Tag Archives: body

What Does It Mean to Be (Trans)Human?

android-arm-human-arm-michelangelo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of our universities are currently stuck in an internal debate about online course offerings, attempting to determine whether the potential gains of Internet-based instruction outweigh the costs. On one side of the ledger, the online student is afforded new levels of individualized education that no longer restricts them to the institution-centric forms of physical, in-class environments. On the other side, many educators caution whether this technologically-mediated methodology undercuts the nature of the learning enterprise, treating students as disembodied entities rather than as physical men and women. The center of the proverbial storm is the body. Does physical presence matter—not just in the university environment—but as a touchstone to understand community more broadly? Or, put more succinctly, is physical embodiment a necessary feature of the 21st century person? Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be (Trans)Human?

Who Speaks for Freedom?

Solzhenitsyn as a Gulag labor camp prisoner
Solzhenitsyn as a gulag labor camp prisoner

As the combined Core English 202 and Core History 202 class wrapped up last spring at Concordia University Irvine, one of the students suggested that it would have been useful to have had an underpinning question for the course, something to guide our investigations.  I suggested, “What is freedom?” and, as we all pondered that possibility, heads began to nod around the classroom.  It soon became apparent that many of the texts we had covered had indeed asked this question, from many angles and with a variety of answers. Continue reading Who Speaks for Freedom?