Idea Factory brings big ideas to a broad audience. Ranging from history to cognitive psychology, from contemporary art to ancient philosophy, we seek to foster the best work in the humanities, social sciences, and communications emerging from the LTU community and beyond.

We welcome applications or suggestions for future symposia; please email us at or

Next Idea


Since their construction in 271 AD, the walls of Rome have become as eternal as the Imperial City they had to defend. A careful analysis of these walls--their features, motives, and meanings as a fortification system--can thus reveal the ancient history of Rome. In this talk, Francesca D'Andrea will discuss how these walls shaped the appearance and influenced the identity of Rome during the delicate transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. While this story begins with a city without walls, it ends with a wall as a symbol of a city.

Francesca D'Andrea, PhD Candidate
Scuola Normale Superiore
Pisa, Italy

Upcoming Ideas

Fall 2017
October 19 Andrea Eis
November 14 John Matsui
December 7 Vivian Kao
Spring 2018
January 18 Francesca D'Andrea
February 15 Steve Coy
March 15 Annie Bolotin
April 19 Ken Siver