USC Libraries - USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

University of Southern California

USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

“The emphasis will be on how to think, rather than what to think. ”—Sidney Harman

Fall 2014 Opening Event: Goethe’s Color Wheel—Its Meanings and Implications

Fall 2014 Opening Event: Goethe’s Color Wheel—Its Meanings and Implications

“Give to Nature praise and honor, blithe of heart and sound of eye, knowing for the world of color, where its broad foundations lie.”—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, polymath

To kick off our Fall 2014 programming, a panel of experts will explore the history and utility of Goethe’s theory of color and his Color Wheel, to help us understand, in ways that formal science does not, the relationship between us humans and our natural world.

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The series provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty to hone interdisciplinary skills through conversations with polymathic practitioners from USC and the larger academic community. Learn more »
The library is by definition a center of interdisciplinary inquiry devoid of disciplinary biases. The library and the polymathic academy form a metaphoric and meta-cognitive environment for integrated interdisciplinary study. Learn more »
Meet the members of the university community who are shaping the academy's programs and creating the series of polymathic encounters for USC students. Learn more »

News and Updates


USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, USC Libraries, USC’s Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, and Villa Aurora present:


with Gerhard Falkner

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Fall 2014 Series

Quadrant Series with Edwin McCann

The Academy for Polymathic Study guides its enquiries through four flexible pathways or Quadrants:  (1) critical and integrative thinking; (2) study of the polymaths; (3) the tapestry of knowledge; and (4) communication.

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Undergraduate Series:

Polymathic Pizza, Part I: On Being Human

What does being “human” really mean and can we ever plumb the depths of the complexity of our humanity? Is being “human” a social, spiritual, or biological reality –or perhaps some combination of all three? Throughout Fall 2014, we will consider what it means to be human, beginning with the personal and expanding outwards to the global implications of our “humanness.”

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Polymathic Workshops, Panels, and Special Events

In Fall 2014, the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study is partnering with leading global and academic institutions and scholars, holding workshops and symposia to explore topics and issues from a polymathic perspctive.   

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Graduate Series:

Objects of Knowledge IV

Conversations regarding objects of knowledge, visual and material worlds from a polymathic perspective.

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