Though we at the Hist do love to see who can shout the loudest in our Wednesday night debates, we recognise that from time to time, it’s nice to have conversations instead of arguments and to understand that we all have things we can learn from one another. This is where the Burke Sessions subcommittee comes in.
For years now this wonderful subcommittee has organised two fabulous kinds of events: Burke Panels and Derbies of Rhetoric. Burke Panels are a series of speaker panels held in our conversation room, with recent topics having ranged from Irish Feminism in the 21st Century, to Anti Establishment Politics, to Student Activism. Our Burke Panels are so good they’re award winning, with our panel about the Irish Travelling Community having won an Equality Champions award in 2017. Featuring guests and student speakers, they offer a more informal, constructive format than traditional debates. They give speakers a chance to share and develop ideas, presenting the perfect format to get to the heart of the issues of the day.
Our Derbies of Rhetoric are another must. Providing students an opportunity to speak for seven minutes on a subject of their choosing at these events, they offer speakers a chance to thoughtfully share their passion, and observers a chance to learn about topics they might never have given much thought to. From sharks to video game journalism to Eminem, derbies are always an entertaining way to learn about a multitude of whacky things all in the cosy environment of our conversation room.
The Burke Sessions subcommittee is set to get even bigger and better this year, with a supremely qualified chair in Grace Conway, an incredible secretary in Riona Morris, and three fabulous ordinary committee members: Chris O'Halloran, Catherine Prasifka, and Jake Trant. For more information on the goings on of this subcommittee, and to hear about opportunities for you to get involved, we’d invite you to like the Hist’s Facebook page!