Russian Studies and Film/Media Studies Professor Elena Prokhorova won the annual Raft Debate in 2016. The Raft Debate features four W&M faculty members from various disciplines who, stranded on a deserted island with only a one-person life raft to get off the island, have to argue which of them should get the raft and escape back to civilization. Professor Prokhorova persuasively and convincingly argued the case that the person representing the humanities should get the raft, crafting her argument around the important of the humanities and foreign language education for human civilization. According to the rules of the debate, the participant who receives the loudest applause from the audience wins the raft. Professor Prokhorova successfully out-maneuvered representations from the Social Sciences, the Natural and Computational Sciences, and the Devil’s Advocate.
A compilation of the best moments of the Raft Debate, including Prof. Prokhorova’s moment of triumph:
A video of Prof. Prokhorova’s participation, and the full Raft Debate: