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Turning of the Wheel:

The interplay of the Unique and Universal

A Digital Collection of Events from the Humanities Colloquium Series, Turning of the Wheel,
University of Idaho | Moscow, Idaho | 2011-2012

Turning of the Wheel > Definitions


In exploring the characteristics and interplay of our human diversity and shared humanity we will be addressing some of the "big questions" posed by the humanities.   While there are certainly many implications that derive from the diversity/universality interplay, as a place to begin our journey certain interrelated implications will be explored through the many activities planned throughout the year.  These implications certainly play out in our own community, the University of Idaho.  For our Humanities Exploration and its implications, we will draw from the university - its students and faculty - to help inform the university - its students and faculty - and beyond.   All exhibits, performances, readings and lectures will be derived from the creativity, experiences and expertise of the students and faculty of the University of Idaho.  This will be a community project!

How we at the University of Idaho define the characteristics and interplay of the unique and ubiquitous, of the outer manifest and inner transcendent can directly relate to our capacities for imagination, creativity and discovery, as well as result in levels of ambiguity, dissonance, and the "mutually exclusive" among our faculty and students.  

How we design our diversity/universality interplay relates to our capacities for communication and collaboration, and is fundamental to a climate of tolerance, civility, respect, empathy and nurturance experienced by all members of the Vandal community.  

The interplay certainly plays out in the theoretical tensions or possible integration between reductionist and grand-scale systems thinking, for example.

The interplay bears directly on the academic stress or accommodation between the disciplinarity of the "silos" and the trans-disciplinarity of the "academy," for example.

The interplay is witnessed in the social intolerance or affirmed respect between varied ethnic, sexual-oriented or religious groups on campus, for example.

And certainly, the interplay of the particular and unitary is fundamental to questions relating to how we build and sustain varied forms of community, both locally and globally. 

From the pedagogical design a college course, to the research design embedded in a National Science Foundation or National Endowment for the Humanities grant application, to the landscape design of our campus facilities and green space, we are all impacted by the characteristics and interplay of our human diversity and shared humanity.  In reflection, in what ways has the interplay of the diverse and universal, and its varied extensions, impacted your own life?

In so many ways, the interplay of our human diversity and shared humanity relates directly to our capacities for what it means to be human.   Some "big questions" indeed.  See Questions on how these issues are further developed and articulated.   All this is not to suggest that there are not other implications to be discovered in our Humanities Exploration.  Let's see what awaits? 

As a result of this Humanities Exploration may we be able better to understand, appreciate, critique and contribute to the various "interplays" expressed in our many interrelationships and communities, be they at, within or beyond the University of Idaho. 

For more information: Rodney Frey