stories | Students

Announcing Interregnum XVI: Progress

September 10, 2019 | Rebecca Au-Mullaney

The King’s College is pleased to announce that the theme for Interregnum XVI is Progress. This topic will guide students, staff, and faculty in a series of discussions and creative pursuits throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. This year’s theme is framed by the biblical text of Philippians and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

The events of Interregnum make up a substantial portion of the year-long series of competitions through which Houses vie for the treasured House Cup. (Some of the other events include House GPA and the Great Race.) To read about how the tradition of Interregnum came into practice at King’s, you can catch up here with “A Brief History of Interregnum.”

This year brings a change in the schedule of Interregnum. The Film Festival, Academic Writing, Great Speech, and Random Theme Debate events will take place during two days of competition in the fall (November 8-9, 2019), and all remaining traditional Interregnum events will take place in the spring (April 2-3, 2020), with an evening lecture on April 1.

Abby Smith (PPE ’20), this year’s Interregnum chair, says that the College decided to split Interregnum into two parts to better motivate a year-long conversation around the theme. Smith says, “Now that we start earlier, the theme has more time to develop and students have more opportunity to reflect and discuss across both semesters.”

The rest of the Interregnum committee comprises Jackson Fordyce (Business ’20) as vice-chair, Holly Shavelle (PPE ’20) as academics coordinator, Micah Long (Humanities Dec. ’20) as competitions coordinator, Brittany Schrader (MCA ’20) as events and communications coordinator, Thomas Gatt (Business Dec. ’20) as institutional coordinator, Leticia Mosqueda as staff advisor, and Dr. David Tubbs as faculty advisor.

On their choice of Progress as this year’s theme, the committee writes:

In a world of seemingly endless technological advancement and social change, we are in danger of hurtling forward without watching where we’re going. As we wrestle with a simple question—What is Progress?—we also must examine fundamental presuppositions beneath the competing conceptions of the nature of the Good that guide movement forward. Is Progress motivated by the ambition to conquer nature and human nature? Or do we Progress in virtue by surrendering our interests to the demands of sacrificial love?

Smith adds, “I hope King’s students get to experience what I’ve always loved about Interregnum: wrestling together with important ideas through avenues that make them feel alive. In classes, we wrestle individually for our personal learning and goals, but in Interregnum we get to discuss, debate, paint, and act out concepts and values that guide our world in a way that also shapes our community.”