Philo's Peer Literary Societies
The Philomathean Society, as the oldest continually existing collegiate literary society in the United States, considers itself to be the Mother Society of all collegiate literary societies in its capacity as a sovereign and occasionally colonialist state. It was also the seat of the now-defunct Association of American Collegiate Literary Societies.
That being said, the Philomathean Society is in full or partial communion with the following collegiate literary societies:
The Philolexian Society of Columbia University
Founded in 1802 by intrepid Columbian undergraduates, the Philolexian Society thrived until the literary-society-ending World War II, when it ceased to exist. Allan Ginsberg has also been implicated. Anyway, one Thomas J. Vinciguerra (Columbia College Class of 1985), after witnessing a meeting of the Philomathean Society, spearheaded the revival of this fair Society and inaugurated a climate of warm relations between ‘Mathea and ‘Lexia that has continued largely uninterrupted to the present day.
Philomathea considers Philolexia its sister society, and invariably competes in the ‘Lexian Kilmer Bad Poetry Competition. Embassies are exchanged between the two Societies on a semesterly basis. Of all the collegiate literary societies remaining in the United States, the Philolexian is most like the Philomathean.
The Whig-Cliosophic Society of Princeton University
Founded in 1928, the Princeton Whig-Cliosophic Society is organized around the model of the Cambridge and Oxford Unions, being primarily an umbrella for various Princeton debating teams rather than a true collegiate literary society. However, some remnants of the True Literary Society Faith remain in the form of the regular debates between “Whig” and “Clio”, and in the Whig-Cliosophic’s retention of Halls. Philomathean and Whig-Cliosophic relations have entered a phase not unlike relations between the two Koreas in the present day. We’ll let you guess which Korea is which.
The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society of the University of Virginia
The last time the Jefferson Society and the Philomathean Society had an exchange, they gave us a pencil sharpener in the shape of Thomas Jefferson’s head. It sharpened pencils really, really well. Thus, relations are friendly even if contact has been relatively infrequent. Jefferson bears some similarity to Philo: both have Halls, both host speakers in events that are free and open to the public, and both have indescribable general meetings.
The Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Another debating society, DiPhi (as it is known to its members) is likewise a distant cousin of Philomathea.
The Philodemic Society of Georgetown University
This debating society has valiantly attempted to restart the Conference of Collegiate Literary; a goal sufficently noble for the Society to forgive their wearing of cummerbunds incorrectly.
The Signet Society of Harvard University
Unlike the Societies aforementioned, the Signet Society is in fact an artistic society, dedicated to “creating art and practicing it”. Less rhetoric, more debauched, creative teas. Relations, as readers have no doubt come to expect, distant but cordial.
The Euphradian Society of University of South Carolina
As higher education has become increasingly utilitarian and vocational, the Euphradian Society stands in the educational wasteland like the prophet Jeremiah, calling the university back to the ancient paths. The keepers of the Eleusinian Mysteries, Euphradians are titans of raw thumos who are distinguished by their wit, good-looks, and Southern charm.
The Franklin Inn
A fine literary society if not a collegiate one, this Philadelphia institution has been a favorite haunt of Philo Senior Members since its founding in 1902.
If you represent a collegiate literary society and wish to be included on our list, please contact us!