Spring 2012

Quadrant Series

The USC Sidney Harman 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, Professor of philosophy and English Edwin McCann 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 f


This 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.  The sessions are organized around three themes:

Visuality and Knowledge:  This theme explores the relationship between visuality and knowledge across the spectrum of humanistic disciplines, from philosophy to art history, anthropology to media studies, psychology to classics, and beyond.

A series of informal yet directed undergraduate encounters with faculty who have demonstrated polymathic approaches to scholarship and teaching.

Spring 2012 discussions will explore the wonder, mystery, and vast, inviting strangeness of scientific pursuits.

Held on selected Wednesdays throughout Spring 2012 in Doheny Memorial Library (DML) Room 241, 5:00pm – 6:30pm, unless noted otherwise.


Conversations energized by the polymathic impulse in honor of two great female polymaths, Hypatia (350/70-415 c.e) a philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician, and Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179 c.e.), abbess, composer, botanist, poet, playwright, and reformer. 

Held on Tuesdays 12:00pm to 1:30pm in DML 241.