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Group Description

The official photo competition of
Think – Converse – Act: The Salon and Its Histories
Brown Symposium XXXIII
February 23-25, 2010, Southwestern University

FIRST PRIZE: gift card in the amount of $100.00
SECOND PRIZE: gift card in the amount of $75.00
THIRD PRIZE: gift card in the amount of $25.00

CONVERSATION is arguably the single most influential of the elemental forces that converged during the heyday of salon culture (ca. 1560-1950) to shape the modern world as we know it. Even though salon culture as it existed then is now rare, conversation is still everywhere – perhaps even more so than before, thanks to the new artistic and intellectual vistas that have been opened up by electronic media.

But even though we are surrounded by conversations – in the store, in Starbucks, in chat rooms, in classes, at ballgames – we usually look past them rather than at them. What would happen if we started actually noticing the pervasiveness of the authentic communication and cross-pollination of ideas that conversation brings to our world? Would its ability to stimulate ideas and lead to action and its tradition of civility become even greater, as they did during the heyday of the great salons?

Let’s find out. One way to start noticing something is to focus on it, and one common feature of everyday life that helps us to focus on things is the camera, whether it’s an expensive Nikon or a smart phone.

So Think – Converse – Act, Southwestern University’s 33rd annual Brown Symposium, invites you to take pictures of people in the act of conversing when you see them. We’ll post them to this Flickr site for others to see, “like,” and comment on. Every week we’ll review the entries and choose the three that we think best capture the spirit of conversation, and every month we’ll choose the top three from the weekly winners. In February 2011, just as the Symposium is starting, the assembled conversants and lecturers of Think – Converse – Act will choose the three monthly winners that best capture the spirit of conversation. The winners will be announced at the end of Salon 3 on February 25, 2011.

Group Rules


1.Take photos of conversation and submit them to this group (see also “Rules,” below). Also feel free to comment on other users’ photos!

2.New photos will be posted as soon as possible after they are received and reviewed.

3.Every Wednesday, representatives of Think – Converse – Act (TCA) will review the photos submitted since the previous Wednesday, choose and rank the three photos that “best capture the spirit of conversation,” and post the results.

4.On the 16th of each month from September 16, 2010 to February 16, 2011, TCA representatives will pool the previous month’s weekly winners, then choose and rank the three photos that they believe “best capture the spirit of conversation.” The results will be posted the following Monday (the 21st).

5.The monthly winners will be automatically entered as finalists for the prize drawing.

6.After the combined roster of intramural and extramural conversants, lecturers, and moderators is assembled at Southwestern University, they will choose and rank the best three photos from among the monthly winners, according to the same criteria.

7.The first-, second-, and third-place winners will be announced at the end of Salon 3 on February 25, 2011.


1. Copyright remains the property of the original owner. However, by submitting materials to this group you automatically give Brown Symposium XXXIII and Southwestern University permission to display, post, and use those materials free of charge.

2. All materials submitted will be reviewed for organizational purposes before they are posted.

3. Materials deemed indecent or offensive will be rejected without comment.

4. Lecturers, conversants, moderators, and hosts of Brown Symposium XXXIII may submit to this group but are ineligible for cash prizes.

Additional Info

  • Accepted content types: Photos, Images
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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