Frederick Douglass Forum Lecture Series


The Liberal Arts and the Arts of Liberty

Streaming Media

Document Type

Video File


1 hour 35 minutes 14 seconds

Publication Date



Higher Education | Liberal Studies | Political Science


The idea of the liberal arts is oft-misunderstood and oft-abused in contemporary society. In this panel talk, Susan McWilliams (professor of politics at Pomona College) and Linfield College student Pedro Graterol explain why the liberal arts matter to them. Graterol argues academia exists "to defeat the shadows of the world and lead the way for society." McWilliams discusses why liberal arts colleges are special and how to convey their importance in a cultural climate that pushes against the idea of liberal arts education.

This panel is part of the symposium What's So Liberating about the Liberal Arts?: A Symposium on Liberal Education and the American Experiment held at Linfield College on March 15, 2019. The purpose of the symposium was to bring scholars, current Linfield students, and Linfield alumni together to think about the meaning and value of the liberal arts.


Sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, the Jack Miller Center, the Elliot Alexander Fund, and PLACE.