Liberal Arts and an Embodied Life

April 23, 2015

8 p.m. Monday, April 27, Rosenfield Center Room 101

Jonathan Miller-Lane’s teaching and writing center on a single question: How do we draw from the best traditions of a liberal arts education while responding creatively and compassionately to the realities and challenges of contemporary society in the USA?  

Miller-Lane will present “A Liberal Arts Education and the Making of an Embodied Life” at 8 p.m. Monday, April 27, 2015, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. The event is free and open to the public.

The philosopher John Dewey argued that, “Freedom is not the absence of an external limit of control, but rather the presence of an internal locus of control.” If that’s true Miller-Lane asks, “In a society that places such a high value on ‘productivity’ and that seems increasingly obsessed with measuring academic achievement using ‘objective’ measures, what possible role might a liberal arts education still play? How might an embodied approach, that is, an approach that takes seriously the possibility that our bodies are sites of knowing, inform our understanding of the meaning and purpose of a liberal arts education?”  

His talk, he says, “will explore these questions, offer some initial responses, and invite discussion.”

While here, Miller-Lane joins theatre professor Celeste Miller, developer of Curriculum in Motion, to present a College-only workshop to experiment with embodied learning methods.

About the Speaker

Jonathan Miller-Lane is associate professor and director of the Education Studies Program at Middlebury College, Middlebury Vermont.

His is the author of "Toward an Embodied Liberal Arts" and the faculty head of a residential commons, where he helps foster deeper connections between academic and residential life. 

He addresses questions such as:

  • Is ‘disinterested learning’ still ethical in a post Ferguson world?
  • Which cherished ideals should we keep and which should we allow to rest in peace? 
  • How should we choose? 

Miller-Lane holds the rank of Sandan in the Japanse martial art of Aikido and founded Blue Heron Aikido of Middlebury in 2004.  The philosophy of Aikido informs many aspects of his work.

Miller-Lane’s visit is a collaboration of athletics and recreation and theatre and dance, and is supported by a Midwest Conference athletics integration grant.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

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