The pressures and expectations that confront humans are constantly changing, and can become all-consuming. Amid efforts to be fully present, show up for others, and integrate professional and personal, how do we devote time and intention to care for ourselves, both in community and as individuals?
In the Anthropocene, the geologic period in which we now live, we learn more information each day about the profound ways in which humans are affecting the climate, the natural environment, and its myriad other resident species. In fact, humans are unique in being able to frame a changing climate as a ‘problem’ and subsequently, that there are ‘solutions’ to address it—and, not all do. Yet knowledge exists beyond human comprehension.
Every day humans are bombarded with an excess of information, far greater than can be processed consciously. With Data & Democracy, The Commons will explore the current state of access to information and the consequences of such exposure. Through talks, Idea Cafés, and other programming, we seek to investigate the ways in which humans create and manage information as well as the ways in which they are bound by it.
The Commons presents this series, in collaboration with campus partners and visiting scholars, to invite dialogue across disciplines, that references the broader conversations we face at a societal level. These events broach topics of intersectional identity, community, and the sociopolitical implications of events. While they address themes that are at times difficult to discuss, they encourage conversations worth having. Through this series we endeavor to frame these topics so that conversation is productive despite the difficulty and potential for disagreement.
Higher Education looks different in 2017. Disciplines are in constant flux. Technology is revolutionizing intellectual inquiry, research, and production. Teaching styles and classroom structures are accommodating an exponential growth in knowledge and increased societal complexity, with the mission of advancing human well-being. Yet, much of the “modern” university is still rooted in its centuries-old traditions, structures, and practices.
Through lectures, discussions, film, and art installations, The Commons seeks to explore the implied and inherent values of the urban environment, both visible and understood. The word palimpsest suggests the act of scraping away a layer of writing in preparation for the inscription of new words. Programs provided throughout the year will examine the many ramifications of what comprises life of a city.