Sunday, July 19, 2009

The New Liberal Arts

I came across this new "course catalogue" for the New Liberal Arts. I regularly think that the liberal arts needs an overhaul, a new way of thinking and teaching, and certainly an critical analysis of the curriculum. As it is described by the writers, this manual "began as a blog. That’s the twenty-first-century way of saying it began as a conversation. ... This is the idea, roughly: to collectively identify and explore twenty-first-century ways of doing the liberal arts." I'm for that!

In this booklet, they've compiled some twenty or so course descriptions for the "new" liberal arts. Here is the one I want to report about here, a course simply called Mapping, by Jimmy Stamp.

"Which better explains the landscape: maps or photographs? There’s no longer any reason to choose. The potential now exists to create visceral, photo-integrated maps that are able to successfully communicate the urban conditions such as "fractalization." Applications such as Google Maps increasingly change the way we see, understand, and describe our environment. Cameras with geo-tagging capabilities afford us the opportunity to embed photographs into digital maps, resulting in something that’s more than a record of place; it is a record of time. Moments are mapped and universally accessible; a shared global consciousness arises via shared cartography. The personal becomes public while public space becomes personalized."
Find the whole New Liberal Arts booklet here. Read it. Share it. They want us to.

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