Newsroom

September 9, 1998

"The Liberal Arts in the 21st Century" is Topic of Sixth Annual Clifford Symposium at Middlebury College

Offering three lectures and a panel discussion, the sixth annual Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium, "The Liberal Arts in the 21st Century," will take place on Sept. 18-19. All symposium events, which are open to the public and free of charge, will be held at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30).

The inspiration for the symposium's topic originated from Ralph Waldo Emerson's discourse before a Middlebury College debating society in 1845 about what it means to be a student trained in the liberal arts. Prior to the symposium, speakers were invited to read the text of Emerson's talk. With Emerson's thoughts in mind, the speakers will examine the present state of research in each of their fields, the best ways to teach and engage students in the study of this research, and its continuing place in the pursuit of knowledge. They also will address the broader question of the place of a liberal arts education in an increasingly diverse society.

Leon Botstein, Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities and president of Bard College, will give a talk, "Beyond Platitudes and Rhetoric: Making Sense of the Liberal Arts in Contemporary Culture," on Friday, Sept. 18 at 4:30 p.m. Richard Brodhead, A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English at Yale University and dean of Yale College, will speak "On Preparation for an Unknown World" on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.

Roger Schank, John Evans Professor of Computer Science, Psychology, Education and Social Policy, and director of the Institute for the Learning Science at Northwestern University, will discuss "Learning and Interactive Media" on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. followed by a panel discussion. Botstein, Schank and Brodhead, as well as two Middlebury College professors-Robert Schine, Curt Silberman Professor of Jewish Studies, and dean of the faculty; and Marjorie Lamberti, Charles A. Dana Professor of History-will participate in the panel. The Nicholas R. Clifford Symposium was established by the Middlebury College board of trustees in 1993 to honor the distinguished career of Nicholas R. Clifford, College professor emeritus of history. Clifford was a member of the Middlebury College history department from 1966-1993, and served as vice president for academic affairs on three occasions, from 1979-1985, in 1989, and from 1991-1993.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, Sept. 18

4:30 p.m. Middlebury College Center for the Arts, South Main Street (Route 30). Lecture: "Beyond Platitudes and Rhetoric: Making Sense of the Liberal Arts in Contemporary Culture," Leon Botstein, Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities and president of Bard College.

8 p.m. Middlebury College Center for the Arts, South Main Street (Route 30). Lecture: "On Preparation for an Unknown World," Richard Brodhead, A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English at Yale University and dean of Yale College.

Saturday, Sept. 19

10 a.m. Middlebury College Center for the Arts, South Main Street (Route 30). Lecture: "Learning and Interactive Media," Roger Schank, John Evans Professor of Computer Science, Psychology, Education and Social Policy, and director of the Institute for the Learning Science at Northwestern University.

Following 10 a.m. lecture, Middlebury College Center for the Arts, South Main Street (Route 30) panel discussion. Panelists: Leon Botstein, Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities and president of Bard College; Roger Schank, John Evans Professor of Computer Science, Psychology, Education and Social Policy, and director of the Institute for the Learning Science at Northwestern University; Richard Brodhead, A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of English at Yale University and dean of Yale College; Robert Schine, Curt Silberman Professor of Jewish Studies and dean of the faculty at Middlebury College; Marjorie Lamberti, Charles A. Dana Professor of History at Middlebury College.