Blue Stool Project

The Blue Stool Project is a series of flash lectures given on the Champlain College campus, appearing in the central courtyard and drawing in passers-by to hear what the lecturer, drawn from the college community, has to share. The goal is to address topics that might not normally come up in the classroom, and to engage in a more "guerilla" style of teaching/learning.

What is the Blue Stool Project?

A blue four-legged stool, overlaid by the text "Blue Stool Project."The Blue Stool Project was conceived of by Bob Selby who envisioned a learning community "popping up" all around campus, both in and out of the classroom. Further refined in collaboration with Chuck Bashaw, Cinse Bonino and Eric Ronis, the Blue Stool Project has become a monthly event on the Champlain College campus. Tyler Dion joined the original organizers to provide technical support. Blue Stool talks are opportunities for Champlain College faculty and staff to share their passion for learning and ideas with students (and others) outside of the classroom. The Blue Stool talks are meant to provoke thought, deepen understanding and encourage listeners to reconsider ways of knowing. The talks may or may not be controversial in subject matter, but all aim to provide opportunities for listeners to learn.

The Blue Stool talks are not platforms for "causes" (whether or not such causes may be worthy of championing) and this is an important distinction. The Blue Stool asks nothing in return from its audience other than that the audience listen and consider. The audience is not being persuaded to vote a certain way or buy a certain product or even to believe a certain idea. Instead, the audience is asked to think. That said, Blue Stool talks may coincide with certain events (like MLK Day, Earth Day, etc.), and be thematically linked to the "messages" implied by those days/events.

Who Gives Blue Stool Talks?

Don Laackman carries the Blue Stool, entrusted to keep it until the next lecture.

Blue Stool speakers are usually faculty members who have been tapped on the shoulder by one of the Blue Stool Project organizers and asked to share one of their passions or big ideas. Once in awhile, it's an administrator or staff person who gets the tap. If you have a burning desire to share something that fits our mission, contact one of the organizers. We would be happy to add your request to our current considerations. However, if you want to talk about something that doesn't fit with the Blue Stool Project's intentions, we heartily encourage you to create your own pop-up lecture. You might even decide to create a lecture series complete with a stool of a different color. That would be cool for all of us.

Learn More

The Blue Stool Project archives talks given by past presenters. You may visit the detailed archive or browse the Blue Stool Project's YouTube channel.