55th Annual Meeting of the
Association for General & Liberal Studies


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Hilton City Centre

Pre-Conference Registration
now open

full conference $290
single day $190
includes 1-year membership
year runs September 2015 to August 2016

Thank you to everyone
who submitted a proposal.
We will be notifying
presenters shortly after
the July holiday weekend.

Hilton Milwaukee
City Center
Keynote Speakers

Paul Gaston

Thomas Angelo
Conference Program

Opening Up General and Liberal Studies: Diverse Populations, Dynamic Outcomes

In crafting our theme this year, we drew inspiration from the Milwaukee Art Museum, which is crowned by the famed Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen with a 217 foot wingspan that opens and closes twice daily. The Museum’s moveable architecture is a metaphor for the conversations about diversity and inclusivity that have opened up Higher Education today.

As administrators and teaching faculty within General and Liberal Studies, we are increasingly called upon to respond to multiple, contested meanings of diversity and inclusivity, both in terms of curriculum and pedagogy and admissions and competition. Nationally, we have seen voter-driven initiatives in several states challenge Affirmative Action programs, yet the ‘holistic’ admissions policies of Higher Education institutions remain intact, as does our commitment to the educational benefits of a diverse student body. Globally, we have heard political leaders proclaim that “Multiculturalism is dead,” yet it continues to be upheld and practiced in many international contexts. For some stakeholders, the survival of language remains at the heart of the debate. For others, it’s a debate over religious freedom. On many campuses, these larger trends have played out in the decline of language studies or attacks against area studies programs and controversies over students’ access to birth control or the practice of daily prayer by Muslims. 

We invite proposals for papers or sessions  exploring the impact of these diversity debates in  general and liberal studies. Tell us how diversity being handled at your institution. Is it in the core curriculum or primarily in student life? Is it more experiential or theoretical? How do you ensure that all students are learning a sophisticated way of looking at diversity? If your campus is diversifying your student body, are their accompanying changes in student services or co-curricular programming or climate?

Here are some additional examples of current issues and challenges related to diversity education:

  • How do institutions define diversity? How do you include it in the curriculum?

  • What is the structure for ensuring that students have received education about diversity issues, and how do you ensure that it happens?

  • Intersections between curriculum and co-curriculum. Is it better to have diversity spread out over the curriculum or have a course focused on diversity issues? How many diversity initiatives are occurring in the co-curriculum?

  • How much built-in diversity do you have on your campus? How do you bridge the gap?

  • How do your diversity initiatives reach diverse audiences?

  • Does your institution do anything particularly innovative in terms of LGBTQ, Deaf, racial and ethnic and/or religious communities?

  • How can diversity be explored creatively (non-academically) on campus? Can awareness be raised through creative components, such as engaging students in a play, art exhibit, performance, or poetry slam?

  • Why are language programs critical to diversity? Which languages?

  • Combatting stereotypes in the Athletics arena: how Athletics introduces diverse populations to campus and how to resolve the challenges arising from model?

  • What budgetary items are devoted to promoting initiatives in diversity?

  • Administrative and operational staff and diversity education: what do these groups need to know to ensure success?

  • Diversity education and global citizenship

  • Intersections between study abroad programs and diversity education

  • Intersections between internships and diversity experience/education

This page updated May 5, 2015