Joint Shimer-IIT lecture: Jon McKenzie on “Remaking Liberal Arts In and Out of Higher Ed”

Next week, Shimer College and the Illinois Institute of Technology will be sponsoring a lecture by Jon McKenzie of the University of Wisconsin on “Remaking Liberal Arts In and Out of Higher Ed.” The lecture will take place on Tuesday, May 12, from 3:30 to 5:00 on the IIT campus (near the 35th Red and Green Line stops) in the MTCC Ballroom (in the postmodern building that the Green Line runs through).

Prof. McKenzie has provided the following synopsis of his talk:

When The Chronicle of Higher Education provocatively asks “Is Design Thinking the New Liberal Arts?”, one wonders what is happening to the liberal arts when a single method could plausibly renew or even replace them? Exploring the historical challenges facing the liberal arts, this multimedia presentation will outline a series of experiments and models for generating transdisciplinary collaboration and problem-solving. Design, performance, and media offer valuable bridges across the arts and sciences and, within them, between theory and practice, knowledge and wisdom. Key is the co-creation of real-world opportunities via an emergent culture of making, visualization, and storytelling that ranges from personal stories and official histories to conceptual explanations and simulations of complex processes—all crafted for a diversity of audiences and participants both inside the academy and out. What does it mean to problem-solve far beyond one’s apparent field? How might such experimental work enrich and transform research and learning? What’s it take to remake the liberal arts?

The talk serves as an inaugural event for a Teagle Grant recently received by Shimer College to help Shimer and IIT faculty collaborate on classes and curricula. Please come help us celebrate this exciting opportunity!

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