What is College For: Making a Liberal Arts Major

Schools of Public Engagement: Social Sciences

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
What is College For: Lib Arts
Spring 2023
Taught By: Julia Foulkes and Mark Larrimore
Section: A

CRN: 14089

Credits: 1

The liberal arts have long been at the center of an undergraduate education. But what are they? They are sometimes defined as the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; sometimes by pedagogical approaches, such as the Socratic method that puts questions at the heart of learning; sometimes by philosophical tenets such as reason and deliberation; sometimes by a combination of all these. Most of all, they are meant to enact intellectual freedom, the desire and ability to search for meaning not only about ourselves but each other. The New School has undergraduate liberal arts programs that offer majors in specific disciplines, from Anthropology to Urban Studies, that narrow this broad quest. But the university also offers a major in the Liberal Arts–embracing the idea that students decide what they want to know. Is this freedom run amok? Does freedom require structure, even obligations? How might a liberal arts major reconfigure education for the future? We seek to use this intensive 1-credit course to consider what a New School liberal arts major should be. We will look at programs in the Liberal Arts at other universities, critique our current models, and propose how to strengthen them utilizing design strategies, writing prompts, and collaborative work. A companion course, What is College For: Higher Education in Society (1cr.) runs in February, although each course can be taken separately.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Social Sciences (NSOS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 19

Add/Drop Deadline: March 23, 2023 (Thursday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: March 25, 2023 (Saturday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:56pm EDT 5/31/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Times: 9:00am - 12:10pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 601
Date Range: 3/24/2023 - 3/26/2023