Last year Amsterdam University College held a conference on the resurgence of the liberal arts and sciences and core texts courses in Europe in association with ACTC (Association of Core Texts and Courses). It brought people together around a number of important themes and questions, such as the meaning of a well-rounded liberal education, the reading of and education in core texts, pedagogy, assessment techniques and big questions. Papers and discussions ranged from exploring the content and structure of a core texts curriculum to the importance of philosophical, historical, literary and cultural traditions and texts. These discussions were not only collegiate in character; they also opened the door for further links between colleagues, programmes, teaching and research across European institutions.
Our 2nd conference at the University of Winchester in September 2017, in cooperation with ACTC, seeks to continue and build on these discussions.
Philosophy | Literature | History | Arts
Politics | Anthropology | Sociology | Economics | Law
Biology | Physics | Mathematics.
The deadline for paper proposals and / or panel proposals is Monday 5th June 2017 (midnight).
Proposals are submitted by sending the following information to LiberalArts@winchester.ac.uk
• Your name
• E-mail address
• A title for the paper(s)
• A brief outline of paper (max. 250 words)
• A title for and description of the panel theme (max. 250 words)
You will be notified whether your proposal can be accommodated before the end of June 2017.
Since the days of the Academy in Greece, liberal arts education, inside or outside of institutions, has shaped, at least, eight cultures and dialogues: Athens’s, Rome’s, Christianity’s as a synthesis of Rome and Jerusalem, Medieval universities, Renaissance Humanism, the Scientific Revolution, Romanticism and the Enlightenment. It may be that the time has come again for liberal arts education to re-shape and re-envision our idea of education, the world or, more practically, the canon of great books to be taught. Perhaps one cannot change our world for the better without knowing where we have been. In this sense, core texts help to ground us. And perhaps one cannot refashion the future unless one knows and understands something of the dialogues, inventions and innovations the liberal arts, then and now, are capable of.
With this in mind, the conference invites delegates who use core texts in one way or another in their courses, and especially in a liberal arts and sciences or interdisciplinary environment, to once again reflect on the role of liberal arts education. But, in particular, and in a time of social, political, financial, ecological and philosophical uncertainty in Europe, and rising populism, the conference asks delegates to consider what re-newed or re-formed visions liberal arts or core text courses might hold for the education, citizenry, and cultures of Europe.
We take a core text to be any text that has stood or is likely to stand the test of time, from Plato to Derrida, from Homer to Dostoyevsky, from Augustine to Gandhi, from Irigaray to Morrison. The conference defines core texts in an inclusive way as any classic text that provides the foundation for a shared discourse whether from the Western or non-Western tradition, from ancient to (post-) modern time periods, and embedded in the humanities - philosophy, literature, history, and the arts - the social sciences – politics, anthropology, sociology, economics, and law – or the natural sciences – biology, physics, mathematics.
Papers are required to be short (seminar style essay, approximately 5 pages double spaced). The usual presentation time allotted to each paper is 12-15 minutes. Panels should be designed to encourage lively liberal arts and sciences discussions, not only about teaching and skills but also about the content of the liberal arts and the liberal sciences. Those who wish to be active in planning panels or papers may wish to join the Association for Core Texts and Courses annual conference in Dallas, April 20-23, 2017 where there will be a planning meeting for the forthcoming European conference.
Visit Coretexts.org for registration information.
Rebekah Howes, Programme Leader, Modern Liberal Arts, University of Winchester
Emma Cohen de Lara, Lecturer Political Theory, Amsterdam University College
Gesche Keding, Leuphana College
Álvaro Sánchez-ostiz Gutiérrez, Navarra University