Introducing India in Liberal Education: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the University of Chicago, May 17, 18, 1957

Introducing India in Liberal Education: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the University of Chicago, May 17, 18, 1957

Introducing India in Liberal Education: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the University of Chicago, May 17, 18, 1957

Introducing India in Liberal Education: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the University of Chicago, May 17, 18, 1957

Excerpt

Leaders in the field of liberal education are now generally agreed that a student cannot be considered liberally educated if his undergraduate studies neglect the Asian world. The major question now is not whether to include the Asian world in the undergraduate curriculum but how; what kind of courses, staff, materials, presentation shall be used? Kenneth Morgan's question is the troubling one: "We need four years in many courses to introduce our students to only a few aspects of our own civilization against a background of familiarity. How then can we hope to be successful in introducing them to a civilization which is so different?"

Because at the University of Chicago we have recently started to experiment with solutions to these problems, offering undergraduates a choice of one-year introductions to Chinese, Indian, or Islamic Civilization, we thought it might be useful to compare notes with our colleagues at other universities in a series of conferences on non-Western civilizations in the undergraduate curriculum. On May 17 and 18 of 1957 we met at one of these conferences to discuss specifically the problem of the preparation and organization of materials for a general undergraduate introduction to the civilization of India. Participants were selected to represent the various disciplines that might relevantly contribute and the different kinds of colleges and universities at which programs have been started. A complete list of the participants is given in the Appendix. To economize on time during the actual Conference sessions some members of the Conference were asked to prepare for advance circulation brief papers and remarks on special topics. These, so to speak, constituted the first round of discussion, and a beginning of the second, since some of the later papers comment on the earlier ones. These papers were not themselves read at the Conference, but were discussed during the four sessions. In each session the discussion was opened by members of the Conference who were asked to evaluate . . .

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