Unlike specialized study in any one branch of the arts or social sciences, the program involves the historical and cultural context of thought across various disciplines.

Students and teachers - each from a diversity of backgrounds - create, in the worst case, a Tower of Babel, and in the best, a collective resource far beyond any one individual's knowledge.

The patient, collaborative, exploratory style of learning is intended to build on students' disciplinary strengths and to broaden skills by exposure to other traditions and more general questions.

Students are encouraged to reflect on the foundations of their own discipline(s) and to build connections or assemblages with other approaches, depending on the types of problems they take up in their studies.

The program is neither a degree in philosophy or cultural studies, nor a history of ideas, nor a crash course in great books. Questions, cases, and problems take priority over texts and disciplines.

Heterogeneity is valued, not at the expense of understanding but for the knowledge of what matters. The ironic mode of orthodox contemporary cultural theory is less of interest than critical affirmation, a thought and practice involving both creative destruction and production.