On Wednesday, 9/18, from 3:30-5:00pm, in 1210 McClung Tower, Professor David Fleming will give a talk on “American Baccalaureate: the Story of the Bachelor’s Degree in U.S. Higher Education.” For more than a hundred years now, the bachelor’s degree in the U.S. has been a combination of three elements: the major, General Education requirements, and electives. This compromise, unique internationally, is under pressure from multiple directions. Surprisingly, it is the major that is in the most trouble, and “Gen Ed” that seems most poised to take advantage of recent developments. But there are problems with the contemporary framing of “Gen Ed.” Using histories of both rhetoric and composition, this talk suggests a way forward for the American baccalaureate.
David Fleming is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has published articles and chapters on the history of rhetoric, argumentation theory and practice, writing in the disciplines and professions, and the history and pedagogy of freshman composition. He is the author of City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America (SUNY P, 2008) and From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957-1974, (U of Pittsburgh P, 2011), which won the 2011 MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize and the 2012 Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).