LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2016) — The focus of the University of Kentucky’s fall Chellgren Seminar Series is that indescribable quality that marks those who move through society with ease, a refinement signaled by a college education.
The French have a phrase for it — “Je ne sais quoi.” Translated, the phrase refers to something that is hard to define, yet pleasing and therefore valuable.
In the context of the Chellgren Seminar, it’s something that can’t be measured by test scores or course completions. The premise is that the value of a college degree is tied to the extent to which a college student acquires not only the “ticket,” but also embodied and objective forms of distinction.
The Chellgren Seminar, “That Je Ne Sais Quoi: Credentialing and Cultural Capital,” will be led by Jane McEldowney Jensen. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the William T. Young Library auditorium, Jensen will explore the question of this added savoir faire through an examination of gentility and credentialism.
Jensen is an associate professor from the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation who studies the anthropology of higher education. A professor in the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, her current project examines the ways in which students engage in UK’s undergraduate curriculum, particularly general education and high impact programs of honors, education abroad and undergraduate research.
The purpose of the Chellgren Seminar Series is to contribute to the intellectual aspects of the undergraduate experience by inviting eminent scholars to deliver brief, provocative presentations on issues that expand our thinking and imagination. The seminar series is sponsored by the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, which is part of the Division of Student and Academic Life at UK.
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