21st Annual Conference Announcement and Registration
The Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC)
Twenty-First Annual Conference
Theme: The Arts and Sciences of a Core Text Education: What Are They and Why Do We Need Them?
The ACTC Board
Thursday, April 9 – Sunday, April 12, 2015
The Radisson Hotel, Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts
Plenary Speakers Thursday through Saturday: Jennifer Donnelly, Terra Foundation, Paris; Judith Grabiner, Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professor of Mathematics, Pitzer College, and author of The Origins of Cauchy’s Rigorous Calculus; Scott Samuelson, Professor of Philosophy, Kirkwood Community College, and author of The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone; Richard Kamber, President of ACTC, College of New Jersey.
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, 2014.
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.
The Arts and Sciences of a Core Text Education: What Are They and Why Do We Need Them?
Graduating students attain a bachelor-of-arts or a bachelor-of-science degree, or an associate of arts or sciences degree. No matter the number of texts or courses in a core text curriculum, there can be little question that the arts and sciences are central to these. The questions we might ask about the arts and sciences of core text programs are, perhaps, as broad as undergraduate curricula are.
The liberal arts are cited as the heart of a liberal education. In what ways do our core text programs strive to teach the liberal arts – as activities of argument, conversation, expression, inquiry, discovery, or invention?
Works of literary, musical, plastic, and pictorial arts are extensively used by our programs. Some programs encourage the production of artistic products, ranging from poetry, dramas, musical performances, to art shows, and websites. What difference do these arts make to our programs? How do we learn through them? Are there “exemplary” artistic objects in philosophy, history, religion, science, poetry, or music? What makes them so?
Do core text programs which include the sciences approach liberal education “scientifically,” or is there room for artistry in core text science courses? Is there a sense in which core texts of the humanities are ‘artistic objects,’ whereas core texts of the sciences or mathematics are something else?
The liberal arts, ancient and modern, have made claims to spanning what are now described as the modern fields of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, including mathematics. Does a modern liberal education, using core texts, furnish our students’ minds so that fields are tied together rather than separated by boundary lines of thought, discipline, or creation? Are there arts or sciences of such knitting?
Liberal arts were used in ancient times, at the dawn of modern science, and into the 20th Century as a way to examine the very foundations of our disciplines. Is there a sense in which our (post-)modern core text programs are still engaged in (re-)examining the disciplines? Is there knowledge that the core texts of the liberal arts convey about what knowledge is – be it drawn from ancient to modern times or from the West, Middle East, or the Far East?
Today, there is much discussion of “Big Questions.” Are “What is Art?” or “What is Science?” big questions in our core text programs?
In ancient and early modern times, the liberal arts were the foundation of educated judgment and, perhaps, central to both virtue and the art or science of politics. Aristotle notes that “Every art and every inquiry, and likewise every activity and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good…but a certain differences is found among ends.” Historically, what have been the differences in selecting, using, and aiming core texts of the arts and sciences at an ethical education, a political education, a religious education, an artistic education, or a scientific education? What is art or science when used for these various ends?
Isocrates argued for a liberal education based in a tradition of literary or language arts. Parallels abound in non-Western cultures and in other arts: in China, India, the Near East, Africa and elsewhere. Additionally, a (post-) modern liberal arts education often functions to incorporate the texts, arts, and sciences of excluded peoples and cultures. In what ways have traditions of core texts from the arts and sciences shaped liberal education, yesterday and today?
Finally, does a liberal education, drawn from arts and sciences, provide an opportunity for students to shape their own souls? Is that the meaning of Odysseus’ search at the end of the Republic? If so, what contribution do core texts, the products, activities, and capacities of the arts and sciences make to a student’s own self-crafting? Are core texts, arts, and sciences central to a liberal arts education?
The Arts and Sciences of a Core Text Education: What Are They and Why Do We Need Them?
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: $ 400.00 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. The graduate student conference fee is $ 175. Membership is an additional $ 25. A subsidy of $250.00 results in a total registration and membership payment of $ 200. 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.
ACTC is converting to Paypal. Announcements concerning means of payment will be made later in the fall. Payment for registration must be received by Friday, March 20th, 2015. ACTC cannot pro-rate fees.
PAYMENTS POSTMARKED AFTER MARCH 20, 2015 WILL BE SUBJECT TO A LATE FEE OF $50.00. NO REFUNDS WILL BE MADE AFTER APRIL 2, 2015.
Parties interested in book displays or displays for programs or projects should contact the ACTC office at email@example.com.
Conference Site: Radisson Hotel, Plymouth Harbor: 508 747 4900; 508 747 4900 9AM to 6PM, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. State the dates and ask for “ACTC Room Block.”
Best Western Cold Spring at Plymouth: 506 746 2222; ask for “ACTC Room Block.”
Hilton Garden Inn: 508 820 0200; ask for “ACTC Room Block”
All room nights regardless of hotel are Single or Double Rate: $ 104.00/night. Transportation to and from the Best Western and Hilton Garden will be provided by ACTC.
Rooms in the “block” at above rate will be held until Monday, March 16, 2015. After March 16, rooms and rates are subject to the hotel’s discretion.
AIRPORTS AND GROUND TRANSPORTATION
The most economical flights are usually into Logan Airport.
Car rental, $ 50-60 for a subcompact. Check websites of rental companies for best weekend rates.
http://www.p-b.com/ Bus from Logan. Arrives in one hour at Route 3, Exit 5 Park N Ride parking lot in Plymouth. Contact Taxi and Limo below.
The commuter rail ($ 8 one way) to Kingston is preferred because of timing of schedules.
Taxi and Limo based in Plymouth: http://www.llogan.com/Plymouthlimo/
ACTC is contracting to provide shuttle service among all hotels and the parking lot.
Pricey but nearer to affordable when sharing with two others: http://www.bostonlimoservice.com/step1.asp
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;