The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum (Athena + eum) is a new entity that contributes to the quality of intellectual life on campus at The University of Texas at Austin. It invites guests and hosts debates that promote civil discourse, reasoned dialogue, and the value of dissent.

The Athenaeum is interdisciplinary. It is focused on how people think, speak, and approach discourse, not the specific subject matter of it. So the subjects of our events are wide-ranging; they include law, policy, philosophy, and the arts.

The Athenaeum values diversity of thought and opinion. It’s nonpartisan; it appreciates both conservative and liberal perspectives and encourages productive debate between them. The Athenaeum offers political variety and hosts guests with a range of views.

The Athenaeum means to advance the Socratic tradition of inquiry. That’s the underlying theory of the enterprise and the reason for its name. (But it’s a no-hemlock zone.) The norms of the Athenaeum are the Socratic rules of engagement explained here.

The Athenaeum focuses on giving students meaningful encounters with its guests. There are opportunities for alumni to interact with Athenaeum visitors as well.

To learn more about The Athenaeum, or to support it, contact Ward Farnsworth, the Executive Director, at

Upcoming Event

Athenaeum - Oct. 10 - Sen. Cornyn
RSVP to attend:

Our Past Events

Poster for David Hinojosa's Athenaeum event.
The University of Texas Athenaeum presents A Conversation With Garry Kasparov Moderated by Philip Bobbitt Tuesday, February 7, 8 p.m. The Black Box Theater William C. Powers Student Activity Center