Skip Navigation

Southern Oregon University


The SOU Center for the Humanities is pleased to announce that the Campus Theme for Academic Year 2015-16 will be Exploring Reality. The Campus Theme is entering its seventh year.

What is real or reality? Are things as they appear or is there something deeper that is hiding behind the appearances? The 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that the world we observe around us might not be the way the world really is in itself. Perhaps anticipating Kant, the 8th century Indian philosopher Shankara stated that all things -- from the creator down to a single blade of grass – are simply appearances and not real. The idea that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics. Religious people to scientists, artists and musicians to poets, have pondered this question for millennia. Reality, whatever it may be, seems to defy simple answers. It is this challenge that has inspired us to propose the topic as our next year’s campus theme.

As with all our previous themes, the goal is for the campus and our larger community to engage in rigorous intellectual conversations about this challenging subject, informed by the latest research, scholarship, and insights from a wide variety of perspectives. In addition to our faculty, students and staff, we plan to invite one or two leading scholars, scientists, and/or artists to campus to join us in our yearlong exploration of this theme.

More information on future events to follow.


Last Year's Theme



Click on the poster to download as a PDF