Engaging Diverse Ways of Knowing in the Academy:
Do We Need Each Other to Think Better?

Knowledge building and sharing are the engines of the university. This engine is fueled by the synergy between what we know, how we know it, what we teach, how we teach it, and why we teach it. But even as we are creating knowledge in our disciplines, do we take time to reflect on how our ways of knowing inform our teaching, our calling(s), and our view of the world? Do we take time to consider how our colleagues from various parts of the academy pursue research, teach, and experience the world differently from us? What can we learn from each other? Do we need each other to enhance our own thinking and discernment?

Accordingly, the purpose of this Cothran Center Faculty Seminar is to focus on the creation of knowledge as both the central enterprise of the academy and as an axis of diversity and difference among faculty. Faculty from different disciplinary areas across campus will compare and contrast their approach to the creation and teaching of knowledge, exploring, among others, the following questions:

  • What calls you to your discipline?
  • What are some of the big questions in your discipline?
  • How are those questions pursued?
  • What are the main epistemological schisms within your discipline?
  • How do you situate yourself and your research within these schisms?
  • How do objective and subjective judgment factor in the process of knowledge building in your discipline?
  • How do any of the foregoing guide your pedagogy (what you teach and how you teach it)?
  • How do any of the foregoing guide how you mentor students?
  • How does your approach to creating knowledge affect your sense of calling and view of world?
  • What are the main epistemological schisms within the academy?
  • What epistemologies outside of your discipline perplex you?
  • To what extent can we enhance our own work by understanding one or more epistemologies?

The selection committee will seek a balanced set of representatives from among all of the disciplinary areas of the campus in order to create interesting contrasts among the variety of ways that knowledge is created and disseminated. In addition to stimulating curiosity about our differences, we also hope to illuminate commonalities that will inspire cross-disciplinary projects that might include courses, research, CLPs, blogs, videos, among other outlets and outcomes.


Applications are now closed.

For more details, refer to the seminar flyer or contact the seminar faculty facilitators, Cynthia King ( and Tom Lewis (, or the Center's program director, Eric Cain (x2511;

(These will be confirmed after faculty meeting dates and academic calendar are established.)

  • Apr. 23, 2018             5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.        Orientation Session
  • Aug. 13-17, 2018       9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.        Weeklong Opening Session
  • Sept. 28, 2018           3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.        Afternoon Session 1
  • Nov. 9, 2018              3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.        Afternoon Session 2
  • Jan. 25, 2019            3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.        Afternoon Session 3
  • Feb. 22, 2019            3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.        Afternoon Session 4
  • Mar. 29, 2019            3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.        Afternoon Session 5
  • June 5-7, 2019          TBA                                Closing Session

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