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Oct. 30 Life of the Mind lecture to address the topic of 'next'

Sarah Stitzlein to speak on "What’s Next for America? Teaching Hope and Reviving Democracy"

Sarah Stitzlein

Life of the Mind, interdisciplinary conversations with UC faculty, will return 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Annie Laws (407 Teachers/Dyer) with a lecture by Sarah Stitzlein, professor of education and affiliate faculty in philosophy. Professor Stitzlein will speak on “What’s Next for America? Teaching Hope and Reviving Democracy.”

Life of the Mind is a semi-annual lecture series that features a distinguished University of Cincinnati faculty member presenting his or her work and expertise. The series includes intriguing insights from diverse perspectives and encourages faculty and students from across the university to engage in further discourse. The presentation is not simply a recitation of the faculty member’s work but promotes an informed point of view.

Sarah M. Stitzlein is professor of education and affiliate faculty in philosophy. As a philosopher of education, she explores the purposes and practices of education from the perspective of social and political philosophy. She aims to uncover problems in education and envision better alternatives. Her work touches on issues of political agency, educating for democracy and equality in schools. She is president-elect of the John Dewey Society, editor of the journal "Democracy & Education" and winner of the UC Excellence in Teaching Award.

In this presentation, she will share insights from her newest book, Reviving Hope in Democracy: Teaching Hope and Overcoming Despair in America (Oxford University Press, 2019). This book was awarded a Toward an Open Monograph System grant for Open Access publishing from the UC Office of the Provost, Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries and the Association of American University Presses.

Poster that says Life of the Mind: Interdisciplinary conversations with UC faculty with the UC logo, American flag, and the word "hope"

The lecture takes up recent polls revealing alarming trends in America: citizens have become increasingly cynical, less certain that they can have an impact in democracy and more supportive of authoritarianism. Professor Stitzlein will detail shifts in the hope of citizens, including increased reliance on messianic political leaders to fulfill hopes, exhaustion amongst populations plagued by inequality and reduction of citizenship to personal responsibility and entrepreneurialism. The speaker will provide her perspectives on the dangers these changes pose in relation to democracy, the investigation necessary to understand these forces better and the reasons why what we hope for and how we hope together are crucial considerations as we strive to overcome despair and revive democracy.

A panel of three will respond to and discuss the lecture from diverse perspectives. The Oct. 30 Life of the Mind panel will consist of:

  • Wendy Calaway, assistant professor of criminal justice, UC Blue Ash College
  • Whitney Gaskins, assistant dean and assistant professor - Center for Inclusive Excellence & Community Engagement, College of Engineering and Applied Science
  • J. Antonio Islas-Munoz, assistant professor of practice, head of transportation design, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning

Sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, and organized by the University of Cincinnati Libraries and Faculty Senate, the mission of Life of the Mind is to celebrate UC faculty research, scholarship and creative output and to foster the free and open exchange of ideas and discourse. Life of the Mind is free and open to the public and attracts a broad audience including UC students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as people from the community.

More information about Life of the Mind is available online at www.libraries.uc.edu/lifeofthemind/.

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