Informal Curriculum Series

Informal Curriculum Series Informal Curriculum Series
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Each semester...

...a stimulating lineup of live performances, films, interactive workshops, and talks by Saint Mary’s faculty, visiting scholars, and guest artists enriches the Seminar experience.


Informal Curriculum programs are designed to deepen the encounter with texts from a wide range of eras and cultures. Exploring questions both timely and timeless, they foster the skills of inclusive conversation, build habits of life-long learning, and illuminate the world we live in.  


Seminar’s Informal Curriculum programs are open to the public and (except where noted) are free. Most require no advance registration.

Fall 2023 Series

Saint Mary's College De La Salle Statue Economics Degree


...we discover the people around us and the landscape we’re in. We wonder about the physical world and human relationships. We encounter social systems. We notice inequities, and commonalities. As looking turns to searching, we begin a journey that extends beyond our horizon.

Inspired by the new theme of SEM 250, and its remix of fresh and familiar texts, our Fall 23 series opens new perspectives on writers, artists, and thinkers across history and around the world. Please join us.

Event Links & Reservations

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Reserve tickets, access Zoom links, and browse on-demand content for this semester's series through the link below.

SMC login required.

Click here

Mission & Learning Outcomes

Informal Curriculum aims to kindle a love of intellectual exploration, to encourage students and faculty to pursue interests outside their home disciplines, and to cultivate the habits of life-long learning  -- all in order to better illuminate the world in which we live. Through lectures, colloquia, performances, films, and workshops the Informal Curriculum creates opportunities for Saint Mary’s faculty, visiting scholars and guest artists to share their disciplinary expertise, and fosters interdepartmental collaborations and co-sponsorships. 


Informal Curriculum programming is intentionally flexible, complementing the stability of the formal curriculum and the pedagogy of the Seminar classroom. Each semester, a rotating series of events enriches and expands students’ Seminar experience and introduces genre-specific reading strategies, while also supporting faculty formation as Seminar leaders. Informal Curriculum programs often explore questions raised by particular Seminar texts or situate those works within their historical and cultural contexts. But they may also highlight thematic links bridging the four-semester Seminar sequence, respond to campus initiatives and concerns, or engage with works of art, scientific practice, or personal testimonies.

Informal Curriculum events are designed to support the learning outcomes of the Seminar Program, and for this reason may be incorporated directly by Seminar faculty into the design and delivery of their own Seminars. IC programs supplement classroom learning by helping students further develop specific abilities, including:


  • to approach texts from the perspective of different disciplines, using strategies appropriate to specific genres; 
  • to build the habits of life-long learning, including curiosity and a tolerance for ambiguity, provocation and controversy in the pursuit of deeper insights;
  • to learn to disagree with civility, and to distinguish impact from intent, in the context of reasoned discussion; 
  • to understand how texts are situated within specific historical and cultural contexts;
  • to encounter the intellectual perspectives and artistic achievements of marginalized voices; 
  • to see how texts address and respond to each other, within and across traditions and eras;
  • to discover how texts speak to our own concerns and lived experiences, and how they illuminate the world we inhabit.


By providing occasions for all members of the Saint Mary’s community to gather and discuss questions both timeless and timely, the Collegiate Seminar Informal Curriculum cultivates the kind of inclusive and collegial conversation that is essential to liberal education.