First-Year Studies

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Life of the Mind

2014 Theme Revealed

2014 Theme: Creativity
IBM surveyed leaders from 60 countries in 33 different industries to determine their most highly valued professional trait. The answer? Creativity. Even as schools across the country cut funding to the arts, educators and employers in all disciplines increasingly champion creativity as a crucial quality in students and future professionals. UT will celebrate creativity during the 2014-15 academic year by making “Creativity” the theme of that year’s Life of the Mind book. Click here to nominate a book.

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Life of the Mind 2013

EaarthTwenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.

Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance. Click here for more details.

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