Peter Brooks


To inaugurate the signing of an agreement for cultural exchange between the Università degli Studi di Bologna and Yale University, representatives from the two universities celebrated in the most academic of manners: with a symposium. Entitled "Interpretation in the University/Interpretation of the University," the symposium both furthered scholars' and teachers' traditional preoccupation with the interpretive disciplines, and addressed itself to an issue that has been forced on academics' attention with new urgency in recent years, both in Europe and the United States: How is the university as an institution to be interpreted, not only by its insiders but also by the public at large? What is the place of the university in postmodern culture and society? And how do we mediate between external views of the university, which in their most publicized forms have been largely negative, and the conception of the university's mission and procedures as developed by those within the academy?