Term Event Coordinator (TWC Heritage Weeks, etc.) • Long-Term student group leader (BRYTE, EcoReps, Lecture Board, etc.) •
• Demonstrates fascinating and unique work that inspires and motivates its audience.
• Appeals to not only members of academia, but also to peers, scholars, and community members outside of its academic discipline or interest area.
• Has potential for a compelling presentation that will resonate with and engage members of the Brown/Providence community.
• Applicant displays written/communication skills necessary for an eloquent and moving presentation.
For more information on this and last year’s conference, please visit http://browntia.wordpress.com/