What is Colloquium?
The short answer? It’s MAPH’s online magazine of awesome stuff.
The longer answer? Well, that takes a bit of explaining…
I remember looking around Social Sciences 122, the grand room that marked my first weeks of lecture* at University of Chicago. I swooned at the elaborate wood-paneled walls, the layered chalkboards sliding up and down, the archaic light fixtures. I remember Professor Wray reciting the Big Names who had lectured in SS122, from Hannah Arendt to Slavoj Žižek. I looked around at a room full of strangers, and I wondered if there was an Arendt or a Žižek among us. Toward the end of my MAPH year, I knew the answer to that question….
*also called Colloquium, leading to frequent casual confusion
The answer wasn’t about who was the smartest talker or the best writer or the deepest thinker. It wasn’t about who was going to grow up and get famous. It wasn’t about Arendt and it definitely wasn’t about Žižek. The answer had to do with getting together, building ideas with others, and being part of a conversation that we cared about.
At the University of Chicago and in MAPH in particular, we become part of this community of humanists, world-changers, and fierce question-askers. We chase the ineffable and, in one form or another, we chronicle that pursuit. Those chronicles are how we talk together when we can’t talk together. When we founded Colloquium last year, it was to give a home to these chronicles-as-conversations.
Colloquium is run entirely by MAPH students and alumni. We launched our first issue in October 2012, and we’re building our spring issue now, which will launch in late April. It’s amazing. Issue 2.1 has Bauhaus, the Italian avant-garde, rebels and militants, sitars and soundscapes, three poets, short fiction, a cat called Mouloud, and a not-inconsiderable-amount of spectroscopy. And, dare I say it, even more.
Big things are coming from Colloquium. Issues 2.2 and 2.3 are on the drawing board already, and soon we’ll be launching some (still very top-secret) new features. We hope you’ll join us as readers and contributors in our little corner of the human conversation.
[SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION]
Some people ask us: why do you use the “Q” as your logo?
The answer is simple: because it is the most bad-ass of all the letters.