The Importance of Learning Poster

The Importance of Learning: Liberal Education and Scholarship in Historical Perspective
Princeton University, 5–7 June 2013
Keynote Speakers: William Clark (UCSD), Anthony Grafton (Princeton)
Organized by Daniel Garber, Howard Hotson, Dana Jalobeanu, and James Lancaster
It is an inescapable fact of contemporary life that the idea of a liberal education, an education
that aims primarily at the cultivation of the intellect and sensibility rather than at preparation
for a particular vocation, is widely under attack all over the world. In country after country,
the idea of learning for its own sake is being swept aside, as institutions of higher education
are pressured to devote themselves primarily to preparing students for careers in practical
areas. The global membership of the International Society for Intellectual History is in a
unique position to illuminate these questions from a genuinely historical and cosmopolitan
Call for Papers
The first and principal form of contributions will be brief papers relating to the theme of liberal
education, scholarship, and their place in society. Papers can concentrate on any period, region, tradition
or discipline, including the arts, humanities, sciences, and various forms of professional learning. As well
as individual papers, we welcome proposals for panels of up to three papers and a commentator.
Individual papers will be twenty minutes long, followed by ten minutes of discussion. The second set of
contributions will be posters designed to draw on the international scope of the Society. The purpose of
the posters is to document the various attempts to reform higher education being pursued simultaneously
in various countries. For more information, please see the conference website.
Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words for each paper or poster. Proposals for panels
featuring a maximum of four papers should not exceed 2500 words. All proposals – for papers, panels,
and posters – should be accompanied by a brief CV or biographical statement. Individual contributors are
welcome to present both a paper (or panel) and a poster at the conference. All proposals are due by 4
January 2013. Decisions will be announced by 1 February. Please send proposals to James Lancaster
(, to whom you should also address any queries.