Themester 2020

Themester 2020: Call for themes

Themester is an undergraduate initiative designed to take full advantage of the College's committment to an integrated liberal arts education by bringing work in the arts and humanities, social and historical sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences to bear on challenging issues and problems. It accomplishes this by offering an array of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that put College students and faculty in a semester-long conversation with one another, as well as with the larger IU campus and local community.


Proposals should adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Proposed Theme. A productive Themester needs to address problems and issues that are both longstanding and contemporary.  Additionally, such problems and issues should implicate social, political, cultural, economic, scientific, and technological ways of knowing, being, and/or understanding.  As with past themed semesters, it should be clear how a strong liberal arts education is necessary to engage such issues and concerns.  Your discussion of the proposed theme should be specific in calling attention to the range of issues involved and how they might incorporate intellectual perspectives that draw from all divisions of the College.

  2. Implementation Concept. What kinds of programming do you envision? 
    a. Identify 10-20 undergraduate College courses from multiple disciplines that are connected or could be connected to this issue.
    b. Identify up to 5 possible co-curricular activities (e.g. speakers, colloquia, debates and student panels, film series, theatrical productions, creative activities, museum and library exhibits, and other events) as examples of programming that would address this theme. Plans for these programs do not need to be underway.

    Note any campus or community partnerships that you have explored or would like to explore as a way of to implementing programming. Please include a list of collaborating departments, programs, and other units.

  3. Advisory Committee. Each Themester is built by an advisory committee of four to six faculty members and two undergraduate students.  Faculty representatives should represent a variety of College disciplines.

    The advisory committee will work with the Themester Coordinator and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education to review and recommend courses, to identify and recommend keynote speakers, and to review and recommend a wide array of co-curricular activities proposed by campus and community groups (as well as to recommend appropriate funding for co-curricular activities from the College Themester Fund). 

    The 2020 proposals should identify faculty who might serve on the advisory committee.  Undergraduate students will be chosen at a later date.

The proposal should be 3 to 5 pages in length. 

Planning Themester 2020
Planning for Themester 2020 will take place during the 2019-2020 academic year.  The Advisory Committee will meet approximately three times in the fall of 2019 and four to five times during the spring of 2020. There will be additional, but minimal, one-off events such as meetings with community partners and promotional brown bags. 

Proposals for Themester 2020 are due by February 8, 2019.  Proposals will be reviewed by the College Undergraduate Education (CUE) committee; a final decision will be rendered by early March.

Submit proposals to

Questions and Assistance
Questions may be addressed to Themester coordinator Tracy Bee at or 812 856-7183. Please do not hesitate to consult with Ms. Bee, who can help identify potential courses and collaborations.