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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.

Rachel E. Chung

Priya Chainani 

Meeting Schedule

03/02/2023 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM

03/23/2023 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Mencius, focusing on Books 1A, 1B, and 2A
Rachel Chung, Columbia University


Along with the Odyssey, Mencius is one of the selected texts for the 2023 Summer Workshops. With the broad theme for this year’s summer workshops set as globalization/civility, we encourage fellows to consider how these texts converse with one another and how a third text could complicate and excite the dynamic within a classroom. Similar to last session, this seminar will allow all participants to engage in dialogue about the text but also observe and compare pedagogical approaches.

04/06/2023 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM
Legend of Seyavash from the Persian epic Shahnameh
Saeed Honarmand,