University to Explore "Walls and Bridges" in 2014-15

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Sept. 18, 2014

Inspired by the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Illinois Wesleyan University has adopted “Walls and Bridges” as the intellectual theme for the 2014-15 academic year.  “ ‘Walls and Bridges’ invites both investigation and contemplation about the reasons why international walls and bridges have been and continue to be constructed, and about the negative and positive consequences of such constructions,” said Professor of History Thomas D. Lutze, who helped formulate and endorse the theme. “It calls upon us to examine relations of power and people in the arena of international relations in the past, in the present and in the future.”

Initially selected as the International Studies theme for this year, “Walls and Bridges” was later adopted by faculty involved in the Course Cluster initiative as a university-wide theme. The 2014-15 Course Cluster events will focus on the worldwide construction and demolition of walls and bridges in physical, economic, ideological and political situations. University faculty and students will study the reasons behind building walls and bridges, and how they have both separated and united the world throughout history and in the present day.

“The creation of a theme is a fairly recent development at Illinois Wesleyan and has become an exciting and useful organizing principle for curricular and co-curricular activities,” President Richard F. Wilson said at a breakfast at the beginning of the academic year. “The theme encourages us to explore a multitude of subjects, ranging from trading blocs to flows of capital; from border patrols to border crossing; from diversity to homogenization, as people express themselves through culture, the arts, literature, and other media.”

By Danielle Kamp ’15