“Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.”
-Constantine Cavafy, “Ithaca”
This newsletter highlights the many ways the liberal arts are put into practice in the School of Humanities and Sciences and demonstrates how that practice also occurs in places other than Ithaca. Our students and faculty have a long history of engagement with the Fulbright program, for example, and regularly travel to study and teach elsewhere. This year has been no exception, with H&S Fulbright scholar students in the U.K. and Bangladesh, and H&S Fulbright scholar faculty in Mongolia and India. We are very proud of our faculty and students for their accomplishments, and also very aware of the ways that they enrich our community by their journeys.
As part of developing an Ithaca liberal education not bound by place, our honors program has begun to take new advantage of the IC London Center, and for the first time we are offering coursework focused on the city itself as the text to be studied. Like the Fulbright program, this learning model demonstrates for our students the ways that study travel transcends tourism to offer a powerfully immersive experience that is guided academically. This learning model suggests to us that education is not one thing and life another, that life does not begin when education ends, that the two might intertwine throughout college and beyond—an exciting prospect we will continue to explore.
The learning that happens when we are “away” is profound, and so is the knowledge that we build through our coming and going. This is true for the H&S community as a whole as well as for individuals, and within H&S we have been celebrating the many faculty members who are leaving and joining us. We say farewell to a number of beloved long-time colleagues who are retiring and also welcome many new teacher-scholars, including our predoctoral fellows.
For us in H&S, as for the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, Ithaca is voyage as well as place and education is journey as much as destination. We appreciate all of our fellow travelers, and, as always, would love to hear from them—from you!
Leslie W. Lewis