Poetic Knowledge Book Club: Chapter 6, part 1 – Poetic Knowledge and the Integrated Humanities Program – Simply Convivial

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For information and previous posts, see the page for this Poetic Knowledge Book Club

This week we are discussing Chapter 6, part 1: Poetic Knowledge and the Integrated Humanities Program (pages 145-163). Next week we will finish the chapter.


The Integrated Humanities Program at the University of Kansas in the 70s consisted of 200 freshman and sophomore students listening in on a 3-way, unrehearsed, real conversation between 3 professors (rather than lectures), small-group discussions, learning poetry & Latin & songs through listening and speaking only, and other non-textbook methods of learning.

There were also several summary statements of what we know of poetic knowledge thus far, the following being one example:

[T]here can be no real advancement in knowledge unless it first begin[s] in leisure and wonder, where the controlling motive throughout remains […] delight and love.

And this statement was an interesting summary of the university program (emphasis mine):

It was never the plan of the IHP to simply teach the books of Western culture, but rather to discover teh roots of that culture and give, to the extent possible, the actual experience of that civilization.

What a grand goal!

Links to Participants’ Posts

Discussion Questions

How does or can conversation and conversation-eavesdropping factor into your education schema?

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