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ACLA 2014: Capital Flow: Education as Exchange in Antiquity and the Renaissance
full name / name of organization:
Claire Sommers & Luisanna Sardu/CUNY Graduate Center
Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, states that reciprocal exchange is the glue which holds society together, saying “The very existence of the state depends on proportionate reciprocity…failing which no exchange takes place, and it is exchange that binds them together…it is a duty not only to repay a service done one, but another time to take the initiative in doing a service oneself” (NE V.v.7).
The exchange of capital impels association among individuals, and therefore creates the foundation of a society. While many physical objects may be exchanged, it is a society’s collective knowledge that defines its identity; its ideas are its capital. The exchange of ideas is accomplished through education, the transfer of cultural capital from one entity to another; this movement of capital can occur between individuals, characters in a literary work, cities, countries, or continents. This exchange in turn leads to the production of new knowledge and, thus, new cultural capital. Focusing upon Antiquity and the Renaissance, the aim of this panel is to explore how the exchange of knowledge creates new cultural capital and to consider the role of education as currency and, thus, a form of capital in its own right. Some of the questions this panel seeks to answer include, but are not limited to:
• How does education become a means of production of new capital? How is it a form of currency or capital itself?
We are seeking papers centering primarily upon Antiquity and/or the Renaissance and we welcome papers dealing with texts of all genres (literature, philosophy, dialogue, epistle, poetry, history, memoir, biography, essay, epic, tragedy, comedy, novel/novella, pedagogical methods, music, the visual arts, etc.).