Table Talk

The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already.

— John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University


Our Table Talk series provides students with the opportunity to encounter faculty outside of the context of their formal studies. Events in the series consist of a brief prepared talk by a faculty guest followed by a free-flowing conversation over a meal. The topics for discussion vary widely, but faculty guests are encouraged to speak on a topic that conveys what led them to devote themselves to their area of expertise.


Past Table Talk Events

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Carlos Eire

Carlos Eire, T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History & Religious Studies, will deliver a short talk, "On being two different people: Life as a scholar and so-called 'author,'" which will be followed by dinner and conversation. 

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David Mayhew

David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, will deliver a talk, "Patterns in American Elections," followed by dinner and conversation.

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Jeff Brenzel

Jeffrey Brenzel has served as Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Master of Timothy Dwight College, and Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni. He teaches in the Directed Studies and Humanities programs. Dr. Brenzel will give a short talk reflecting on his work as Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, followed by dinner and conversation.


Beverly Gage

Beverly Gage is Professor of History. Her talk will focus on her decision to become a historian and the experience of returning to Yale after her graduation. 


Noël Valis

Noël Valis is Professor of Spanish. An expert on modern Spanish literature and culture, Professor Valis will give a talk about how she came to pursue her scholarly career, followed by discussion over dinner.