GAEDE INSTITUTE | PROGRAMS The Conversation on the Liberal Arts
Globalizing the Liberal Arts
February 17-18, 2006
Our annual Conversations on the Liberal Arts bring together administrators and faculty leaders from colleges and universities representing the whole spectrum of higher education to explore the foundations of liberal arts education and to address the challenges facing the liberal arts tradition. This year's topic was “Globalizing the Liberal Arts.” At stake is the fact that most academic institutions are affirming the importance of global awareness in undergraduate education, and most either have developed programs, curricula, and pedagogies to accomplish this or are in the process of doing so. We reflected carefully on this change, what is inspiring it, and where it is going (hence the ambiguous term globalizing) and considered concrete tools for doing it successfully.
The conference had five plenary sessions: three led by two-member panels, a special report from the AAC&U, and a concluding open forum. Conference participants also attended a special lecture by Colin Powell on Friday evening.
The opening session Friday afternoon addressed more theoretical questions— What does it mean to globalize liberal education and why are we doing it? Issues addressed were considering the term "globalizing" (Is it homogenizing? Is it the dominance of Western economic, political, or social forms and values? How else might we talk?) and explicating and critiquing different rationales for globalizing liberal arts education—both religious and secular.
The Saturday morning session addressed changes at the institutional level— What curricular changes, academic programs, policies, and structures can contribute to the effort to globalize liberal arts education? Obviously changes in course offerings or requirements are an important part of this, but so are attracting international students and faculty, expanding study-abroad programs, or any number of other things.
Saturday afternoon we addressed faculty considerations—How do we have to teach differently and do scholarship differently? What alternatives are there to the "West and the rest" model? How must the methods with which we approach our disciplines change? What are the affective implications for our students of a more global education and how can we respond to them?
Thanks to those of you who were able to join us and contribute to the conversation.
Transnational Cooperation and Mobile Civitas: An Imperative for Globalizing the Liberal Arts
Eve Walsh Stoddard, St. Lawrence University
It's a Small World, After All: One Case for Cosmopolitanism
Susan VanZanten Gallagher, Seattle Pacific University
An Innovative Approach to Global Intercultural Learning
Lester P. Monts, University of Michigan
Globalizaing Liberal Arts Education through Residential Learning Communities
W. Atom Yee, Santa Clara University
The History of Arts as a New Humanistic Discipline
David Summers, University of Virginia
"Globalizing" the Liberal Arts: Issues and Challenges for Teaching
Helen Rhee, Westmont College
The Intersection of Global Learning and Liberal Education
Kevin Hovland, AAC&U
W. Atom Yee has served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University since 2004. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Yale in 1969 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1977. Dean Yee joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Santa Clara in 1983 and served as department chair 1998-2002. His academic research interest is in the photochemistry, photophysics, and spectroscopy of molecules related to Vitamin A. He has been active in professional organizations as well as numerous Santa Clara University committees and boards. He was a member of the Senior Commission for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for 1998-2004, and he has served on WASC evaluation teams since 1990.
Eve Stoddard is the chair of the Global Studies department at St. Lawrence University. Dr. Stoddard received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her Ph.D. from UCLA, both in English. Her areas of interest are cultural and postcolonial studies, comparative race and ethnicity, tourism, and the history of slavery in the British empire. She teaches Caribbean and Irish literature, postcolonial theory, and courses on race and ethnicity. She co-edited Global Multiculturalism: Comparative Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Nation and co-authored Globalizing Knowledge: Connecting International and Intercultural Studies.
Lester Monts is Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Music (Ethnomusicology) at the University of Michigan. Dr. Monts received a B.A. in music education from Arkansas Polytechnic College, the Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Minnesota. He has served on the faculties of Edinboro University, University of Minnesota, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1988-93, he served as Dean of Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Letters and Science, and in that role, directed Santa Barbara's Undergraduate Honors Program. Dr. Monts has focused his scholarly research on the musical and cultural systems among the Vai people of Liberia and is regarded as one of the world's leading scholars on music and culture in the Guinea coast region of West Africa. His book, Vai Musical Language, is published by the Societe d'Etudes Linguistiques et Anthropologiques de France; it explores Vai folk etymologies related to the intersection between music and other linguistic phenomena. He is currently working on another book that examines the influence of Islam on the continuity and change of music in funerary rituals among the Vai.
Susan VanZanten Gallagher is Co-Director of SERVE, Director of The Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, and Professor of English at Seattle Pacific University. Dr. VanZanten Gallagher holds a B.A. in English from Westmont College and an M.A. in American Literature and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Emory University. The chair of the CCCU Faith/Learning/Living Commission, she has worked in faculty development for the past seven years, both with the CCCU and at SPU as the Director of the New Faculty Seminar. Her publications include Literature Through the Eyes of Faith, with Roger Lundin; The Story of South Africa: J.M. Coetzee's Fiction in Context; Postcolonial Literature and the Biblical Call to Justice; and Truth and Reconciliation: The Confessional Mode in South African Literature.
William R Kenan Jr. Professor of Art David Summers joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1981. Prior to his appointment at UVa, Prof. Summers taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Swarthmore College, and Bryn Mawr College. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of art from Yale University. The recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Prof. Summers has written and lectured extensively on subjects ranging from the work of Michelangelo, to Renaissance aesthetics and optics, to theories of world art and western modernism. He regularly teaches courses on these topics, as well as a popular graduate course on theory and methodology in art history. An accomplished artist, Prof. Summers also regularly exhibits his paintings in group and solo exhibitions.
Helen Rhee is Assistant Professor of Church History at Westmont College. Dr. Rhee has a B.A. in History from University of California, Berkeley and an M.Div. and Ph.D. in Church History from Fuller Theological Seminary. She teaches classes on the History of World Christianity. Dr. Rhee is the author of Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries.
Kevin Hovland is the Program Director of Global Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities where he directs two national curriculum and faculty development projects incorporating global learning goals into general education and the major. He is a spokesperson for AAC&U's work and thinking on the integration of global learning and liberal education for all students. AAC&U believes that global perspectives, civic engagement, and social responsibility should beÂ integral parts, not just of general education, but of departmental majors as well.