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Purpose: To collectively explore the pedagogical purpose and best practice approaches to interdisciplinary and global humanities “core” at the level of higher education to meet the challenges of the emerging world.

A major challenge to teaching humanities today is how to rethink its pedagogy in such a way that students not only learn about different cultures of the world but learn from them to think critically about the way each of us understand, experience, and broaden our own culture. This Seminar welcomes the participation of faculty and administrators from Columbia and beyond, as well as select invested students, to 1) help frame the kinds of questions that most demand humanity’s collective concern in this new age of interdependence; 2) to identify those classics—including seminal advances in contemporary sciences where advisable—from throughout the world’s traditions that will help bring those concerns into sharpest focus; and 3) to rethink from a fresh perspective the institutional structures and resources by which this new generation of interdisciplinary “core” courses may be most effectively implemented.


Professor Rachel E. Chung

All seminars will meet over Zoom for the 2020-2021 academic year. Meeting links provided upon RSVP. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. 

Meeting Schedule

11/15/2020 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Teaching Platonic Symposium in India
Gareth Williams, Columbia University

12/06/2020 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Teaching the Baghavad Gita and Zhuangzi in India
Rachel E. Chung, Columbi University

12/13/2020 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Designing Syllabi for Teaching Classics from Three Different Civilizations
Amad Ross, Columbia University

Joshua Collier, Columbia University

03/21/2021 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Plagues & Pandemics: Philoctetes of Sophocles
Gareth Williams, Columbia University

03/28/2021 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
Plagues & Pandemics: Thucydides & Hojiki
Gareth Williams, Columbia University

Rachel E. Chung, Columbia University

04/01/2021 Online Meeting
2:00 PM
From Plague to Politics: Tagore's Sacrifice
Speaker TBA,