The Place of the Liberal Arts in a Changing Climate
Recent years have seen a proliferation of new courses and majors addressing climate issues as well as overdue reckonings with the university’s implication in practices and legacies of extraction. This Forum aims at a more fundamental reappraisal of the enterprise of the liberal arts. If the liberal arts have traditionally been conceived as preparation for civic life, how should this enterprise respond to the multi-scale reconfigurations of civic life associated with climate change and to new ideas about the appropriate place of human beings within the biophysical order? How might the interlocking ethical, political, and epistemological challenges arising from climate change help to sharpen articulations of the aims—and limitations—of the liberal arts enterprise? What responsibilities do universities have to the places and ecologies they occupy? What might it mean for liberal arts educators and students to inhabit these places well?