Gaede Institute | Programs The Conversation on the Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts at Westmont
The Conversations on the Liberal Arts at Westmont, 2022, is an internal, semester-long exploration of the role and significance of the liberal arts at Westmont College. Faculty, staff, and students will participate in events including talks from esteemed scholars, reading groups, and interviews and panel discussions with faculty, staff, and alumni about how liberal arts education is making a difference to our work, our faith, our whole lives.
Dr. Blakey Vermuele is the Albert Guérard Professor of Literature at Stanford. She comes to us on the strength of her 2017 book Action Versus Contemplation: Why an Ancient Debate Still Matters—co-written with Jennifer Summit—which argues that a life of action absent a life of reflection will be impoverished, and in any case will often go awry. Among her research interests are: Early American Literature (before 1830), Restoration and 18th Century Literature, Romanticism, Literature and Philosophy, Literature and Psychology/Cognitive Science, and Literature and Religion.
Dr. Molly Worthen comes to us from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is among the foremost contemporary scholars of American evangelicalism. In addition to her scholarship of North American religious and intellectual history, she is also a great essayist, regularly contributing compelling pieces to the New York Times. You can sample her writing in essays like “Is There a Way to Dial Down Political Hatred?” and “A Once-in-a-Century Crisis Can Help Educate Doctors.” Worthen is currently working on a book about the history of charisma in America since 1600.
- "Hive, Tribe, and Shadow: Finding Meaning in a Market World" - Wednesday, February 23, 3:30pm in the GLC Simmons Center
- Blakey Vermeule, the Albert Guérard Professor of Literature at Stanford University speaks on how human (and animal and ecological) communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable, and why we urgently need to push back.
- "The Liberal Education of Some Westmont Heroes" - Thursday, February 24, 12-1pm in the GLC Simmons Center
- A special Faculty/Staff Forum where we'll hear from several much-beloved, widely respected Westmont staff members—Jason Tavarez, Eben Drost, and Jennifer Fuentes—as they discuss how the liberal arts made them who they are today, and why it matters for their work, their faith, and their life every day. Lunch provided.
- "Teaching Empathy: The Liberal Arts in a Post-Truth, For-Profit Age" - Thursday, February 24, 3:30pm in the GLC Simmons Center
- Molly Worthen, New York Times columnist and associate professor of history at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will explore the the teaching of empathy in a polarized age. Why do we teach empathy so poorly, and can the liberal arts help us do better?
- The Evidence Liberal Arts Needs Book Groups - February 7-10, February 28-March 3
- Faculty and staff across campus come together for small-group discussions of The Evidence Liberal Arts Needs: Lives of Consequence, Inquiry, and Accomplishment by Richard Detweiler.
- "What Are You Going to Do With That?!" Panel - Tuesday, March 29, 12:15-1pm on the Dining Commons Lawn
- Alumni from departments not typically associated with career tracks return to talk with us about just how important their major has been to their professional success.
- "The Difference Liberal Arts Makes" Panel - Tuesday, April 12, 12:15-1pm on the Dining Commons Lawn
- A panel discussion of faculty and staff exploring the findings and implications of The Evidence Liberal Arts Needs for Westmont and beyond.
||Hive, Tribe, and Shadow: Finding Meaning in a Market World
Blakey Vermeule, Stanford University
||The Liberal Education of Some Westmont Heroes
Jason Tavarez, Eben Drost, Jennifer Fuentes
||Teaching Empathy: The Liberal Arts in a Post-Truth, For-Profit Age
Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill