Fall 2017

In Fall 2017, 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 perspective. From a day-long exploration of subterranean LA to ZYGO, the Harman Academy is pleased to bring an exciting new series of panels, workshops, and special events to campus.

Polymathy values different ways of learning, knowing, and being, ranging from the written word to various modes of embodiment and creative practice. A new initiative of the Academy, the Polymathic Lab will extend its integrative learning to the tactile and haptic, offering students a space for experimentation, play, and creative exploration. Through workshops on design, digital authoring, and other creative endeavors, we will explore the value of making to polymathic inquiry.

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.  Each session will be accompanied by an academic presentation and discussion keyed to a specific artistic or scholarly focused event enjoyed by members of the Society.  This year as well – with the assistance of similar undergraduate cultural organizations at selected universities across the nation -- members of the Goethe Society will further develop the Society as a philosophic

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.  In order to explicate these Quadrants more fully, Edwin McCann, professor of philosophy and English, will conduct four conversational workshops over the fall and spring terms from a philosophical, historical, and practical point of view.  Attendance at these two sessions covering all four quadrants is required for Academy certification.  

Polymathic Pizza

To cultivate is, in both its broadest and precise meanings, a foundational principle of polymathic practice.  It’s most common definition is to prepare the soil for planting; to grow.  Other meanings include: to refine; to encourage; to seek the society of; to improve or develop by careful attention, training, and study; to devote time or thought to.  To cultivate, in other words, is what we do here at the Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.  Cultivation is at once beautifully allegoric and pragmatically literal in understanding polymathy and thus we are devoting the fall 2017 sem