Three months have passed since together with Tim Hoff we have launched European Liberal Arts Initiative. The website serves many purposes. It started from an updated database of liberal arts programs in Europe that we have confirmed with the institutions involved, but over time grew to include resources, links, and news from all things liberal arts on the continent. While I hope our ambitious plans for the Initiative would materialize in the coming months, there are already signs that there might be some interest around those issues, for example 3000 page views in the first three months. In early November in Aarhus me, Tim Hoff and Teun Dekker hosted a symposium on the role of liberal arts for refreshing the purpose of the future university – the presentations have been recorded and are now on Youtube. Finally, ELAI now has a logo that reflects some of the values we would like to see more prominently featured in discussions of liberal arts in Europe.
The book project on student experience of liberal education in Europe has also been parked on ELAI website to create some healthy synergies. Paper copies are sold during conferences (few dozens found their readers through this channel), but the electronic version is accessible on the ELAI website, with over 650 unique visitors during the first month only.
My PhD has meanwhile moved into the final year, which means both stress and enjoyment of actually putting my thoughts together and writing up a cohesive, dissertation long argument stemming from what I learned from the first leaders in European liberal arts. There are clear limitations to my approach, and I have already been forced to send more and more ideas to the post-PhD folder. Nevertheless, I am very excited about the write up phase. Since all the other projects are now done, postponed or declined, I am having the free space for doing just one thing for the next half a year at least – and it feels wonderful.