Remaking Liberal Arts In and Out of Higher Ed

On Tuesday, May 12, at 3:30 p.m. in The McCormick Tribune Campus Center (MTCC) Auditorium, Jon McKenzie, professor of English and director of Design Lab, University of Wisconsin will host a lecture on remaking liberal arts in and out of higher ed.

Abstract:

When The Chronicle of Higher Education provocatively asks “Is Design Thinking the New Liberal Arts?”, one wonders what is happening to the liberal arts when a single method could plausibly renew or even replace them? Exploring the historical challenges facing the liberal arts, this multimedia presentation will outline a series of experiments and models for generating transdisciplinary collaboration and problem-solving. Design, performance, and media offer valuable bridges across the arts and sciences and, within them, between theory and practice, knowledge and wisdom. Key is the co-creation of real-world opportunities via an emergent culture of making, visualization, and storytelling that ranges from personal stories and official histories to conceptual explanations and simulations of complex processes—all crafted for a diversity of audiences and participants both inside the academy and out. What does it mean to problem-solve far beyond one’s apparent field? How might such experimental work enrich and transform research and learning? What’s it take to remake the liberal arts?

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