The Association for Core Texts and Courses

"Supporting Liberal Arts Core Text Curricula Around the World"


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1995 Conferenece Sample Papers

Sample Papers from ACTC Conferences

This section of our website contains sample papers from various conferences. ACTC exists to encourage the discussion, dissemination, and use of core texts in higher, liberal education. Conversely, ACTC fosters integrative curricular innovations that begin in core text programs and move out to diverse general education and baccalaureate forms. ACTC papers reflect and welcomes papers with these concerns.

ACTC requires that papers must attend to a core text, of the author’s choosing, for ¾ of a page. At the conference, ACTC papers are short – five pages double-spaced. These two requirements have fostered real discussion and intellectual exchange over the course of many conferences. This exchange is further enhanced by presenting all papers, except the plenary papers, in round-table settings. Generally, ACTC papers share these qualities:

  • A real concern with liberal, often general, education;
  • Discussion of a core text for, at least, ¾ of a page of the manuscript;
  • Plausible, coherent argument;
  • A beginning, middle, and end to a paper;
  • Brevity; (5 pages double-spaced is the standard);
  • Clarity of thought and prose; and,
  • Attention to the theme of the conference.

ACTC does not define a core text other than to say that it is a “world classic or text of major cultural significance.” Potential presenters may choose to think of such texts in the following way: professors in their careers will get about 35 chances to “take” a baccalaureate degree; most of our students will get but one. If that is so, which texts should the students read? ACTC recognizes the need for many core text programs to examine and experiment with contemporary texts, and encourages such examination and experimentation, within core text programs, to be undertaken in the context described above. How a text is used in a paper is entirely up to an author, and, ACTC papers exhibit considerable variety in this regard.

Parties who are interested in presenting their papers at the conference will be asked to submit a one-paragraph abstract. The abstract should contain a title for the paper, a title and author for the core text being discussed, and the line of argument that the proposed paper will likely take. Further inquiries may be made through our website’s message box on the homepage.

Generally, we have accepted papers for the conference that exhibit the following features:

  • Core texts from the West and other cultures;
  • Concerns centering on
    o texts,
    o ideas, interpretations, ideological positions, and theories,
    o problems in liberal education,
    o courses,
    o programs, their goals, their intellectual and pedagogical achievements and principles, their process of adoption or defense,
    o the integration of core text programs in larger general education programs and baccalaureate degrees; the interrelations of these programs;
    o administration of programs,
    o teaching,
    o students,
    o faculty support,
    o technical support,
    o assessment, and
    o programs, institutions and activities which are connected to these concerns (e.g., learning communities and learning teams, secondary and adult education efforts, higher education abroad, majors and honors programs based in core texts, and graduate programs similarly based.)
  • Other topics, in so far as they attend to core text liberal education.

We encourage prospective attendees to browse this website’s selected papers for further help in elucidating the kinds of papers which appear at our conference. Here, papers are organized by year. Papers are organized by topics under Publications.

Association for Core Texts and Courses & The ACTC Liberal Arts Institute at
Saint Mary's College of California:

1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94556
Ph: 925 631 8597