Beginning in the late 16th century in France and Italy, artists, intellectuals, political figures and much more came together regularly to discuss the most influential works and ideas of their day. Salon gatherings had participants who entertained each other with new music, brief theatrical performances, sardonic letters, but more often than not these gatherings were opportunities to discuss important literary works, political rumblings or consider the efficacy of scientific breakthroughs. All Salons were based on the understanding that the participants were intellectually informed and were active participants in the world of ideas that surrounded them. To that end, the Judith K. Winn School of Honors has decided to establish a Salon, the Bergen Salon. The Bergen Salon will hold monthly events where faculty, administrators and students engage in discussion on academic and intellectual pursuits of our day. The Bergen Salon will be a Socratic discussion where participants will have read an assigned text, perhaps a literary text, a philosophical essay, an article on a recent scientific advance, or an essay on a cultural trend or a significant historical event, to name but a few.

Events and readings for Spring 2020

  • Bergen Salon I – Melville – Thursday, February 13, 2020, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Room: C-313. This Salon discussion will be led by Dr. Alan Kaufman and Dr. Andrew Tomko, Composition and Literature. Moby Dick by Herman Melville Reading
    The discussion will be on Herman Melville’s most famous work, Moby Dick; we will also delve into Melville’s lasting influence on American Literature – some 200 years since his birth. A familiarity with Moby Dick is helpful for this Salon.
  • Bergen Salon II – TBD

Events and readings for Fall 2019:

  • Bergen Salon I – Skype Lecture with Professor Stephen (Tipene) Matthews of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 12:30pm-1:30pm; Room W-219, West Hall
  • Bergen Salon II –  Black Literature in America – Students in Black Literature will lead a discussion of  an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s  The Bluest Eye.Thursday, November 14, 2019, 3:30pm-4:30pm; Room C-325.  Readings will be available in Room S-347.  All faculty and students are welcome.  Toni Morrison_The Bluest Eye_exerpt

All readings are available in the Honors Suite, Room S-347, on this webpage and also available on Library e-reserve under: JKW; Password: honors. Readings can also be obtained by emailing us at  Any questions, please call 201-879-5003.

The Salons are co-sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society,