Each year the Bard Debate Union hosts an international debate conference in a different international location. Conference participants come from Bard’s international network institutions.
History of the Conference
In March 2017, the Bard Debate Union hosted the first Bard Network Debate Conference. During the conference students, faculty, and staff from Bard’s five affiliate campuses—Al-Quds Bard (West Bank), American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), Bard College Berlin (Germany), European Humanities University (Lithuania), and Smolny College (Russia)—joined together with Bard Debate Union students and Co-Directors for five days of workshops, collaborations, and debates. On the the final day of the conference, participants put on a public debate on the topic “Resolved: the production of fake news should be criminalized”; the public debate featured one student from each the six network universities and had an audience of over 40 people.
Given the success of the first conference, we hosted the Second Bard Network Debate Conference at Smolny College in St. Petersburg, Russia in March 2018. Bard debate union students and Co-Directors were again joined by students, faculty, and staff from Al-Quds Bard, American University of Central Asia, Bard College Berlin, European Humanities University, and Smolny College for two days of lectures, workshops, and discussions about the role of debate in liberal arts education and best practices for running debate programs. All conference participants then took part in the two-day St. Petersburg Open Debate Tournament at Smolny College, where they debated topics ranging from the implementation of a universal basic income to banning the personal use of automobiles and the decline of American leadership on the world stage.
The 3rd Bard Network Debate Conference took place at Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) March 9-14, 2019. The conference culminated in a public debate on CEU’s campus on the topic “Is nationalism always dangerous? Should all nationalist politics and projects be resisted?”
Our hope is for the conference to take place annually!