“What’s so Liberating About Education, Anyway?”

In 2023, the ACTC Undergraduate Conference will be sponsored by Assumption University and will be held on their campus in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Assumption University is a private, Catholic university that was founded by the Augustinians of the Assumption in 1904 and that is deeply committed to core texts and the liberal arts in undergraduate education. 

This is an opportunity for your best student(s) to present their ideas and to become acquainted with other students from around the country (and increasingly, around the world) who share their love of reading core texts and discussing them in open-ended, interdisciplinary seminars. 

 Conference Theme: What’s so liberating about education, anyway?

Those dedicated to “liberal education” often talk about education as transforming lives and forming character. The name itself suggests that there is something liberating about it. What might such an education liberate us from, though? What might it liberate us for, and how?

The theme for this year’s ACTC undergraduate conference asks students to think about the core texts they have read and the core courses they have taken. How does the transformative or liberating power of core liberal education work? How can reading and conversing about classic texts contribute to liberation? Is this a liberation we still need today?

WHAT: ACTC 2023 Undergrad Conference

WHEN: Friday, March 10 – Saturday, March 11

WHERE: Assumption University, Massachusetts

WHY: Learning, Camaraderie, Experience, Fun, Wisdom

Plenary Talk: Dr. Kevin Kambo (The University of Dallas)


ACTC seeks faculty nominations of undergraduate students to present short essays on this theme at our conference at Assumption University this Spring. No precis or draft is required at the time of nomination—just the name, email address, and phone number of the nominated student. ACTC will then invite nominated students to submit their papers for consideration.

Students may present new work or a revision of an essay submitted for their course work, but faculty nominators should plan to help their accepted student nominee(s) to edit and revise their paper for presentation.

Email nominations to: Prof. Molly McGrath at mb.mgrath@assumption.edu by JANUARY 5, 2022. 


ACTC FORMAT: ACTC papers are short essays (5 pages, double spaced) that treat at least one core text for at least 1 page. The usual presentation time allotted to each paper is 12-15 minutes, to allow ample time for discussion, which is the highlight of all ACTC meetings.

COST: The registration fee is $100 and includes food during the conference and lodging Friday and Saturday nights. This registration fee is waived for students at ACTC member institutions.

TRAVEL: Students are responsible to fund their own travel and encouraged to ask their institutions for support. Upon acceptance to the conference, ACTC and Assumption University will provide further details regarding the many travel options.

The Association for Core Texts and Courses is the nation’s premiere academic association dedicated to the integrated and common study of world classics and texts of major cultural significance. We support students and professors in these activities and seek out cooperation with all others dedicated to liberal education and text-based teaching and learning.