February 2, 2009
A SNARKMARKET BOOK PROJECT: The New Liberal Arts
Paper is the new black, so we’re making a book.
Actually, we’re making it because the comments and conversation on Snarkmarket deserve this kind of durability. And because, hey, we’re a book-ish crew: This will be fun.
So here’s the frame:
It’s 2009. A generation of digital natives is careening towards college. The economy is rebooting itself weekly. We have new responsibilities now — as employees, citizens, and friends — and we have new capabilities, too. The new liberal arts equip us for a world like this. But… what are they?
The time is ripe to expand and invigorate our notion of the liberal arts. Is design a liberal art now? How about photography? Food? Personal branding?
We don’t want to generate a canonical list, but rather a laundry list. We want pitches for new liberal arts that are smart, provocative, insightful, surprising, and/or funny.
Together, they’ll read a little like the course catalog for some amazing new school. (The College of Snarks and Letters? Our endowment is untouched by the financial crisis!)
So now we’d like to ask for your help.
There are two ways to be part of the book:
- Make a pitch for a new liberal art. It can be something you know lots about, or something you wish you knew lots about. It can be general or specific. It can be anything. Leave your first draft as a comment on this post, and don’t worry about thinking it all the way through. Don’t worry about length, either. If we decide to include your pitch in the book, we’ll work all of that out.
- Help promote the project. Even if pitching a new liberal art isn’t your speed, someone in your network might have a great idea. So blog this post; Twitter it; email it to your two nerdiest friends. Here’s a shortened link, if it’s helpful: http://is.gd/i4lG
Let’s move fast on this. We’ll collect pitches for new liberal arts over the course of the next week. Then we’ll switch quickly to editing, design, and production.
The book will be slim, and the print run will be small. And I’ll post details on price (cheap) and availability as soon as I have them.
This is a Snarkmarket/Revelator Press co-production. We’ve admired the spirit and design of the Revelator e-chapbooks for ages, so now we’re going to team up to make something you can actually hold in your hands.
Welcome to the curriculum planning committee. What does the class of the 21st century need to know?
Update: Wow! There are now over 100 contributions and comments below — but don’t feel like you have to read them all to post one of your own. We’re going for free-form idea generation here, so have at it!