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Rhode Island School of Design’s Mapping Learning Series Presents Cathy Davidson on Education 2.0


Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is pleased to welcome Cathy Davidson as part of its Mapping Learning series. Davidson will present Education 2.0 on Tuesday, March 11 at 7:00PM in the Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center (20 N. Main, Providence RI).

Davidson is co-founder of Humanities, Arts, Sciences and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC – “haystack”), a virtual network of more than 8,000 innovators worldwide inspired by the possibilities of new technologies for shaping how we learn, teach, communicate, create and organize our local and global communities. She is also the author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work and Learn. Dr. Davidson teaches at Duke University, where she holds the positions of John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studiesand Ruth F. Devarney Professor of English.

Mapping Learning, a year-long series of public talks, panels and workshops, provides opportunities for faculty, students and staff to reflect on the changing contexts of teaching and learning at RISD – and in the world. The series is designed to foster discussion about how RISD’s institutional and disciplinary traditions shape specific types of understanding, identity and practice, and how evolving theories of cognition, participation or “unlearning” spark new approaches to education.

“Our rapidly changing economy and culture, and advances in technology, are posing serious challenges for higher education,” states RISD Interim President Rosanne Somerson. “This series demonstrates our continued commitment to innovative teaching and examines how RISD’s rigorous and immersive approach to art and design education is adapting to new conditions while reinforcing the value and importance of experiential learning and ‘critical making’.”

“We are pleased that diverse Mapping Learning events have provided opportunities for our community to come together to reflect critically about a RISD education,” notes interim Dean of Liberal Arts Daniel Cavicchi, who organized the series with Dean of Foundation Studies Joanne Stryker. “We are very excited that Cathy Davidson is coming to campus, especially since she will have just led an extraordinary 14,000-person MOOC experiment called The History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education. Her provocative thinking – rooted in her pioneering work on the history of reading – continues to cultivate shared inquiry and debate among all of us who care about education.”

Fall 2013 Mapping Learningevents included a public panel on the past, present and future of art schools; a faculty discussion on critique as a pedagogical practice led by Woodrow Wilson Fellow Paula Crawford, professor at George Mason; a workshop on departmental assessment with Barbara Walvoord; a lecture by evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi, How to Nature-Harness an Ape Brain for the Arts; and a presentation by RISD faculty and staff who attended the national conference New Paradigms in Teaching and Learning sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

Spring 2014 events kick off on February 25 with RISD’s Global Classroom, a panel discussion on the multiple perspectives, opportunities and challenges involved in developing new global learning initiatives.

RISD’s mission is to educate its students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. Located in Providence, RI, RISD enrolls approximately 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world who choose among 22 degree programs. RISD’s academic departments are organized in five divisions: Architecture + Design, Fine Arts, Foundation Studies, Graduate Studies and Liberal Arts.

All Mapping Learning events are free and open to the public, including Davidson’s talk on March 11.

About Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned an international reputation as the leading college of art and design in the United States. Approximately 2,400 students from around the world study at RISD, pursuing full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in a choice of 19 studio majors. RISD is known for its phenomenal faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on, studio-based approach to learning – one in which critical thinking informs making works by hand. Required courses in the liberal arts provide an essential complement to studio work, enabling graduates to become critical and informed individuals eager to engage with the world. Through the accomplishments of its 26,000 alumni, the college champions the vital role artists and designers play in satisfying the global demand for innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum of Art help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit or


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The façade of the Chace Center, a new multipurpose hub that opened
in 2008, offers an interesting contrast to the historic campus
buildings that surround it.