Building a Kallipolis: An Inquiry into the Search for Meaning in Barrett the Honors College through Writing
This thesis will draw connections between Viktor Frankl’s psychological practices of Logotherapy and the pedagogical system put into place to support Arizona State University Barrett students on the Polytechnic campus through the Writing Colloquium. On Poly, the Writing Colloquium is uniquely structured through its six functions (Teacher Assistants, Thesis Fests, Paper Mini Conferences, Tribunals, Flipped Thesis Workshops, and Service Projects) to provide support for the Human Event and upperclassman students with an emphasis on engagement with Barrett through all four years of undergraduate learning. Through the work in the Colloquium, both the students it serves and those within the program grow in their understanding of how written language adds meaning to their time in college and can provide purpose and direction for their life after graduation. This view connects back to the existentialist framework suggested by Frankl’s writings in Man’s Search for Meaning, where he discusses the sustaining and enabling power in writing during his time in German concentration camps in World War II and his experience as a psychoanalyst. In the analysis of these theories of life, meaning, and writing, I emphasize the exploration and connection of concepts through written language as a way to discover meaning and purpose in difficult circumstances. In order to do so, also included in my thesis is interviews of: the Barrett Poly Associate Dean; three Faculty members; two Honors Staff; and five ASU Barrett Poly Alumni. These interviews document the early years of Barrett’s presence on the Polytechnic campus and also how the Colloquium has grown over the years to support the expanding population of the honors college on the campus.