Reinventing and Rejuvenating the Liberal Arts Syllabus

An Association for Core Texts and Courses Summer Seminar

“Reinventing and Rejuvenating the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century:

An introduction to the texts of the trivium, from the ancients to modernity.”

At Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Funded by the ACTC Liberal Arts Institute and the Bradley Foundation

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Tentative Syllabus:

Sunday July, 7, 2019

Dorm Registration and Welcoming Dinner


Monday, July 8

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Art and the Liberal Arts: the nature, scope and ground of arts.
Plato, Gorgias, 447a-466a.   Republic.  VII.

Afternoon, 2:00-4:00
Aristotle, Physics Bk. II, Chap. 1, 2, 8.  Nicomachean Ethics Bk. VI, Chap. 1, 3-7. Topics Bk. 1 Chap. 1-2.  Rhetoric I, 1-5 to 1360b17; II, 1-4, 12, 20; III. 13, 17, 19. Poetics 1. 1447b5-11.


Tuesday, July 9

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Building the techné of a liberal art.
Cicero.  De Inventione.  Bk I i-iv. 1-20.

Afternoon, 2:00-4:00
Applying the techné of a liberal art to everyday life: the value and history of practical rhetoric and how the elements of the trivium work together to form a process of thought and expression.
Cicero, Pro Archia
Seneca, Prefaces of Controversiae.
From, Books 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10.


Wednesday, July 10

Morning 10:00-12:00
The identity and difference of arts and sciences.
Aristotle, Categories Chap. 1-5; Posterior Analytics I. 1-6; II. 1-2, 8-11.
Porphyry  Isagoge (Porphyry: Introduction [whole = ca. 21pp.], Barnes ed., Clarendon Press, 2006).
Boethius, On Division (In Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, vol. 1, Kretzmann and Stump, eds., pp. 11-38).

Afternoon, 2:00-4:00
Plato.  Cratylus 383a-399d, 423c-440e.
Terentius Mauris.  De Litteras  (From Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric: Language Arts and Literary Theory: 300-1475, Rita Copeland and Ineke Sluiter eds. p. 73-75.)
Aelius Donatus.  Ars Minor  and Ars Major (From Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric. p. 83-98.)
Priscian.  Institutiones Grammaticae and Institutione De Nomine Promine Verbo (From Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric. p. 167-189.)


Thursday, July 11

Morning 10:00-12:00
Extending the implications and boundaries of the liberal arts.
Robert Kilwardby, “On the Nature of Logic” (From Readings in Medieval Philosophy [Oxford, 1996], pp. 694-706.)
Alfarabi.  Introductory Letter and Five Aphorisms. Translated by Terence Kleven Central College, Iowa. (unpublished manuscript).
William Ockham. “Modal Consequences” (In Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, vol. 1, Kretzmann and Stump, eds., pp. 312-336)

Afternoon:  2:00-4:00
Relating the liberal arts in a comprehensive education
Hugh of St. Victor.  Didascalicon.  Preface, 1 Chap 1-4, 9, 11; II 1-2, 20, 28-30; III 3-5, 8-9 (Columbia, 1991).


Friday, July 12

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Expanding the world of thought: argument, practices, and reception
Christine de Pizan.  The Book of the City of Ladies. Rev. ed. Jeffrey Richards, trans.Chap 1-4  Persea Books, 1998.
Leonardo Bruni. “The Student of Literature To Lady Battista Malatesta of Montefeltro,” in Humanist Educational Treatises, trans. Craig W. Kallendorf (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 47-63.
Martin Luther.  “On Christian Liberty.”

Afternoon: 1:00-4:30
Discussions by participants of their plans to use the seminar in course and curriculum development.  Exploration of possible addition of seminar texts to core text courses.  Five-minute presentations by individuals or teams.


Weekend break.

Rooms will remain available on campus.


Monday, July 15

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Thinking anew about the limits of the Liberal Arts
Leon Batista Alberti.  On Painting.  Penguin Books, 2004.  (Whole and complete).
Isadore of Seville. Etymologie. Book 2, xviii.  In Copeland and Sluiter.
Quintilian.  De Institutio Oratoria.  X.2,  XI.10.  Loeb, Harvard U. P.
Botticelli.  Five pictures of the Adoration of the Magi, concentrating on the del Lama commissioned altarpiece.

Afternoon, 2:00-4:00
A new tradition of constant innovation in the arts
Francis Bacon.  The Advancement of Learning  II. 5-9. (Paul Dry Press, 2001).
The Great Instauration  (From New Atlantis and the Great Instauration, Weinberger ed. [Croft Classics, 1980, 1989], pp. 1-32).
New Organon, or True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature. Preface, I, aphorisms 1-74, 95-107, 109-110.  Bk II 1-3. (Cambridge, 2000).


Tuesday, July 16

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Which are primary, liberal or mechanical arts?
Rene Descartes.  In Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vol. 1.  “Rules for the Direction of the Mind (or “…Our Native Intelligence).”   Rules 1-7, 10-12 (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 9-28, 34-51.
Discourse on Method. Parts 1-3.  Kennington trans. (Focus, 2007), pp. 15-32.
Geometry. Opening pages to be supplied.

Afternoon, 2:00-4:00

Traditions of liberal arts, revival and rejuvenation:
John Quincy Adams.    Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory.  Selections from vol 1. And 2.  Cambridge, 1810.
Thucydides, Peloponnesian War, Pericles’ “Funeral Oration.”
Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address.”
E. B. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk. Chapters IV, "Of the Meaning of Progress," and Chapter V, "Of the Wings of Atalanta."


Wednesday, July 17

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Traditions of the liberal arts: revival and rejuvenation, continued:
Emily Dickenson.  [Selected poems.]
Vendler, Helen. 2014. “Vision and Revision: How Emily Dickinson Actually Wrote Her Poems.”  New Republic.  An emphasis on the ‘word’ as the basic unit of Dickenson’s compositions.
Virginia Woolf.  “Letter to a Young Poet” and “A Room of One’s Own.”
Martin Luther King.  “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

Afternoon: 2:00-4:00
Language re-envisioned.
Ferdinand Saussure.  General Course in Linguistics.  Chap. 1-4.


Thursday, July 18

Morning, 10:00-12:00
Extending the liberal arts in the 20th Century.
Kenneth Burk.  In The Rhetorical Tradition.  Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg, eds.  Selections from A Grammar of Motives, and A Rhetoric of Motives.
arshall McLuhan.  Media: The Extensions of Man.  Second edition.  Part I. Introduction to Second Edition, Introduction, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 7.  Part II, Chapters 8, 9, 11, 18, 24, 29, 31, 33.

Afternoon, 2:00-4:00
To bring or not to bring the liberal arts back into universities and colleges:
Henry Adams.  The Education of Henry Adams.  Selected chapters relating HA’s youthful stay in London to a decision to revamp the discipline of history through the use of the arts and grammar, in particular.  Chapters: iv, x, xiii, xiv, xix, xxii, xxv, xxvii, xxviii, xxix, xxxi, xxxiii, xxxiv, xxxv
Robert Maynard Hutchins.  The Higher Learning in America, Chapters 2 & 3.
Harry D. Gideonese.  The Higher Learning in a Democracy.


Friday, July 19

Morning 10:00-12:00
To rejuvenate and reinvent the liberal arts in the university and college:
First hour: José Ortega y Gasset.  Mission of the University, pp. 22-33, 60-66, 78-81

Second hour and afternoon 1:00-4:30 PM
Discussions by participants of their plans to use the seminar in course and curriculum development.  Exploration of possible addition of seminar texts to core text courses.  Ten minute presentations by individuals or teams.
Kathleen Burk: Brief presentation on ACTC’s Qualitative Narrative Assessment project.
End Seminar

Closing Dinner


Saturday, July 20

Departure from campus