Monthly Archives: March 2010

Museums in a digital age

At Indiana University South Bend this fall, graduate students can choose a seminar in which they will work as a team to curate an art exhibit at the Snite Museum on the Notre Dame campus. In the Spring 2010 issue of Confluence, which will be mailed in May or June, M. Carmen Smith of Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum offers an essay on the value of original works of art in an age of easy mechanical reproduction. And in the New York Times, Randy Kennedy’s article on digital imaging shows how 3-D techniques are in use at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (“New York’s Met, Replicating Art Works Bit by 3-D Bit,” March 13, 2010)

Are there art-related courses underway on your campus that you would like to mention–AGLSP folks are always happy to hear about a great course idea.


A notable graduate remembered

Dr. Arnall Patz, a graduate of the Master of Liberal Arts program at Johns Hopkins and noted medical researcher, died recently in Maryland at the age of 89. Dr. Patz’s accomplishments were catalogued in a lengthy New York Times obituary published on March 16, 2010. He received a Lasker Award in 1956 for research pinning down the cause of the retinopathy of prematurity, a form of blindness his team proved to be caused by the high levels of oxygen then commonly used in in the care of prematurely born infants. When their findings were widely understood, the rate of new blindness among children was immediately reduced by 60%, according to the Times.

Dr. Patz pursued his MLA degree in retirement, completing it about a decade ago.  He went on to serve as a member of the Hopkins MLA program’s advisory board and was an enthusiastic advocate of the program. Dr. Melissa Hilbish recalls his belief that many people from medical and technology fields would enjoy graduate liberal studies.

Interdisciplinary handbook

Julie Thompson Klein, whose 1995 essay on interdisciplinarity and adult learners appeared in the first issue of The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies (now Confluence), is co-editor with Robert Frodeman and Carl Mitcham of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity. A hint about the volume’s approach:

The need to identify a method or logic of interdisciplinarity has, however, proven to be much easier to proclaim than to meet.  The most salient characteristics of interdisciplinary studies across the last 60 years have been oscillations between

  • a) The announcement of the need for interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge;
  • b) Historically naive attempts to reinvent the interdisciplinary wheel, ending in partial accomplishment and frustration;
  • c) Then periods of abandonment, followed by
  • d) New recognition that the continued development and use of disciplinary knowledge makes interdisciplinary approaches to research and education ever more crucial.

What is Graduate Liberal Studies?

One AGLSP member program, at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, shares their answer to the question in a beautiful, brief YouTube movie.

Call for Papers for the 2010 Conference

The October 2010 AGLSP conference team is accepting paper proposals now — check out the call for papers as well as the main information page for the Dallas conference. The theme: The Transformation of the City… through the Arts and Technology.