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The Agora Fellowships

This is an opportunity for students to take part in a program where ideas and themes from renowned books and films will be discussed as part of a regular forum. Conversations about society, politics, economics, psychology, and culture will be led by Dr. George Bragues, Associate Vice-Provost, Academic of UofGH and Dr. Alice Kim, Program Head, Psychology.
Accepted students are recognized as Agora Fellows.

Fellows meet 8 times during the fall 2024 semester. Each meeting is approximately 2 hours.

'Music' will be the theme of the discussions.
Questions explored include:

  • What constitutes music and how does it affect us? 
  • How is music related to our feelings, emotions, and will? 
  • How does music influence a person’s character? 
  • How has music evolved throughout history and across different cultures? 
  • What are the different musical genres and what are their distinguishing features? 
  • What are the differences and commonalities in music across cultures?  
  • What role does music play in establishing group identity and social cohesion?
  • What are the political, economic, commercial forces impinging on music? 
  • How is music related to social class? 
  • What factors influence people’s musical tastes and preferences? 
  • What role should music play in our lives? 

Readings/Film for discussion 
Selections will be read and discussed from the following:

  • “The Fundamentals of Music”, by Boethius
  • “The Republic”, by Plato 
  • “In Praise of Commercial Culture” by Tyler Cowen
  • “The World as Will and Representation”, Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste”, by Nolan Gasser
  • “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain”, by Oliver Sacks 
  • “Philosophy in a New Key”, by Susanne K. Langer
  • “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble”, Documentary 

Musical Events 
Agora Fellows also attend 2 musical performances (TBD), accompanied by Dr. George Bragues and Dr. Alice Kim. This provides an opportunity to gain a more practical understanding of the topics discussed at the meetings.

Though no course credit is granted for participating in the discussion group, students chosen to become Agora Fellows will benefit from:

  • A distinctive title and accomplishment for your resume and co-curricular record
  • Free copies of the works under discussion
  • Attendance at two musical events (paid for by the university) 
  • A deepened understanding of the human project

Availability & Eligibility
There are up to 8 Agora fellowships available for fall 2024.

All University of Guelph-Humber students are eligible to apply.

We will be looking to form a group of students with a diversity of life experiences and perspectives, willing to engage in respectful conversation and debate.

Application Form

Apply Now!

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 10, 2024

For inquiries, please email