CFP: Crisis in the Academy (2/15/06; 4/21/06-4/22/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Nicole McClure
contact email:


The University of Connecticut

Crisis in the Academy

Call for Papers

The Program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University
of Connecticut is organizing an interdisciplinary conference on April 21-22,
2006. Its objective is to launch a broad inquiry and to generate systematic
reflection about a complex problem, which, though frequently cited and
clearly integral to everything we do as scholars and teachers, remains
critical and unsolved, in part because it is so difficult to analyze. What
does it really mean to speak of a "crisis in the academy" in a society which
gives more and more of its citizens access to four years of schooling in
comfortable surroundings, protected from the responsibilities and risks that
others must face in society?
This conference hopes to engage debate on all aspects of higher education,
including such obvious questions as:

*Why do we teach what we teach? What do we teach when we teach?
*Who are the students and why are they learning?
*How do we teach?
*What are they learning, to what end?
*Do students need to be able to return to learn at different stages of life?
*What is the impact upon the academy (and vice versa) of dramatic world
events occurring 'outside' it?
*What is the impact of postmodern, virtual, consumer cyber-culture on what
we persist in calling a 'Liberal Arts Education'? Is such a thing obsolete?
*What is the real logic behind academic initiatives such as
'inter-disciplinarity', 'diversity' and 'multiculturalism'; how are they
implemented and to what effect?
*Is the academy simply attempting to downsize, or is it engaging in the
rhetoric of political correctness to *increase enrollments and ratings?
*Is the university moving into a predominantly service-oriented role with
respect to the culture, providing a costly sort of vocational training?
*Why are Americans perceived to be ignorant?
*What does this mean in a society considered to be a world leader in so many
*What does contemporary culture really need from its educational
*What is, should, or should not, be the role of government in higher
*Who are making critical decisions regarding admissions, funding, staffing,
and curricula?

The Conference welcomes papers on any aspect of the question, on any
discipline, or any related topic. Abstracts of 250 words including
institutional affiliation and contact information are due by February 15,
2006. Abstract should be emailed as in-line text, not as attachments. Please
send materials to or

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Received on Mon Jan 30 2006 - 18:18:01 EST

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