Cathy Davidson

The Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies is hosting a discussion, reception, and book signing with educational innovator Cathy N. Davidson, author of The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 11, at Duke University’s Penn Pavilion from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Cosponsors include the Office of the Provost, Bass Connections, the Center for Instructional Technology, the Social Science Research Institute, Duke University Libraries, the Office of the Dean of Humanities, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Davidson is currently Distinguished Professor at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and previously served as Duke’s first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. In her new book, she argues that the American university is stuck in the past—and shows how we can revolutionize it to prepare students for our age of constant change.

Our current system of higher education dates to the period from 1865 to 1925, when the nation’s new universities created grades and departments, majors and minors, graduate and professional schools in an attempt to prepare young people for a world transformed by the telegraph and the Model T. This approach to education worked for most of the 20th century, says Davidson, but is unsuited to the era of the “gig economy.” From the Ivy League to community colleges, Davidson introduces us to innovators who are remaking college for our own time, by emphasizing student-centered learning that values creativity, dexterity, innovation, and social change.

In this talk she shows how we can revolutionize our universities to help students be leaders of change, not simply subject to it. Davidson will be joined in conversation by Edward Balleisen, Professor of History and Public Policy and Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke.

The Gothic Bookshop will provide books for sale at the event at a special rate of $24.

RSVP to Sarah Dwyer.