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Reclaiming the Public University

Conversations on General and Liberal Education


Judith Summerfield and Crystal Benedicks

What does liberal/general education mean, in promise and practice? Debate about what a college degree should be is as relevant today as it was two hundred years ago. This book respects the complexities and concepts of liberal and general, pushing at their historical and rhetorical legacies to redefine and reaffirm their potential in a new age. Faculty and administrators from across the seventeen colleges of the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest urban public university, re-examine these critical issues. Through recollection, vision, debate, and disagreement, the contributors state what the public university needs to be in the new century.
Contents: Judith Summerfield: The Project: Common/Uncommon Ground – Judith Summerfield/Crystal Benedicks: What Is in This Book? – Sean Egan: CUNY Histories: Liberal Education and the Free Academy – Philip M. Anderson: Curriculum Mapping: Climbing out of the Briar Patch – Robert Whittaker: General Education vs. Education Generally: Curriculum Renewal in an Urban College – David Podell/Jonathan D. Sassi/Jane Marcus-Delgado: The Comprehensive College as Civilized Hydra: General Education at the College of Staten Island – Linda Stanley/Anita Ferdenzi/Paul Marchese/Margaret J. Reilly: A Jazz Performance: Improvisations on General Education at a CUNY Community College – Donald M. Scott: Reforming General Education at Queens College – Ann Davison/Sue Lantz Goldhaber: Integration, Socialization, Collaboration: Inviting Native and Non-Native English Speakers into the Academy Through «Reacting to the Past» – Robert F. Cohen/Kim Sanabria: Our Mission at Hostos: Charting a Course to Self-Empowerment – Crystal Benedicks: The Shakespeare Portal: Teaching the Canon at the Community College – David Potash: A Shared Classroom: General Education at Baruch College – Paul Arcario/James Wilson: Putting It Together: General Education at LaGuardia Community College – Erin Martineau: Disciplinary Ways of Knowing: The Value of Anthropological Thinking in General Education – Cheryl C. Smith: Opening the Invisible Gateway: Some «Common Things» About Student Writing – Crystal Benedicks: Afterword: On Metaphors and Genres.