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October 2013



The Cohen Center for the Study of Technological Humanism


Dr. Ralph Cohen and Dr. Larry Burton

Dr. Ralph Cohen (left) and
Dr. Larry Burton

Please see the announcement that follows about the Center.

On September 1, 2013, The Cohen Center for the Study of Technological Humanism was officially recognized as an Academic Center at James Madison University.

The mission of the Cohen Center for the Study of Technological Humanism is to serve as a model of collaborative scholarship and interdisciplinary relationships especially in exploring technology and the human condition. The center operates on the principle that technology has always been intimately connected with the human, that technology can be defined as that which is "human made" and that collaborative, networked, and shared research that bridges the "two cultures" of humanism and technology is of utmost importance as our society becomes increasingly technological, interconnected and global. 

The Cohen Center for the Study of Technological Humanism will be unique not only to JMU, but also to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The center will be housed in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication and in the College of Arts and Letters, but it will serve the university community; specifically the graduate student/faculty population at JMU in all disciplines -- and will become a literal and metaphorical center for the interrelatedness and incommensurability that must be a part of any study of technology in the 21st century.

Though the center is not a graduate program, it will contribute to the mission of establishing ;graduate programs of distinction by attracting graduate students across campus and across disciplines to address the question of technology holistically, practically, socially and ethically, reaching beyond the borders of discipline, field or degree. With its focus on graduate education, the Cohen Center will offer courses to graduate students across the university, will provide opportunities for faculty and graduate student research, and will engage with the university community and beyond, bringing in distinguished speakers from universities across the country for colloquia and symposia.

The Center is made possible thanks to the generous donation of Libby O. and Dr. Ralph Cohen (for whom the Center is named); Dr. Cohen currently serves as the Provost's Distinguished Professor at James Madison University.

The Director of the Cohen Center is Dr. Larry Burton, Professor in the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication. Those interested in participating in the work of the center should contact Dr. Burton directly via email at burtonlw@jmu.edu








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