The Association for Core Texts and Courses

"Supporting Liberal Arts Core Text Curricula Around the World"


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17th Annual Conference
Previous Conferences' Announcements and Agendas
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ACTC Annual Conference

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

What makes ACTC conferences so intellectually satisfying? Perhaps it is because ACTC really is an interdisciplinary organization. Humanists, artists, social scientists, and scientists, sharing a common concern with excellent liberal education, meet together on panels to discuss ideas, texts, pedagogy, and administration of core text programs.

Or, maybe it is the texts and ideas that capture faculty and administrator interests. What are just a few of the authors or works that we have discussed in panel sessions in recent years? These include: Achebe, Aristotle, Austen, the Bayeux Tapestry, Bhagavad Gita, Black Elk, Douglass, Dylan, Ellison, Euclid, Dante, Galileo, the Gospel of John, Homer, Jefferson, Lady Hyegyong, Lao-Tse, Melville, Mozart, Newton, Nietzsche, The Pentateuch, Picasso, Shakespeare, Sophocles, Thucydides, and Teresa of Avila, Watson and Crick, and Woolf.

Or maybe it is because we have the advantage of discussing at our conferences timely issues of art and science, politics and individuals, of canons of the West and the World, of ethnicity, multiculturalism, and gender through the lens of thousands of years of texts and many intertwined traditions.

Or, maybe it is the special feature of ACTC panels: no paper is more than five pages long. That’s right, five, double-spaced pages. What this means is that you, your colleagues and your audience actually discuss your shared ideas.

Or, maybe it is that we discuss teaching – that lost “liberal art.” We have panels on learning communities, on how to conduct discussions, on how and why particular texts seem to be so effective, on the impact of writing and technology, and the many other efforts that programs and teachers put into making instruction more effective and more intellectually alive for our students. In short, we are about the special relationship forged by teachers and students over a good book.

Or, maybe it is because we have frequently had student panels so that we get to see the effects of our instruction and or our students’ reading and hard work.

Or, maybe it is our plenary speakers. These are speakers who, conversant with research and theory, are nevertheless able to talk about texts, teaching, programs, and the triumphs and struggles of maintaining sound liberal, core text, education in today’s high education milieu.

You can see how this all has come together in our previous conferences by selecting the previous conferences' announcements and agenda link to the left, but below is a list of plenary speakers, alphabetically arranged by name, followed by their discipline, institution, and the year of their address to ACTC.

Thomas Barfield, Anthropology, Boston University, 1998
Patricia Martinez Barrios, Education, Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar, Colombia, 2006
James Beall, St. John's College, 2004
David Bevington, English, University of Chicago, 1998
Eva Brann, Dean, St. John’s College, 1999
Edwin Burrows, History, Brooklyn College, 2000
Paul Cantor, English, University of Virginia, 2007
Jocelyn Chadwick, University of North Texas, 1996
J. Edward Chamberlain, English and Comparative Literature, University of Toronto, 2005
Louise Cowan, Braniff Graduate School, University of Dallas, 1997
David Depew, Communications, University of Iowa, 2005
Kathy Eden, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2002
Jean Bethke Elshtain, Divinity School, University of Chicago, 2001
Peter Emberley, Carleton University, 1995
J. Peter Euben, Political Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1999
Constantin Fasolt, History, University of Chicago, 1996
Timothy Fuller, Political Science, Colorado College, 2000
Joanne V. Gabbin, James Madison University, 2007
R. Kirby Godsey, President, Mercer University, 2003
Gerald Graff, English, University of Chicago, 1997
Joyce Ann Joyce, African American Studies, Temple University, 2001
Bruce Kimball, Education, University of Rochester, 2007
Timothy Lenoir, History and Philosophy of Science, Stanford University, 1998
George Lucas, Philosophy, U.S. Naval Academy, 2002
Michael Mahoney, History of Science, Princeton University, 2001
Anthanasios Moulakis, Humanities Program, University of Colorado, 2000
Dennis O’Brien, Middlebury College, 1997
Robert O'Meally, English, Columbia University, 2004
Clifford Orwin, Political Science, University of Toronto, 2002
Austin Quigley, Dean, Columbia College, Columbia University 2005
Hugh R. Page, Jr., Theology & Africana Studies, University of Notre Dame, 2006
Joan Richards, Mathematics, Brown University, 1999
Christopher Ricks, English, Boston University, 2000
Roger Shattuck, English, Boston University, 1997
Sheldon Rothblatt, English, University of California, Berkeley, 2006
Mark Schwehn, Humanities, Valparaiso University, 2006
Earl Shorris, originator Clemente Courses, 2003
Julius Sigler, Physics, Lynchburg College, 1996
Phillip R. Sloan, Current President ACTC, University of Notre Dame, 1995 and 2003-
Donald Phillip Verene, Philosophy, Emory University, 2003
Mary Ann Freese Witt, Comparative Literature, North Carolina State, 1996
Paul Woodruff, Plan II Honors, University of Texas at Austin, 2004
Stephen Zelnick, Past President of ACTC, Temple University,1994-2002
Catherine Zuckert, Government, University of Notre Dame, 1999

Association for Core Texts and Courses & The ACTC Liberal Arts Institute at
Saint Mary's College of California:

1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94556
Ph: 925 631 8597

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