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Why College? Get the Answers April 2

  • Andrew Delbanco, author of "College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be."
    Andrew Delbanco, author of "College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be."

Location: Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts

April 02, 2013
Scholar Andrew Delbanco argues for keeping the traditional model of college as a time to discover interests, test ideas, shape values. Join him for a discussion of the liberal arts.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Distinguished Columbia University scholar Andrew Delbanco visits Washington College on Tuesday afternoon, April 2, to talk about his latest book, College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press, 2012). Sponsored by the Department of English and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the talk will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, Gibson Center for the Arts, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

Delbanco’s book, which has sparked vigorous discussion in higher-education circles and opinion pages across the country, offers a brief history of college and an evaluation of its current state. In his exploration of the career-oriented nature of contemporary higher education, he argues for a return to the traditional goal of college—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of professors and peers.  

“At a time when many are trying to reduce the college years to a training period for economic competition,” Wesleyan University president Michael Roth wrote in a book review for the New York Times, “Delbanco reminds readers of the ideal of democratic education.”

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Delbanco was awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his writings on higher education. He also writes extensively on American literary and religious history, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and The New Republic. His previous books include The Abolitionist Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2012); The Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope (Harvard University Press, 2000); Required Reading: Why our American Classics Matter Now (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1997); and The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1995).

Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Professor of American Studies, and the Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia, where he received the 2006 Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. 

Last modified on Mar. 29th, 2013 at 11:12pm by .