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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Freshman Voltaire's Coffee Information

Posted: May 26, 2009

See the list: 2009 Voltaire's Coffees.

Plan II freshmen are initiated into their first semesters with small, informal, professor-guided book talks called Voltaire's Coffees. The professors we ask to sponsor these discussions select an eclectic and broad combination of texts, from history to philosophy, classics to pop culture, that you will read over the summer to discuss in the fall. At the beginning of the semester you will join the professor and a small group of your classmates in one or more Coffees, providing a wonderful opportunity for both a compelling discussion as well as a chance to meet your Plan II peers and some of the University's best professors.

You should read the book(s) for at least one Voltaire's Coffee during the summer; however, you are allowed to read several books and to attend as many of the coffees that interest you, as long as space remains available.  You can register for your top choices beginning July 17, 2009.

We schedule Voltaire's Coffees during the first few weeks of classes; several VC's will meet as soon as dorms open, in the first few days before classes begin. At the beginning of the semester you will join the professor who is sponsoring one of your books in a small, informal discussion--a part of a Plan II tradition called a "Voltaire's Coffee." You should read the books for at least two Voltaire's Coffees during the summer. We encourage you to read several books and attend all the coffees that interest you.

Plan II students chose the sponsoring professors, who in turn chose the books to discuss. The result is a delightful mix of books, ranging from the sublime to the entertaining, and covering all areas of study. If the book listed has a translation, please buy the one specified, as different versions can give different impressions. The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is noted for recommended editions. Where no ISBN is noted, choose among the most readily-available editions.

Be aware that Voltaire's Coffees will occur during the first few weeks of classes; a few of them will meet before classes even begin. Please check the dates and times of the coffees and register early--they fill up fast!

For the VC's that will be held in faculty members' homes, maps will be available at Plan II office and carpools will be formed.

Remember: VC REGISTRATION will begin July 17 and continue to August 7. 

To register: Please email the number of Coffees you wish to attend (at least one, and no more than eight) your top three choice Coffees (or more, if you want to attend more), your name, and UT EID starting July 17 to Plan II Students Association Academic Chairs Amanda Jones and Elena Dufner at pii.academics@gmail.com. (This email will be for questions only until July 17. Registration requests will not be accepted until July 17, when VC registration begins.)

Registration for Coffees ends August 7, 2009.

See the list of this year's Voltaire's Books and faculty at: 2009 Voltaire's Coffees.

This information will be updated frequently as Coffees are scheduled and meeting places are confirmed.

Additional Recommended Reading:

The University will host several exciting authors and writers in the next year for lectures, classroom visits, readings, and workshops.



PLEASE NOTE: All Voltaire's Coffees will be completely handicapped-accessible. Although the majority of the Coffees will be held in the Texas Union or at professors' homes, some coffees will be held in one of the seminar rooms of the Joynes Reading Room.

If you have any concerns or would like to let us know ahead of time to minimize the possibility of difficulties, please feel free to contact us (Amanda Jones and Elena Dufner), the Academic Co-chairs, ahead of time at pii.academics@gmail.com

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