Fostering Liberal Arts in the Composition Classroom - NeMLA (Hartford): March 17-20, 2016

full name / name of organization: 
Gavin F. Hurley / Lasell College
contact email: 

As explained by Michael S. Roth in his 2014 book _Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters_, the Founding Fathers endorsed liberal learning. Thomas Jefferson promoted a university ideal of freedom, education, and responsible citizenry to ensure democratic efficacy. However, centuries later, many American universities struggle to sustain these ideals. Liberal arts education is often overshadowed by career-centered professional studies and STEM programs, which downplay the importance of whole person pedagogy and democratic involvement.

This NeMLA panel seeks ways to celebrate the liberal arts via innovative composition curricula, activities, and projects. Additionally, how do we, as university English and composition instructors, balance professional writing skills with liberal modes of inquiry? Where do students' interrogations of truths and values fit into the composition classroom? How do we integrate ways to, as Richard Rorty posits, "incite doubt and stimulate imagination, thereby challenging the prevailing consensus"? And finally, how do we equip students for lifelong learning and ethical civic engagement?

"Fostering Liberal Arts in the Composition Classroom" invites presentations on the roles of rhetoric, argumentation, critical thinking, ethics, and/or literature in the writing classroom, the publicness of writing, extracurricular writing engagement, WAC/WID possibilities, curricular innovations, relevant histories of the liberal arts, or any other creative perspective to inform this conversation. Presentations exploring specific pedagogies, classroom activities, and assignments are most welcome as well.

‪ If you are interested in submitting a presentation to this panel, please go to the following link and click on "Submit Abstract": . Please note that abstracts can only be accepted through the "cfplist" system. Abstracts should be about 250 words. Deadline for abstracts is September 30th.