Conferences and Conference Works
Where 10:1 becomes 1:1

There is practically nothing like it anywhere else. In most cases, in conjunction with your seminars, every other week you’ll have the personal, undivided attention of each of your three seminar professors. In one-on-one meetings called conferences, you’ll review progress on a project that interests you deeply—one that you conceive and design with faculty guidance.

What kind of project? With the seminar topic as a jumping-off point, conference work often takes the form of an inquiry into a separate subject including a research paper, but you might approach it creatively as a work of fiction, a concert, or a documentary film—investigating questions emerging from any area of inquiry. For primary source material, you might conduct a survey or do in-depth interviews. You might compare current political developments with a classic work of political theory—or analyze your own fieldwork from an internship or volunteer experience.

When you do conference work one-on-one with a faculty member throughout the entire semester or year, your papers become deeper, your thinking more substantial. Through frequent feedback from your professor, you’ll learn to organize your ideas and improve your writing, expanding your skills of exposition along with your knowledge. And with each conference paper, you’ll find that such learning stays with you. By the time you graduate, your writing will be not only a lifelong asset, but also, in a profound way, an extension of who you are.

Sample Papers that Grow from Conference Work

The Anthropology of Prisons • Climate Change and Russia: Its History and Future • Freak Chance and Coincidence • Complexity with a Purpose: A Rube Goldberg Machine • Da Vinci Drawings in Modern Medicine and Cardiology • Empathy in Action • Feminism in Greek Literature • Haight-Ashbury: Rise and Fall of a “Countercultural” Neighborhood • The History, Influence, and Advancement of American Film Noir • The Ku Klux Klan: Hate and Fear in America • The Neurobiology of Love • Privates and Patriots: Interpretations of the Battle of Concord • Progressive Education • Investigation of Catalytic Effects on the Synthesis of Aspirin Using X-Ray Powder Diffraction • Street Art and Charity • Tensions Between Autonomy and Interdependence: A Developmental Picture of Language Socialization in Three Societies • Unconventional Warfare in WWII • Waves of Journalism • Composting: How It Might Remediate the Bee Dilemma and the Waste Dilemma • The Effects of Picture Book Illustrations on Recall in Preschool Children • Friendly Fat; Pernicious Protein • Her Message Is Committed: Martha Graham’s "Letter to the World" • Insects as Other: An Exploration • Iraqi Suicide Bombing • The Plague of Coral Diseases

One-on-one meetings with faculty—we call them conferences—are the hallmark of a Sarah Lawrence education. Here, faculty not only take students seriously, but take a personal interest in their work—bringing student accomplishment to a whole new level.

Look Deeper

Associate Dean of the College Mary Porter and a panel of students tackled the question, “What is conference work?” at a recent event for prospective students. Watch the video»

Vera Kelsey-Watts"The first time I finished a conference paper, I was elated. I felt so successful, it was such a boost to my confidence and my ability to tackle something and finish it. And my writing has kept getting better."

Can’t get enough conference works? Download a summary of recent projects by SLC students (PDF).