USC Libraries - USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

University of Southern California

USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

“Design is by definition a polymathic pursuit. ”—Kevin Starr


Wednesday, October 10 2012
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm


DML 241


Undergraduate-Oriented but Open to All


Military Science in the 21st century is polymathic by definition.  Today, the US military is called upon in times of crisis to assist communities in all corners of the world hit by earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear disasters, and famine.  The modern ROTC student majors in such diverse and complex areas as physics and nuclear engineering, linguistics, civil and mechanical engineering, geospatial information science, environmental science, or comparative culture and politics.  Lt. Col. Kirkland, Ph.D. in history, will engage students in conversation about the truly interdisciplinary education of today’s soldier.

Lt. Col. Robert O. Kirkland

Lt. Col. Robert O. Kirkland

Robert Kirkland is the commander of the Army ROTC battalion at USC.  He previously served as the Chief Historian for all U.S. and Allied Military Forces in Iraq.  Lieutenant Colonel Kirkland has written extensively on U.S-Latin American civil-military relations and has appeared on the History Channel and been interviewed by numerous media outlets.   He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pittsburgh and has held faculty appointments at the United States Military Academy and Claremont McKenna College, and currently teaches military science and history courses at Columbia College (MI) and USC.

Spring 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.

Learn more

Undergraduate Series:

Polymathic Pizza, Part II: Global Issues

Ours is a global civilization, and USC is a global university with a global student body.  This spring, the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study will sponsor a polymathic pizza oriented to global issues. 

Learn more

Graduate Series:

Objects of Knowledge III

This third season of a series of conversations examines the diverse ways that images and things interact, embody and generate ways of knowing, which guide the course of human action and understanding and engender creativity and innovation. 

Learn more

The Goethe Society

The Goethe Society, an undergraduate organization affiliated with the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, will continue its enjoyment of the cultural resources of the USC campus and greater Los Angeles. 

Learn more