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2020-21 ESF Plenary Lectures

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Fall 2020 (Friday, 10:00-10:50 am) on Zoom

Each plenary will be a 20-25 min presentation, followed by discussion of questions submitted by students. We will start promptly at 10:00 am (Pacific Time) so please be online a few minutes in advance.  

Please keep in mind that our primary goal is to have as many students as possible attending the live session, so you can engage in questions with our exciting lineup of speakers.

For students with an absolute conflict that we have formally approved (contact your instructors for your specific ESF class), we will provide a recording that you need to listen to each week asynchronously. 

All students should submit a plenary response via this form no later than Sunday 11:59PM (Pacific Time) following each plenary. If you have an emergency and can’t attend a specific session, let your instructors know and follow these guidelines, submitting your plenary response by Sunday.   


Faculty Director: Prof. Paula Findlen (History)

Plenary Coordinator: Dr. Megan Shields Formato (PWR)

Zoom Information

Plenaries are held Fridays 10AM-10:50AM (Pacific Time) September 18 through November 13. 

The link to join each ESF Plenary except “A Conversation w/ Ta-Nehisi Coates” will be the same each week. Note: you will need to be logged in to your Stanford Zoom account to access plenary. The Zoom link will be shared in your email. 

If live captioning, access to a recording or transcript following plenary or another accommodation would be helpful, please contact Megan Formato as soon as possible to arrange.

Plenary Schedule

September 18: Welcome to ESF (Introduction to the Program) w/ Prof. Paula Findlen (History), Director, ESF Program, with Prof. Dan Edelstein (French and Italian), Director, Stanford Introductory Studies 

September 25:  Prof. Adam Banks (Education), Director, PWR Program

October 2:  A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me (one of the Three Books for freshmen) and many other publications (Please note: Separate Log in Details will be provided for this Plenary)

October 9:  Prof. Margot Gerritsen (Engineering)

October 16:  Prof. Ravi Vakil (Mathematics)

October 23:  Prof. Caroline Hoxby (Economics)

October 30:  Prof. Paula Moya (English)

November 6:  Prof.  Sylvia Yanagisako (Anthropology) 

November 13:  Prof. Gordon Chang (History), Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education