Classics for the Public Good: Provost Joy Connolly

It is time to take a new, more civically-minded approach to classical studies, according to Graduate Center Provost and Senior Vice President Joy Connolly, who shares this view in an essay for the Society for Classical Studies Newsletter.

Connolly, a classicist herself, urges that the discipline usher in a new generation of public scholars. To do so, she argues, “We must reform doctoral education from the ground up.” She envisions a new approach to doctoral education that develops students “as learned stewards of the public good.”

She proposes moving away from a doctoral curriculum that focuses exclusively on preservation of the past and toward one that is “responsive to big questions and wicked problems, written in styles accessible and innovative formats, directed toward the production of new thoughts.”

She recommends that doctoral students collaborate with curators, poets, economists, architects, k-12 teachers, activists, artists, and lawyers to bridge the distance between scholarship and civic life.

“We need not and should not stick with a 19th century education for the 21st century,” she writes.

She concludes, “Let’s think of ourselves as stewards, not just of the discipline, but of the public interest.”

Submitted on: JUL 25, 2017

Category: Classics | General GC News | Provost's Office