Tulane School of Liberal Arts Magazine

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Message from the Editors

August 2021: the stage is set for the beginning of in-person classes, events, and returning to university life as we know it. A year and a half into a global pandemic, we’ve become more adaptable, we’ve developed new skills, and we have a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of our lives. In August, we were ready to start the fall semester afresh.

Then, Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, swept through South Louisiana. Hand in hand with a pandemic, the events of the past year continue to teach us new lessons and push us to think about adjusting to an uncharted, global future that promises to persist in its complexity.

We’ve been preparing for the future for a long time in the School of Liberal Arts and are excited to present this issue of our magazine, focused on “Futures” plural. In one sense, this issue supports the traditional understanding of how our faculty and students research the past to move forward. Studying disciplines like history, anthropology, and classics allow us to understand our present moment more deeply and prepare for the days, months, and decades ahead. But we are also grounded in the current moment across the school—our faculty are engaged with both our student body and the New Orleans community in ways that are shaping a more dynamic education, forging new paths to fulfilling careers, and creating a better understanding of the world we live in and the world we will live in. In the School itself, we’re responding to these calls by revitalizing key offerings, such as the Digital Media Practices program and the Strategy, Leadership and Analytics Minor (SLAM), to better equip our students for careers of the future.

While the approaches differ, what you’ll find reiterated throughout this issue is that the liberal arts disciplines excel in preparing students for the growth necessary to welcome what lies ahead—in fact, the word “future” has its roots in the Latin futurus and the stem fu-, meaning “to grow, to become.” As you’ll see in these articles, graduating with a degree in the liberal arts means leaving college with remarkable communication, research, and problem solving skills, as well as the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances—key abilities required for a workforce inclusive of careers we can’t yet envision. We hope you enjoy this issue of the Tulane School of Liberal Arts Magazine, and we look forward to traveling onward, into the unknown, together.


Feet walking on street with directional arrows
Liberal Arts for the Post-Pandemic Age

Dean Brian Edwards addresses one of his current research topics, examining how careers of the future are best supported by a Liberal Arts background.

Confident Student talks with potential employer
Paths to a Rewarding Career

Professor Adam McKeown and Executive Director Edward Cruz discuss how we provide unique skills that prepare students for professional success—and flexibility.

Artwork from coloring book for Chumash youth
Transforming Graduate Education Through Community Engagement

Our Mellon Graduate Program draws on the experience of Tulane’s many community-engaged faculty members to make this program in public humanities unlike any other.

Stack of religious books
The Future of Higher Education Needs to Embrace Religion

Professor Ilana Horwitz shares research from her new book, which underscores that religion has a powerful but mixed impact on college students’ performance.

also in this issue

Courtney Bryan sitting at a grand piano underneath stain glass windows
The Music We Know: An Interview with Courtney Bryan Exploring Collaboration and Improvisation

An interview with renowned jazz musician and Professor Courtney Bryan, exploring how improvisation helps one prepare for—and adapt to—the future.

Proud family members with Tulane Graduate
Why Hire Liberal Arts Graduates?

Members of our Dean's Advisory Council share their experiences in how invaluable liberal arts graduates are to the workplace.

Tulane Alumni Kyla Denwood, Colonel Kimberly Johnson, JP Stiles, Matthew Wu
Alumni Highlights

Four alumni share how their liberal arts skills fully laid the foundation for where they are now in their careers, both intentionally and unexpectedly.

Students working together in SLAM
SLAM Minor Update

How the newly rebranded Strategy, Leadership, Analytics & Management Minor is leveraging a unique liberal arts approach to innovation.

Singapore Cityscape
Global Asia

A sneak preview of a faculty book examining how Singapore's futuristic socioeconomic policies and cultural imaginary factor into its global positioning.

Thomas Pringle, professor of Communication and Environmental Studies
EVST Faculty Spotlight

Thomas Pringle, new to the Environmental Studies Department, discusses his two courses that address how we see and understand changes in our environment.

Summer Courses 2022
Creative Industries Summer Course

Spotlighting a Creative Industries course taught by Professor Willian Taylor as part of our Summer Programs offerings.

Silhouette image of two people sitting on a bench

An original fiction piece by student Jalon Young.

Meet the new faculty for Digital Media Practices
New Digital Media Practices Faculty

Following national recruitment searches, new faculty add subject matter expertise to our robust and in-demand Digital Media Practices Program.