Bard College Berlin Presents
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Faculty Colloquium - "Global Liberal Arts for the 21st Century: The Yale-NUS Model"

Bard College Berlin
On September 26, 2018, Amber Carpenter (Yale-NUS College) will be a guest in BCB's Faculty Colloquium Series for a talk entitled "Global Liberal Arts for the 21st Century: The Yale-NUS Model."

As universities increasingly become ‘institutions of higher learning’, co-opted by industry as state- or privately-funded training grounds for the workplace, the very notion of liberal arts - along with its associated values - has become virtually impossible to articulate in common discourse. What affects the humanities most sharply affects the very notion of a liberal education. Retrenching in the old practices may work for those few institutions which will be the last to be picked off via de-funding - but even for them, only for a while. For those of us who care about a liberal education and value the liberal arts, we must reorient our conception of what these are, and make them something that speaks to new and different constituencies. The challenge is to save the liberal by updating them for the 21st Century.Yale-NUS has decided to address challenge by globalising the liberal arts - especially the humanities - and by claiming a place for this distinctive sort of education outside its traditional home. East and South-east Asian models of education are very different from the European tradition of ars liberalis, and the contemporary versions of these indigenous styles of education have focused tightly on professionalisation. The very notion of a liberal arts degree is quite foreign in Singapore, and not evidently to be embraced (interestingly, for it is the ‘arts’, not the ‘liberal’ that proves the greater stumbling block). At the same time, the liberal arts that are taught are re-conceived from the ground up as global phenomena: philosophy, history, literature, performing arts, social sciences and even natural sciences are thing that happen/ed everywhere, in many different languages; right of entry to the discussion does not depend upon mastery of a distinctively European heritage. Thus the curriculum taught at Yale-NUS would be as foreign to its North American parent as the style of education is foreign to its South-east Asian parent. This informal talk will discuss the merits and challenges of the Yale-NUS approach to bringing the liberal arts into the 21st Century. 

Amber Carpenter is Associate Professor at Yale-NUS College, and supervises doctoral students at the University of York. After a PhD (London) and scholarly publications on Plato’s ethics, moral psychology and metaphysics, an Einstein Fellowship enabled her to begin research into Sanskrit philosophy, focusing on Buddhist materials. Her book Indian Buddhist Philosophy appeared in 2014. She continues to publish on Greek philosophy and, increasingly, on Greek and Indian Buddhist philosophy together, focusing usually on the ethical implications and underpinnings of metaphysical and epistemological arguments. She has taught or held visiting research appointments at the University of York, St. Andrews, Cornell and Oxford, the University of Melbourne, Yale, and the European College of Liberal Arts (the previous name of Bard College Berlin).
She currently holds a fellowship with The Beacon Project, exploring ‘Ethical Ambitions and their Formation of Character’ in Plato and in Buddhist thought.

Date & time: Wednesday, September 26, 2018, from 12:30pm
Venue: Bard College Berlin Cafeteria
Waldstr. 70, Berlin - Pankow

Contact information:  communications@berlin.bard.edu

Location: Bard College Berlin

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