Core Futures Conference 2020: Race in Core at Temple University

deadline for submissions: 
January 6, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Intellectual Heritage Program, Temple University
contact email: 

Core Futures Conference 2020: Race in Core

Hosted by the Intellectual Heritage Program, Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

Friday-Saturday, March 13-14

Charles Library

General education courses in the Liberal Arts offer students the chance to engage with texts that have shaped the world we live in today. Yet even as scholars in the fields of literary studies, history, philosophy, and political theory have expanded the scope of their inquiries to include previously marginalized voices, many core programs rely on a fixed canon of authors from the Western European tradition while neglecting the intellectual achievements of non-European peoples -- and, crucially, the ways in which "the West" has long been shaped by contact with non-European peoples and their lifeways. Core programs must assume a wholly global perspective if we hope to impart a sense of the historical scope of human achievement to our students.

Race in Core seeks papers on how we can best reshape core curricula and syllabi to reflect the reality of a historical scene that has always been multiracial and multicultural. Papers on any topic, from any time period, are welcome. However, we urge potential contributors to remain focused on practical pedagogical issues. Questions we'll consider at the conference include:

  • How can core texts and programs help students envision a future free of racial hierarchies? 

  • By what historical processes were voices of non-European peoples excluded from core humanities canons? 

  • How has rhetoric surrounding "the Western tradition" been used as a tool to denigrate non-European peoples and their accomplishments?

  • How is the line between "savageness" and "civilization" defined in our core curricula today?

  • In what ways did ancient, classical, and medieval thinking about race differ from our own, and how can we bring those differences to life for students?

  • What difficulties have our colleagues faced in attempting to diversify core programs?

  • How can core classrooms account for the transnational and multiracial composition of our classrooms? 

  • What specific texts -- including both "historically significant" works and works from neglected genres such as science fiction, fantasy, and the graphic novel -- can be included in core lists to help improve students' understanding of the diversity of human thought and achievement?

  • How can core courses address the history and experience of race in the Americas in particular?

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words here by January 6, 2020. Panelists will be contacted in mid-January. Remote video presentation may be an option. For more information, contact Dr. Robert Rabiee.

Contact Info: 

Robert Rabiee, Ph.D.

Intellectual Heritage Program

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

Contact Email: robert.rabiee@temple.eduURL: