Liberal Arts 2.0? The Future of the Liberal Arts

Led by Scott Cohen (English) and Beth Belanger (History) this FLC will explore the history, relevance, and future of liberal arts education.

Through discussions, readings, and reflection, we will deliberate on the inherited traditions of liberal arts education and the challenges it faces in the 21st century. We will examine the role a liberal education can play in shaping and shaping students' intellectual, moral, spiritual, and civic lives.

Although the direction of the semester-long discussion will be charted by its participants, we anticipate addressing some central questions at the heart of our collective enterprise:

  • What are the key foundational ideas that gave shape to the institutional framework we call the liberal arts?
  • How does liberal arts' historic commitment to civic engagement shape its history and what should that commitment look like in light of the political context of the 21st century?
  • What is the relationship between a liberal arts education and spirituality?
  • In a time of pronounced changes in the landscape of higher education what practices will sustain liberal arts colleges in the years to come?

Our goal is to support the development of shared understandings, new ideas, and future proposals within a community of learners and leaders.