20th Annual Conference Announcement and Registration
The Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC)
Twentieth Annual Conference
Theme: Liberal Arts and Core Texts in Our Students’ World
Pepperdine University, Seaver College, Great Books Colloquium
and Co-sponsored by
Concordia University, Irvine, and Fresno Pacific University
Thursday, April 10 – Sunday, April 13, 2014
The Hilton Hotel LAX (Los Angeles)
Plenary Speakers Thursday through Saturday: Norman Bradburn, former Provost University of Chicago; Senior Fellow, NORC, University of Chicago; William Broussard, Director of Athletics, Southern University; Robert Hagstrom, Legg Mason Investment Counsel; Julia D. Hejduk, Professor of Classics, Baylor University; Richard Kamber, President of ACTC, College of New Jersey, plenary address: “Under Plato’s Pillow: Aristophanes’ Clouds and Plato’s Symposium.”
Sunday, Business Meeting, open to all.
Hotel reservations: See below.
ATTENDEE PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS: Registration and Proposals are entered through the Online Conference Registration Form at the bottom of this page. Each proposal—paper or panel—must include name(s), institutional affiliation(s), mailing and email addresses, and phone contact number(s) of presenter(s). All proposals should include paper title(s) and a one-paragraph abstract. PANEL PROPOSALS should organize a panel of specific presenters with a title for the panel. No more than two panel members from the same institution may be present on one panel, but panel proposals with only two presenters are welcome. ACTC will form panels out of individual submissions or complete panel submissions. THE PROPOSAL DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31, 2013.
All potential conferees are welcome to contact the Executive Director of ACTC, J. Scott Lee, with questions about panels and proposals: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACTC papers are short (seminar-essay style, 5 pages, double-spaced), treat one core text for at least ¾-1 page, and develop the conference theme. The usual presentation time allotted to each paper is 12-15 minutes. Lively liberal arts discussions are a mark of ACTC conference panels. Thus, papers tend to range over theoretical considerations, particular interpretations, and classroom or programmatic practices—often involving all of these. Panel proposals should bear these characteristics in mind. Scholarly papers (up to 10 pages) may be submitted for publication in our selected proceedings after the conference, but only 5-page papers may be read at the conference. For publication criteria, see: http://www.coretexts.org/actc-publications/.
More than 200 openings will be available for paper presentations. While the submission of a complete paper is not required for acceptance on a panel, every attendee whose paper proposal has been accepted is expected to come to the conference with the completed paper.
Submission of your paper or panel proposal, or simply your intention to attend the conference, may be done through the ACTC website at www.coretexts.org.
VOLUNTEERS FOR PANEL CHAIRS will be happily accepted. If you wish to volunteer, see the Online Registration Form, below. Only organizers of panels may serve as chairs and presenters at the same time; all other chairs may not present on the same panel.
Liberal Arts and Core Texts in Our Students’ World
Members of the Association for Core Texts and Courses would argue that core texts and liberal arts education change lives and have consequences in the world — for the better. Many of our arguments are true, but are they convincing to a culture and, even, to fellow members of the academy who are severely contesting whether liberal arts education, especially one in core texts, is worth the candle?
Reflection shows where liberal arts might fit into careers. Liberal arts graduates should be welcomed in: law, journalism, communications (think of McLuhan’s background in core texts), marketing and advertising, political organizing, diplomacy, fund raising, non-profit work and publicity, international trade and translating, middle and upper management, and the ministry, rabbinate, or priesthood. There are, also, innumerable secondary and primary teaching positions, not to mention those in academia. Add it all up and the total is a healthy and vigorous segment of the job market.
Yet, for all that, we seem to be hard pressed to say where and how a liberal arts education in core texts makes a difference. Yes, recent works have argued the value of liberal arts education, including one in core texts, for democracy and civic life. But are our students’ personal or professional lives noticeably shaped by a liberal arts education? If the liberal arts have nothing to say about jobs and careers, our kind of education will be perceived as useless in these realms. We know a liberal education is useful in life: it speaks to life-long questions, to personal choices and relations, and to ultimate values or concerns. But if we do not perceive and articulate very particular ways our texts and our courses are making noticeable differences to the questions students ask, the choices students make, the relations they form, and the values they adhere to, then it will be hard for us to make a case for a core text education on human grounds.
At one point or another, all attendees of ACTC have been struck by a work of literature, history, philosophy, religion, art, or science which not only yielded moral guidance, but crystallized what the world really was or could be like. Can we specifically articulate moments when our students have seen the world through great liberal arts texts, thereby confirming the value of an education in core texts?
Do we know when and where being articulate, being literate, being competently conversant has made a difference in personal, corporate, or public decisions? We tend to think that financial corporations and their investors would be better off if they had a course in ethics, but do we have a sense of when liberal arts education, its ideas, and the core texts drawn from a range of disciplines — not only ethics — have or could impact economic and financial decisions? A humanistic, liberal arts education will enhance careers in any area, we say. But do we have personal stories or data that show these enhancements? There are data that indicate humanistically educated students tend toward non-profit careers. Can we imagine or articulate whether a core text education is in fact of benefit in that arena? What, in short, do we hope to accomplish for our students in whatever career choices they make?
We are very good at interpretation of written works and other art works. We are good at extracting ideas and techniques from our texts. We are good at speaking about cultures and civilizations, and the realms of faith and reason. We are good at developing habits of critical thinking and cultivating judgment. Are there texts where our own arts and habits can be seen? Do the Aeneid, the Analects, the Qu’ran, or the Origin of Species show our arts and habits in operation in the worlds of those texts? Can we specify where Plato or Confucius; Moses, Christ, or Muhammad; Ptolemy or Galileo, Newton or Darwin, Beethoven or Monet, Du Bois or Gandhi, Basho or Dickinson, Austen or Morrison have made a difference to our students?
Some of us feel that a liberal arts education based in core texts is offered for its own sake. We read in the media that we cannot argue that way anymore. Yet, an education for its own sake is also for the sake of a student’s soul. A soul is part of this world, and unless we can articulate how that is changed, it will be hard for future students and parents to see why a liberal arts education is so valuable.
Liberal Arts and Core Texts in Our Students’ World: It is time to articulate to ourselves and the public the value of what we offer. ACTC invites all who wish to participate in this conversation to join our 20th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, April 10-13, 2014.
CONFERENCE FEES AND MEMBERSHIP
Registration includes the price of six meals (Thursday night hors d’ouvres and dinner, three breakfasts and two lunches) regardless of days of attendance, plus admission to all activities and subvention for published proceedings of the conference.
All individuals attending ACTC are encouraged to become members. However, all individuals attending ACTC for the second time or more must become members, and all individuals presenting papers must become members. Institutional membership does not cover individual membership.
Registration fee: $ 405.00 U.S. (CAD price announced after agenda is set)
Individual membership: $ 50.00 U.S.
Your Thursday night guest(s): $ 42.00 U.S. each
Your Friday or Saturday lunch guest(s): $ 28.00 U.S. each
Your Friday or Saturday breakfast guest(s): $ 19.00 U.S. each
Teaching assistants/graduate students of ACTC Member Institutions (http://www.coretexts.org/organization/institutional-membership/) may apply for a limited number (20) of Conference Fee Scholarships: a subsidy of $ 255.00 in Conference Fee and $ 25 in Membership, resulting in a Conference Fee payment of $ 150 and Teaching Assistant/Graduate Student Membership of $ 25. This includes all meals. Applicants must submit a proposal. These will be distributed on a first come, first served basis to up to two (2) applicants from a member institution.
Payment forms will be sent to you in early February, after you have received the agenda. Registration checks must be mailed no later than Thursday, March 20th. ACTC does not accept credit cards, because the cost of using them would have to be passed on to conference attendees. ACTC cannot pro-rate fees.
PAYMENTS POSTMARKED AFTER MARCH 20, 2014 WILL BE SUBJECT TO A LATE FEE OF $50.00. NO REFUNDS WILL BE MADE AFTER APRIL 3, 2014.
Parties interested in book displays or displays for programs or projects should contact the ACTC office at email@example.com.
The Hilton Hotel (LAX) Los Angeles Single or Double Rate: $ 109.00/night.
Hotel Reservations: ALL HOTEL RESERVATIONS WILL BE MADE THROUGH THE HILTON HOTEL. For reservations call 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667), state you are with the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) Conference and use the group code CTC (note, not actc) for the group rate. Or you may call (310) 410-4000 and ask to be connected to in-house reservations. Provide the same information for the group rate. Rooms in the limited “block” at the above rate will be held until Thursday, March 27, 2014. After March 27, rooms and rates are subject to the hotel’s discretion.
AIRPORTS AND GROUND TRANSPORTATION
The Hilton Hotel is located at the Los Angeles Airport, LAX. The Los Angeles World Airports shuttle, designated as ‘Hilton LAX,’ will pick up conferees and deliver them to the hotel. Thus, there are no transportation costs to get to the hotel if a conferee flies into LAX.
Again, registration and panel or paper proposal are made immediately below through the Conference Registration Form
Questions? Write or call:
ACTC Liberal Arts Institute at
Saint Mary’s College of California
1928 Saint Mary’s Road
Moraga, CA 94556; 925 631 8597;