A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectare aut prodesse est"). Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until quite recently in urban settings.
NYU Libraries first started hosting salons in 2007. The Coles Science Salons were a speaker series created and organized by the Coles Science Center, the science reference department at Bobst Library. The early Salons had a Science focus and proved to be quite popular with the NYU community. The Business and Government Documents Center, drawn by the success of the Science salons, also began hosting business focused salons in 2012. Not to be left out, the Social Sciences & Humanities Reference were also planning to host their own salon series. But, rather than all the reference centers hosting competing salons, it was decided to join forces to create the unCOMMON Salons. These Salons are a reflection of the interdisciplinary research being conducted at NYU, and are now co-sponsored by Business and Government Documents, Coles Science Center, and the Social Sciences & Humanities Reference Center.
The unCOMMON Salons are scheduled to be held 2-3 times per semester as a space for NYU scholars to share their work. The purpose of the salons is to foster interdisciplinary dialogue, encourage networking across disciplines, and provide a vibrant place in the library for students, faculty, and library staff to informally socialize with each another.
If you would like to present at an unCOMMON Salon, please contact us: