Cathy Davidson Public Lecture, “Time and the Modern University”

Friday, April 8, 4.30pm

Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall, Cornell University

Come along a day early to hear Cathy Davidson deliver the plenary lecture at the Society for the Humanities’ Annual Fellows’ Workshop, “Thinking Time.” The daylong workshop precedes the Digital Humanities Grad Symposium and THATCamp, and is likewise open to the public.

Professor Davidson will be looking back historically to the origins of the modern university while also challenging us to deconstruct the higher education punch clock in the realms over which we have power: our classrooms.  She will think with us about what learning might look like if all vestiges of “seat time” were eliminated.  She departs from many pundits who seek to solve the “crisis” of higher education by such measures as reducing the four-year undergraduate clock to three years or slashing the PhD to a four-year project.  Switching out the time allocations does not get to the heart of the problems.  It does not transform the dependency of the present system on a punch-clock calibrated to the demands, aspirations, and paradigms of a different era.  By contrast, she advocates thinking deeply about how to create a more innovative, fluid, equitable, and activist model of higher learning not just for the world as it is, but also for the world as we wish it to be.

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