Barry McNamara  |  Published July 18, 2019

Promoting ‘Environmental Education and the Liberal Arts’

May 2 Monmouth-Knox College conference will help college professors integrate the environment into their classrooms.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College professor Alana Newman is eager to integrate environmental issues into her courses on the classics. That is why she is looking forward to an upcoming conference at Monmouth on “Environmental Education and the Liberal Arts.”

ALANA NEWMAN: Helping organize May 2 conference on Environmental Education and the Liberal Arts.... ALANA NEWMAN: Helping organize May 2 conference on “Environmental Education and the Liberal Arts.”A team of seven faculty members from Monmouth and Knox colleges have been awarded a grant from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest to discuss the issue at a May 2 conference at Monmouth.

“The symposium is aimed at people like myself who have an interest in the environment but haven’t implemented it into their classes yet and would like to,” said Newman, one of four professors from Monmouth involved in the project. “It’s for people who want to develop whole new courses with an environmental angle, or just implement the environment more into their existing courses.”

The conference will attract faculty from the 14 members of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, which educates more than 20,000 students.

“It promises to be a true liberal arts experience, as we will be bringing together people from many different disciplines to share knowledge and generate new ideas,” said Monmouth classics professor Adrienne Hagen, the lead partner of the project.

Monmouth faculty members Megan Hinrichsen (anthropology) and Sara Kitsch (communication studies) are also members of the conference team.

The conference’s discussions will cover a variety of topics, such as the environment and Shakespeare, popular culture and the environment, environmental racism, and writing and the environment.

“Part of the impetus was that environmental studies tend to be very science-oriented,” said Hagen. “Departments like classics and anthropology have a lot to offer, too, but we weren’t doing enough to communicate about that with other departments. This is really about communicating and making sure we are generating ideas and supporting them.”

Newman said she is looking forward to the event.

“As a novice with environmental studies, I’m very excited,” she said. “Adrienne introduced me to incorporating the environment into my classes, and I’m already seeing more connections. I’m already sharing links with other faculty, and I’m always finding new examples to talk about.”

“That’s what the liberal arts is all about,” said Hagen.

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