Academic Questions

Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts as Magic and as Paradox

John Agresto

John Agresto tells us that today’s liberal arts critics are wrong to discard the past, to teach that the best that has been said or written can only burden us with “old ideas and antique prejudices.” A more generous understanding of the liberal arts not only illuminates but can “carry us ahead not simply against the winds of public opinions and prejudices but against the stifling forces of academia itself.”

Toward an American Liberal Education

John Agresto

In the Summer 2017 Academic Questions (vol. 30, no. 2), John Agresto argues the usefulness and value of a liberal education in twenty-first century America.

Radicalism’s Yield: Politics and the Illiberal Academy

Mark Zunac

In the Winter 2016 Academic Questions (vol. 29, no. 4), Mark Zunac discusses the evolution of liberal arts from a field encouraging inquiry to today's ideological sounding board.

The Liberal Arts as Conversation

Jack Kerwick

Philosophy professor Jack Kerwick writes that the purpose of education is not traditionalism, careerism, or activism, but what he calls "conversationalism."

Acknowledging Things of Darkness: Postcolonial Criticism of The Tempest

Duke Pesta

In the Fall 2014 issue of Academic Questions, Duke Pesta, associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, writes on the limitations of postcolional criticism.