This Subject Includes

  • Course No: HS 555
  • Course: MA in Liberal Arts
  • Semester: I
  • Title: Introduction to Liberal Studies
  • Stream:
  • Envisaged as an orientation to the programme, this course will enable students to engage with the idea of liberal arts studies. Liberal Arts as curriculum and academic programme has a rich and varied history firmly rooted in both Classical Western epistemology and modern Western higher education. From the disciplines delineated by the Greeks for gaining knowledge for its own sake by free citizens (i.e. “free” or “liberal” learning) that came to be called the seven liberal arts comprising the medieval trivium (rhetoric, grammar, dialectic) and quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy), to the educational curriculum of Renaissance humanism in Europe, to the liberal education vision in modern day America, liberal studies has reflected the quest by the Western world for the ideal of a “well-rounded” education. This course would place the programme’s philosophy within the history of its genesis and establishment and engage in debates about what it means to acquire a liberal education in our specific place and time. Is there a consensus about what constitutes a well-rounded education across all countries and all peoples and for all time? Can liberal studies be the same in India, and its North Eastern regions, as it is in the United States? What kind of interpretation of the concept of liberal studies can we offer within our own situations and our own institutions? Why is there a contemporary re-turn towards liberal studies in Anglo-American pedagogy, reflected in the LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) Initiative? What does it mean for each humanities discipline to engage in liberal studies? This course will discuss such issues from within the purview of each stream, offering through such discussions an introduction to fundamental questions of education and interdisciplinarity.