On Campus
Oct 06, 2008, 09:47AM

The Role of Art in the Modern University

Nevermind the occasional zombie war—colleges and universities need to cultivate more of the fine arts.

As good an argument as any for fomenting more arts and culture:

The making of art, as well as its history and criticism, belongs in the university. Art gives pleasure, and it provokes thought. It is both sensory and intellectual; it intersects with history and with culture. Nothing could be more central to the life of the university. If universities become art patrons, boosting their spending and integrating the arts into the main intellectual mission of the school, they would dramatically improve the educational experience for all students. The cross-disciplinary collaboration embodied in much contemporary art is good preparation for the interlinked world of knowledge and work that they are about to enter. And unlike some other kinds of work produced in and by the university - scholarly monographs, databases, certain kinds of experiments or equations - works of art can be seen and heard, experienced and discussed, and sometimes even joined or inhabited by all students, faculty, and members of the public.


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