The highest role of the educator is ... to help the student come to him or herself not as a consumer of experience but as a sovereign individual.
Walker Percy, Message in the Bottle
We have convened an intellectual community interested in going beyond conventional mainstream academic debates. At The Centre we want to explore the most pressing issues facing humanity in the 21st century, from the degradation of the environment, to the quality of higher education, to poverty and inequality, democracy, and corrupt political and economic systems - but we recognize that interdisciplinary, collaborative analysis does not occur without an intentional and inclusive pedagogy. Started in 2012, The Centre has grown through five successful years of programming, expanding both in community and intellectual reach. What began as an experimental reflection on the way that modern technology and sociopolitical construction has influenced the possibilities for creating a better world, has steadily expanded into an interdisciplinary network in conversation about a broad range of pressing topics. This year and next we will be adding new seminars, new locations, and new partners.
Critical thought is more than just content - it's about method. During our educational retreats we put ourselves at a critical distance from technology and the digital buzz of post-modern life, we engage in rigorous reading, and convene in student-led round table dialogues. The seminars are focused on pulling students into deeper, more reflective forms of thoughtful analysis, and intellectual synthesis. Scholars and students from diverse backgrounds work together around the table to connect the dots of our complex, troubled, globalizing world.
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