The beginning of each academic year offers new opportunities to learn, grow, and support each other as a community of scholars who approach education with curiosity, creativity, integrity, and respect. This fall, the Class of 2023 will be the first group of Scripps students to engage with the Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities Core I theme, Histories of the Present: Truth. The semester-long Core I program will examine the nature of truth—often taken to be one of the goals of academic inquiry—and the ways in which we come to agreement about what is (and isn’t) true in academic, political, and social contexts. Faculty across departments, from anthropology to media studies to math, will share insights from their disciplines, and students will participate in small-group discussions, interrogating different ways of knowing and looking at how different conceptions of truth have informed our understanding of the world.
This issue of Scripps magazine profiles the new Core I program and touches on a handful of other topics related to the theme of truth. Alumna and former Scripps Voi ce editor Rachael Warecki ’08 reflects on the challenges of being a reporter in the age of “fake news” and the importance of fact-based journalism. Assistant Professor of English Thomas Koenigs shares his project on early American fiction and its crucial role in illuminating some of the social and political realities of its time. Douglas Goodwin, the College’s new Fletcher Jones Scholar in Computation, takes readers through a brief history of photographic manipulation, challenging the notion of the medium as a truthful reflection of the world. And stories from Denison Library and from Scripps’ art conservation program alumnae reveal that objects are sometimes not as they seem at first sight.
The new Core I program will be many students’ first encounter with the rigorous approach to learning that is a hallmark of a Scripps education. I am proud to be part of an institution whose faculty consistently bring exceptional creativity, innovative thinking, and energetic collaboration to bear on the curriculum. In challenging our students to ask questions about established truths, our faculty are helping them develop the critical thinking skills and interdisciplinary training they need in order to be the leaders and changemakers that our complex times demand.