Westmont’s Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts examines ways a liberal arts education might encourage sustainability and ecological efforts at its 16th annual conference March 23-25. Plenary sessions of the Conversation on the Liberal Arts, “Liberal Arts for a Fragile Planet” are free and open to the public. Registration, which includes all meals Friday dinner through Saturday lunch, as well as shuttle service between select hotels and the Westmont campus, costs $250 for general admission or $100 for students (graduate or undergraduate). To register or for more information, please visit westmont.edu/institute or call (805)565-6124.
Speakers include Andrew Bocarsly, professor of chemistry at Princeton University; Steven Bouma-Prediger, religious studies professor at Hope University and environmental-studies specialist; Janet Redman, the U.S. policy director at Oil Change International and board of director member of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives; and Ling Zhang, assistant professor of history at Boston College with an emphasis in environmental science and political ecology.
“This is a conference where administrators, scholars and practitioners from large universities, small liberal arts colleges, public or private institutions, faith-based institutions and those with no religious affiliation can explore shared challenges from our differing contexts,” says Christian Hoeckley, director of the Gaede Institute. “We will consider how a liberal arts education might invite attentiveness to one’s natural environment. We’ll also share ideas for developing and sustaining programs, pedagogies and curricula that more effectively address environmental concern.”
The three-day conference will include a poetry reading from Paul Willis, Westmont professor of English, and Kristin George Bagdanov, Westmont alumna and poetry editor of Ruminate Magazine. The conference will conclude with a closing lunch on Westmont’s Magnolia Lawn Saturday, March 25, at 12:15p.m.
The Gaede Institute, created in 2001, promotes the continued vitality of the liberal arts tradition in American higher education. In May 2006, Westmont renamed the institute after its founder, former president Stan Gaede.