The Family in Flux: Changing Conceptions of the Family in Theory and Practice

Thursday, October 3, 2013

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. Marjorie Jolles, Roosevelt University
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

The family—its purpose, conventions, and importance—is a subject of persistent inquiry in the humanities, and its definition varies notably in central texts of the Western intellectual tradition. In historical and contemporary contexts, the family is construed in remarkably differing ways: as alternately natural and artificial; necessary and unnecessary; rational and irrational; civilizing and corrupting; local and global; and primary and subordinate to the public sphere. As the family is variably defined (and enacted) in different eras of Western thought, so too are concepts of human nature, morality, and the state, for change to the former surely leads to interrogations and re-conceptualizations of the latter, and vice-versa. This seminar will offer an examination of these varying conceptions of family, introduce seminar participants to critical analyses of them, and conclude with a discussion on teaching about the family in both textual representations and personal life.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration opens September 4, 2013.

For registration information please contact Charlotte Wolfe Ross at