March 31, 2020
Message to Undergraduate Students About Thursday Lunch and Humanities Chat

I hope that your second week “back” at Rice has unfolded well and that you're finding some balance amidst all of this change.

I’m writing with two invitations for School of Humanities students. First, I want to invite you to a weekly discussion called Thursday Lunch. These lunch discussions (which will run through the remainder of the semester) will feature humanities faculty discussing compelling issues of the day, aspects of their research, and other matters. This week Steven LewisAnthony Pinn, and Luziris Pineda Turi will help lead a discussion of a Thomas Friedman article that’s been generating good deal of attention: “A Plan to Get America Back to Work.”

Here’s the Zoom link for Thursday Lunch (April 2 at 12:00 p.m.), but please also sign up here (because having a sense of the number of participants will help us to organize discussion).

I also want to invite you to the weekly Humanities Chat that will take place on Fridays at lunchtime throughout the remainder of the semester (I also wrote to you about these meetings last week). The agenda for these discussions will mostly be driven by you and what you indicate that you would like to take up each week. Last week, among other things, we generated advice to faculty for high-quality discussion-based classes in Zoom (which resulted in a memo to chairs and directors). We also discussed approaches for managing and building Humanities community given our present circumstances (a conversation which resulted in the Thursday Lunch series and will likely generate other happenings as well). Each week, we’ll also share news from the school.

Here is the Zoom link for Friday’s Humanities Chat (Friday, April 3 at Noon). Please also sign up here (to add agenda items and also to give us a better sense of how to organize the meeting).


Alex Byrd