Annual Conference

FAHE announces the schedule for this year’s conference at Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill. Read descriptions of all the conference sessions here.

Registration is open! Please contact FAHE to check on housing availability.

FAHE invites you to join teachers, scholars and educational administrators on the beautiful campuses of Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill near Philadelphia, for our annual conference.

We will consider the theme “Truth and Inspiration” and other topics of interest to Friends and educators through presentations, panel discussions, and three plenary speakers: Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; Maurice Eldridge, Vice Chair, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and Pendle Hill board member; and Frances Rose Blase, Provost of Haverford College.

The conference also offers a disciplinary theme, as we prepare the seventh volume in our “Quakers and the Disciplines” book series. Sessions will address the theme of Quakers, Social Work and Justice Concerns.

Scholarship support is offered to graduate students and adjunct faculty. Please contact FAHE for details.

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40th Annual Meeting of the Friends Association for Higher Education
June 13-16, 2019
Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Conference Theme: Truth and Inspiration

The Friends Association for Higher Education (FAHE) was conceived in 1979 by a group of educators seeking to bring together faculty, staff and administrators at historically Quaker colleges and universities, as well as Friends teaching at other institutions. Since its founding, FAHE has met annually at Friends institutions of higher education around the US and beyond, engaging educators and scholars in ongoing dialogue around Quaker concerns in higher education. From the very beginning, Friends have embraced a strong commitment to education, and Friends schools and colleges have attracted and welcomed both Quaker and non-Quaker educators alike who resonate with the historic Friends commitment to educating the whole person, guided by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and (especially in recent decades) sustainability.

This summer, from June 13-16, 2019, FAHE will hold its annual conference at Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill, near Philadelphia. As a tool for seeking truth as part of corporate discernment and decision-making, Quakers offer queries to provide focus, direction, and inspiration:

• What are truth and truth-seeking, and how would you define these in your discipline and work?

• In an era where truth is under constant assault, how do we navigate, in and outside the classroom, the dangers posed by lying, information suppression, misrepresentation, and conspiracy theories?

• How do we navigate between apparently conflicting truths, values or stories?

• How has your campus responded to, or been involved in, the free speech controversies that have engulfed campuses around the country?

• In the face of growing threats to human and civil rights, a global environmental crisis, mindless consumption, and opioid addiction, what does it mean to speak truth to power?

• In an era of lies, deception, and abuse of power, how do we prevent ourselves and our students from succumbing to cynicism, hopelessness and despair?

• How do we inspire curiosity, wonder, awe, and a love of learning in our work with students in and outside the classroom?

• What values do we seek to honor in our work as educators and scholars, and what is the basis for these values?

• Wherein do you find inspiration, meaning, or truth?


The conference also offers a publication opportunity: FAHE’s Quakers and the Disciplines book series

Presenters can propose a presentation topic on the theme of the upcoming seventh volume, Quakers, Social Work, and Justice Concerns. Conference presentations provide an opportunity to draft an article for inclusion in the volume. Editors Max Carter, Daniel Rhodes, Jennifer Buck, and Erin Johnson offer some ideas for topics:

+ Early Friends and social concerns
+ Concerns for the poor (John Bellers, John Woolman)
+ Concerns for the imprisoned (Elizabeth Fry, etc.)
+ Early concerns regarding slavery (George Keith, Germantown Friends, etc.)
+ Concerns for the mentally ill (the Tukes, Philadelphia Hospital, etc.)
+ Pennsylvania—the “Holy Experiment” as a haven for conscientious refugees
+ Quakers and the abolition of slavery
+ Women’s rights and suffrage
+ Temperance and domestic concerns
+ Reconciliation and peace work
+ Reconstruction and post-war relief work
+ Jane Addams: innovator in the field of social work
+ The AFSC and Quaker Peace & Service
+ Quakers and the United Nations
+ Quaker missions and social concerns
+ Quakers and Gandhi and King
+ Quakers, Ramallah and Palestine