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Liberal Arts in the Persian Gulf

Dartmouth faculty member to participate in international workshop
AUK logo

The American University of Kuwait and the Legacy Project are co-sponsors of a workshop taking place Aug. 20 through 24 on liberal education in the Arabian Peninsula. The meeting, held at the Rockefeller Foundation's Study and Conference Center at Bellagio, Italy, brings international scholars and educators together with their counterparts in the Arabian Peninsula to consider how Gulf nations are introducing liberal arts traditions and techniques into existing and new institutions of higher education. Dale Eickelman, the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, will participate in the workshop. Eickelman coordinates Dartmouth's relationship with the American University of Kuwait.

Participants will assess the success of these efforts in the context of local demand for liberal education, and discuss how best to foster their future growth. Questions considered will include the state of schooling in the Arabian Peninsula, Islamic humanistic scholarship in the region, the relevance of liberal education to the global economy, incentives and obstacles to public acceptance, and faculty development.

The American University of Kuwait was established in 2003 as the first private, liberal arts institution in that nation. It works closely with Dartmouth to provide a wide-ranging liberal education to students from across the Gulf nations, grounded in the region's culture and based on the American model. The Legacy Project brings scholars, artists, authors, and others together to explore society's shared inheritance of loss stemming from the many traumatic events of the 20th century. The Project fosters global dialogue through exhibitions, publications, programs, and an extensive Web site.

Legacy Project logo

The Bellagio conference is also a planning session to lay the groundwork for a subsequent conference in the Arabian Peninsula. By providing space for framing debates on major international issues, the program offers a venue for translating theory into action and for devising creative responses to some of the most pressing issues of our time.

LAUREL STAVIS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08