2017-18 Academic Theme: Truth

The Annual Academic Theme: An Introduction

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Since its inception in 1994, the University of Maine at Augusta theme has brought our communities together for numerous activities and programs. Beginning in 2006, an annual colloquium of faculty members has chosen the theme and a corresponding reading to share with other faculty, students, staff, and the larger community. We feature discussions in and outside of our classes and organize events in order to promote larger conversations about the theme. These events have provided a platform for multiple voices to be heard on such significant topics as health and social justice, immigration, and bioethics.

The UMA Colloquium is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 academic theme is truth. As a concept, truth is difficult to define, and we sometimes wield this term indiscriminately while concomitantly proclaiming its primacy. Philosophers might assert that in its simplest form, truth may be understood as a statement about the way the world actually is.This year presents a significant opportunity to explore and discuss the ways we define and deploy truth, while asking important questions, such as how do we know what we know? What are we allowed to know and why? What is the difference between knowledge and information? The late great Paul Robeson once claimed, “Artists are the gate keepers of truth. We are civilization’s radical voice,” which prompts us to ask, how do different fields, academic and otherwise, understand and talk about truth differently?

A component of this year’s academic theme will be the adoption of a single theme-related book by a number of classes across the curriculum: Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction, by Jennifer Nagel.

Thanks to all the faculty colloquium participants this year: Kati Corlew, Sharon McMahon Sawyer, James Cook, Lester French, Robert Bernheim, Elizabeth Powers, Carey Clark, Sarah Hentges, Chelsea Ray, and Pete Milligan.



Lisa Botshon
2016-2017 Colloquium Chair

Lorien Lake-Corral

2017-2018 Colloquium Chair