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Themed Year Programming

During 2018-19, for the first time, Arts & Sciences will offer programming and events built around a common theme. Our strategic plan, Concept 30, identified building community as a priority, and this programming will provide the opportunity to build interdisciplinary collaboration, foster creativity, and bring our entire community of learners together to discuss a shared topic. Themed programming allows us to underscore our diverse and ever-changing community, our multi-disciplinary approaches to various topics, and to emphasize our connection in a global society.

Over the course of the next two years, our theme will be “Contested Spaces.” This umbrella topic can support many conversations, such as dissecting the literal “contested space” of a particular place, or a more narrow interpretation that would focus in on a certain sub-theme. The theme of “Contested Spaces” aligns with our values of community, deep inquiry, self-awareness, equity & justice, and ethical stewardship, allowing us to contemplate these values in the world, our nation, and on our campus.

In 2018-19, “Contested Spaces” will focus on “Race, Nation, and Conflict,” inviting conversations centered around conflict resulting from ethnic, racial, and cultural differences—in Virginia, the United States, and across the globe. In 2019-20, the “Contested Spaces” focal point will be “This Ground,” a placed-based idea that makes race, nation, and conflict a local concern. Beyond 2020, when we celebrate our 30th anniversary as a School, we hope to be in a position to select themes as a community.

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