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Our Mission

The Great Works Symposium is an interdisciplinary, research, and writing-intensive course series exploring subjects of the broadest possible interest and greatest societal impact. Through intensive examination of a different major theme every year, it brings Drexel University students, teachers, and visiting expert lecturers into collaboration. The Great Works Symposium strives to avoid the "textbook approach," with an emphasis on developing in students the active skills of interdisciplinary inquiry: reading, writing, critical thinking, methodological creativity, and argument. Four new courses are offered each year, designed to elaborate different dimensions of the theme. Through these courses, students are encouraged to see the University as an interconnected enterprise, and to imagine the University as one part of a larger spectrum of scholars in the communities of the city, the nation, and the world.

Recent themes have included: The City, Energy, Democracy, Health and Society, and the Frontiers of Science.

Have questions, comments, or suggestions? Good, because the Great Works Symposium is designed to raise both curiosity and opinions. We want to know what you think of the programs we put on and the ideas they raise. Are there topics you would like to see or speakers you think pertinent? Then let us know, and help contribute to the community of knowledge we are creating.

2014-15 Theme

This course series will examine the category of ‘supernatural’ relative to the ‘natural.’  That is, by understanding where the unreal, super-, ultra-, para-, are situated in culture—from the ancient worlds to today—we gain a rare view into the real nature of reality.  We will draw on the literature (including films, ghost tours, and exhibits) and experts from disciplines as diverse as psychology, history, history of science, literary criticism, metaphysical and religious studies, popular culture, anthropology and others, to study supernatural phenomena.