Agora Academics

A drawing of Agora, courtesy of the Mary Evans Picture Library.

Welcome to Agora

Ancient Greece was defined by intense debate, the birth of democracy, heady philosophical, artistic, and scientific advances, powerful contemplation, and incredible forward movement in our understanding of the human condition.  Much of that activity—plus sports, commerce, military strategy, etc.—took place in a space found in every Greek city-state, the agora.  

Students walking and laughing, one balancing a book on her head.

The agora was the building block of the community.  It was a place where uncomfortable conversations happened, but people knew they were surrounded with the trust of their community, enveloped in a safe and protective atmosphere. Such great ideas were ignited here, and such higher order thinking was done here that knowledge itself was fundamentally transformed. In the midst of economy, the agora provided solace not only for useful reasoning, but also for seclusion, contemplation, and so much more.

Agora, seemingly, is the perfect metaphor for us. It enables us to see what’s next. Some might call this the confluence of disciplines—the meeting of those disciplines aiming to understand and improve the human condition, working alongside those making advances in science and technology.  And it is. But adding the notion of agora allows us to envision the evolution of that concept even more. 

 

Interdisciplinary + Community + Culture = Agora Academics

Student researchers working together.

Interdisciplinary approaches infused with community and attention to culture is the new agora.   This is the next level evolution of interdisciplinary research and education—adding deep considerations of community and knowing that culture must follow.  

By bringing community (local and global) into the arena and considering those members as full participants, we make possible richer explorations of research, teaching, and social impact. We create better leaders, more collaborative thinkers, and we equip students for working more collaboratively in the workforce.

For a school located north of Macedonia, east of Elyria, on a site in University Circle (that was once described as a "modern day Parnassus"), and boasting a mascot who is the Spartan, agora is a metaphor of our essence that can capture where we want to go. 

By invoking this concept, coined Agora Academics, we are compelled to adopt an approach, a way of operating, a behavior that will positively move this community forward by addressing fundamental aspects of our culture and society.