Annual Conference

ACTC Conferences may be the most stimulating conference you attend all year – at least that is what surveys of conference attendees tell us.

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About ACTC

The Association for Core Texts and Courses brings together colleges and universities that promote the integrated and common study of world classics and other texts of major cultural significance.

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Liberal Arts Institute

The ACTC Liberal Arts Institute provides help to faculty and administrators in the development of core programs and baccalaureate degree programs.

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ACTC publishes selected, peer-reviewed proceedings from papers that have been submitted after the conference.
ACTC is a truly interdisciplinary organization and we have accepted papers from all branches of higher learning.

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The 26th Annual ACTC Conference

Crisis and Consolation:

Liberal Education

in the time of COVID-19

April 12-16, 2021-- Online

There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise. -Camus

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent us into isolation, changed the way we teach, and reorganized our lives in myriad ways, but we are not the first generation to face such disruptions. Thucydides wrote of the plague of Athens in his History, and Sophocles staged Oedipus Tyrannus during that plague. Boccaccio set his Decameron in health crisis that undermined the social order of Florence and sent its protagonists into the country for fresh air and diversion. Camus’s Plague explores impossible choices presented to health care workers and families when an incurable illness ravages a community. And, these are just a few examples.

We turn to the thoughts of great minds on these topics to help us develop perspective, but not just for that. One of the grand claims made by advocates of liberal education is that the books we teach can provide consolation and refuge in times of trouble. Like Montaigne, we find companionship in the company of the great minds of the past. Like Emily Dickinson, we invite authors into our solitary lives when actual companionship is impossible. We hear Sappho’s poems of longing and loneliness differently when we come to them in our solitude, and they give us new comfort.

For our 2021 Conference, ACTC invites papers and panels that explore pandemics, epidemics, and other crisis situations that have emerged as themes or served as context for the texts we teach in our core curricula. We also invite panels and papers that explore the consolations of a liberal education in troubled times. And, we invite papers that take up the practical concerns of pandemic pedagogy as they have emerged in our teaching of core texts and courses.

Conference Panel and Paper Proposal Deadline March 15, 2021

Click Here to Register and Submit Proposals

Core Conversations Spring 2021

February 5: Joseph Knippenberg (Oglethorpe University)

Professor Knippenberg's Recorded Remarks

Link to the video of our February 5th Q&A

February 19: Daniel Cullen (Rhodes College)

Professor Cullen's Recorded Remarks

Link to the video of our February 19th Q&A

March 5: Richard Kamber (The College of New Jersey)

Professor Kamber's Recorded Remarks

Link to the video of our March 5th Q&A

March 26: Molly McGrath (Assumption College)

Professor McGrath's Recorded Remarks

Link to the video of our March 26th Q&A

*Fall 2020 Core Conversations Video Archive*