Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



The Harrison Symposium celebrates independent and collaborative student research in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The Harrison is usually held as an annual conference in May, but this year’s shift to remote teaching and the new coronavirus pandemic eliminated the opportunity for in-person presentations. Instead of cancelling the event, students nominated by faculty members were invited either to participate in next year’s Harrison, or to contribute to the volume you are now reading. Reimagining the Harrison as a written artifact was inspired by the 1997 Harrison Symposium. In the early years of the conference, the Dean of Faculty Richard A. Harrison (1991-1997) published the proceedings of the symposium – formerly known as the Humanities and Social Sciences Symposium though the event was later renamed in Harrison’s honor – as a collection of papers. Margaret E. Madden, then Associate Dean of the Faculty, notes in the introduction to the 1998 proceedings that “Faculty members and departments on campus who received the first symposium collection were pleased to have some visible record of the high level of accomplishments of humanities and social science students, whose products are often not as visible as those students of the performing arts or sciences.” I hope that this version of the Harrison will also serve as a way to publicly and communally celebrate the wide-ranging and incisive research undertaken by students at Lawrence.