Virtual Conference Report: Day Seven (27 Oct, 2009)

By Paula Bowles800px-Three_chiefs_Piegan_p.39_horizontal

The seventh day of the conference has continued with the key themes of ‘breaking down boundaries’ and interdisciplinarity. Roy Baumeister (Florida State University) began the day with his keynote lecture entitled ‘Human Nature and Culture: What is the Human Mind Designed for?’ By utilising the concepts of evolutionary and cultural psychology, Buameister is able to explore the intrinsic significance culture holds for humanity.

Two other papers were also presented today. ‘Text as It Happens: Literary Geography’ by Sheila Hones (University of Tokyo) and Stefan Müller’s (University of Duisburg‐Essen) ‘Equal Representation of Time and Space: Arno Peters’ Universal History.’ These contributions have utilised a wide and diverse range of disciplines including history, cartography, geography and literature.

Finally, Devonya Havis’ publishing workshop entitled ‘Teaching with Compass’ offers some interesting ideas as to how best implement technology within the classroom.

The end of the university

Harvard_Museum_of_Natural_History_050227Kevin Carey thinks universities will soon go the way of the newspaper:

Colleges are caught in [a] debt-fueled price spiral… They’re also in the information business in a time when technology is driving down the cost of selling information to record, destabilizing lows.  In combination, these two trends threaten to shake the foundation of the modern university, in much the same way that other seemingly impregnable institutions have been torn apart.  … Students will benefit enormously from radically lower prices… But these huge changes will also seriously threaten the ability of universities to provide all the things beyond teaching on which society depends: science, culture, the transmission of our civilization from one generation to the next. Continue reading “The end of the university”