LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University, an early leader in liberal arts education, will host the fourth annual faculty seminar titled Twenty-first Century Liberal Education: A Contested Concept, July 23-26. The 17 seminar participants were selected from a pool of applicants from prominent liberal arts colleges throughout the country. They reflect the diversity within the professorate at liberal arts colleges and include faculty members from Rhodes, Agnes Scott, Washington and Jefferson, Washington and Lee, the University of South Carolina, Scripps and Earlham.
Seminar sessions include “The Historical Background to the Contemporary Debates,” “The Classical Tradition in the 20th Century: Robert Maynard Hutchins,” “The Rival Tradition: John Dewey,” “The Classical Tradition Redux: Allan Bloom” and “The Purposes of Liberal Education: Varieties of Individual Development.” Participants are asked to consider the application of liberal education principles to enhance their own effectiveness as college and university teachers – in the classroom, in the preparation of course offerings and in the construction of curricula at their academic institutions.
Susan Rankaitis, Fletcher Jones Chair of Studio Art at Scripps College, will give the opening address, “The Arts in the Liberal Arts.” The plenary speaker is Francis Oakley, President Emeritus and Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas at Williams College and President Emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies. His address is titled “Colleges and the Humanities: An Institutional Perspective on Liberal Education.”
Through this seminar, Transylvania University and its Bingham Program for Excellence in Teaching seeks to contribute to a national conversation on the idea of liberal education and the mission of the liberal arts college in twenty-first century America. Jeffrey B. Freyman, professor of political science at Transylvania, is the seminar coordinator and director of the Center for Liberal Education at Transylvania.