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Calendar & Featured Events

Dance performance in the Katzen Arts Center Rotunda

Annual Special Events

Please see below for more information and links pertaining to College of Arts and Sciences annual events in the following areas:

  • Student Exhibitions, Competitions & Workshops
    Events include MFA art student exhibitions, the Concerto & Aria Competition, and Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference
  • Annual Conferences & Celebrations
    Events include the Lavender Languages & Linguistics Conference, Feminist Art History Conference, Info-Metrics Conferences and Workshops, McDowell Conference on Philosophy & Social Policy, and more
  • Colloquia, Speaker & Performance Series
    Events include the Literature Visiting Writers and Graduate Speaker Series, Bishop McCabe and Bishop Hurst Series, Center on Health, Research and Society Seminars, Visiting Artists and Colloquia, and more
  • Summer/Seasonal Institutes & Programs
    Events include the Archaeology Field School in the Great Dismal Swamp, Applied Econometrics, Nuclear Studies and Civil War Institutes, TESOL Summer Institute, and more

Need Help with Events?

For help organizing conferences, guest speakers, and other special events, please contact:

Mimi Fittig
Director, Special Events

Fall for the Arts 2013 Thande11


Student Exhibitions, Competitions & Workshops

Advising Workshops

The CAS Advising Office provides a series workshops throughout the academic year to help students succeed both in and out of the classroom — please see the Advising website or Calendar


Concerto & Aria Competition

Each year the American University Symphony Orchestra hosts a Concerto & Aria Competition open to all AU students. Competition winners have an opportunity to perform in the spring with the orchestra.


Department of Art Spring Exhibitions

The Department of Art exhibits students' work in the Katzen Arts Center every spring. The annual exhibitions, anchored in the AU Museum features undergraduate students, first-year MFA students, and second-year MFA students.


Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference

The annual student research conference, funded in part by a generous grant from Robyn Rafferty Mathias, an AU trustee and alumnus, provides a competitive forum for CAS undergraduate and graduate students to present their original creative works before colleagues, friends, and faculty.



Annual Conferences & Celebrations

Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

Michelle Grove, MA, arts management '08, proposed the initial Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium in 2008. The event gives emerging arts leaders and arts management graduate students the opportunity to collaborate, network, and discuss issues the affect arts organizations, while also learning from experienced arts professionals. 


Fall for the Arts

Fall for the Arts brought neighbors, students, faculty, and friends together through art. The day featured an afternoon of dynamic courses and workshops including art dealing, the history of audio recording, a playwriting class, and a day in the life of an Ethnomusicologist, to name just a few. Classes suitable for children were also available. Surprise performances popped up when attendees least expected them. The day concluded with an early evening cocktail reception in the Katzen Arts Center and a Live Art Auction featuring local artists. The event was open to the public and an invitation was extended to local residents, patrons of the arts, parents of AU students, and the entire AU community.

Feminist Art History Conference

Hosted by the Art History Program, Feminist Art History Conference features international scholars and annual tie-ins to DC museum exhibitions such as Seeing Gertrude Stein at the National Portrait Gallery.


Graduate Studies Open Houses and Fairs

The College welcomes prospective students to meet and break bread with program faculty, students, and staff throughout the year — please see Admissions Events for details.


Info-Metrics Conference & Workshop

The Info-Metrics Institute, an interdisciplinary research center that fosters research on new methods to solve problems related to real world data, holds a focused annual fall conference, in addition to workshops each semester.


Lavender Languages & Linguistics Conference

First held in 1993, Lavender Languages attracts worldwide participation. Undergraduates and graduate students have always had an active presence in all conference activities—and so have activists, other members of lgbtq communities and other friends. Conference participants work hard to maintain Lav Lgs as a no-attitude event open to anyone interested in lgbtq languages and language research.


McDowell Conference on Philosophy & Social Policy

Taking place since 1989, the McDowell Conference brings together scholars to speak about issues connected to philosophy. The William Fraser McDowell Professor organizes the conference. 


Public Anthropology Conference

The Public Anthropology Conference focuses on bringing panelists and audience members together to discuss concrete ways social scientists can support, strengthen, and contribute to activist movements during times of crisis. Taking place since 2003, the conference features panel sessions and skills workshops focusing on a social justice theme.


Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference

The annual student research conference, now in its nineteenth year and funded in part by a generous grant from Robyn Rafferty Mathias, an AU trustee and alumnus, provides a competitive forum for CAS undergraduate and graduate students to present their original creative works before colleagues, friends, and faculty.



Colloquia, Speaker & Performance Series

Behavioral Neuroscience Special Lectures

Organized around a graduate level course identifying important contemporary problems or “hot topics” in the field, these Behavioral Neuroscience Lectures prioritize topics that are not represented among the current faculty at AU. Scientists from the world doing the most interesting and exciting work on the topic will supply the students with reading lists. The “special lecturers” will be chosen that approach problems at different levels of analysis.


Bishop Hurst Lecture Series 

The Bishop John Fletcher Hurst Philosophy Lecture Series, named for the founder of American University, brings to the American University campus some of the most distinguished thinkers from this country and abroad.


Bishop C.C. McCabe Lecture Series

The Bishop C.C. McCabe Lectures, established by the Board of Trustees in 1907 in memory of the Bishop and through his generous bequest to the College of Arts and Sciences, brings diverse speakers to AU, including Ann Beattie, Lonnie Bunch, Peter Dans, Charles Holt, Peter Selz, and Natasha Trethewey.


Center for Israel Studies (CIS) Events

CIS offers a varied series of cultural and scholarly events including conference, film screenings, lectures, and concerts — see the CIS News page for details.


Center on Health, Research & Society (CHRS) Seminars

The Fall 2013 CHRS Seminars featured a combination of works in progress sessions and general talks by local and outside speakers. Some of the sessions particularly aimed at following up on the topic of community disruption and health that the seminars started the previous year.


Chemistry & Biochemistry Seminars

Department of Chemistry offers a series of multidisciplinary lectures and discussions featuring scientists from AU and beyond.


Economics Research Seminars

The Department of Economics presents lunchtime brown-bag Research Seminars that focus on a variety of topics in the field of economics. Visiting lecturers present on their area of expertise.


Department of Art Visiting Artists & Critical Inquiry Colloquia

The Department of Art's Visiting Artists & Colloquia Series help students to examine their research and studio-based work. By focusing each semester on a different theme in modern and contemporary art, the series encourages participants to explore connections between the arts and other disciplines—and within the arts.


Department of Literature Colloquium

Each fall since 2002, American University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of the greater community come together for one day to explore a great book. The colloquium aims to bring together a diverse community of readers from across American University and beyond.


Department of Performing Arts Performance Seasons

The Department of Performing Arts fall and spring performance seasons feature an eclectic combination of music, dance, and theatre productions that showcase each program's talented students and faculty.


Durfee Lecture Series

Endowed by Harold A. Durfee and Doris G. Durfee, the Durfee Series from the Department of Philosophy and Religion provides our students and colleagues with the opportunity to meet distinguished thinkers.


French & Francophone Studies Annual Colloquium

The Department of World Languages and Cultures' Annual Colloquium of French and Francophone will gathers speakers from within the department as well as visiting speakers to share their special interests and research in French culture, literature, music or film. This event is meant for the enrichment of faculty as well as students in their affinity for the French Language and culture. 


Initiative for Russian Culture Events

Each semester's Initiative for Russian Culture Events welcome students from throughout the Washington area to promote greater understanding of Russian culture's versatility and richness.


Literature Graduate Speaker Series

The Graduate Speaker Series brings two to three outside scholars to speak to students and faculty in the Department of Literature each semester. Since 2005, the series has attracted diverse dynamic intellectuals of national and international standing to speak about their work.


Math Colloquia

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics presents visiting professors, scholars, and industry experts to lecture in their area of expertise in annual colloquia series.


Philosophy & Religion Matters Speakers Series

Annual Philosophy & Religion Series brings national and international speakers on diverse topics ranging from an Islamic perspective on patriotism and food politics to William James.


Symposium on Behavioral Neuroscience

The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience will sponsor a special topics seminar course titled "Special Lectures in Behavioral Neuroscience." This graduate level course identifies important contemporary problems or "hot topics" in behavioral neuroscience research. Beginning in 2014, and continuing during the years when the Special Lectures course is not offered, the center will initiate a biennial international symposium. The symposium will focus on a topical issue. The world's leading researchers on the issue will be invited to join scientists from the center to present their most exciting and recent work.


Visiting Writers Series

Since 1980 the Visiting Writers Series has presented readings and workshops with hundreds of established and emerging fiction writers, poets, and memoirists. Hosted by the Department of Literature, the series serves as a lively venue for creative work.


Writer as Witness Colloquium

Each year, the Department of Literature and the College Writing Program select a book that is called a "community text" for students arriving in August. All incoming students are required to read the text and the author visits campus during an annual colloquium. This text sets in motion a shared experience of intellectual inquiry, prompting conversations that resonate in classes long after the authors visit.



Summer/Seasonal Institutes & Programs

Archaeology Field School: Great Dismal Swamp

Established in 2002, the Anthropology Department takes students for 6 weeks of fieldwork at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge on the Virginia–North Carolina border.


Applied Econometrics

Provides students, researchers, and faculty with state-of-the-art econometric methods for analyzing data in the social sciences.


Nuclear Studies Institute

Founded in 1995 under the direction of Professor Peter Kuznick, the Nuclear Studies Institute offers summer courses, including a study-abroad course on Japan-related nuclear studies, in addition to collections educational materials from worldwide sources.


TESOL Summer Institute

Based on 30 years of TESOL experience, the summer institute offers a variety of summer courses, including intensive certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.


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