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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Reviving Democracy During the 2020 Campaign Season by Learning How to Hope

third annual wolfe lecture on religion and american politics

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Reviving Democracy During the 2020 Campaign Season by Learning How to Hope
Third Annual Wolfe Lecture on Religion and American Politics

Sarah Stitzlein, University of Cincinnati
Christopher Higgins, Boston College (respondent) 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
ROOM CHANGE: McGuinn Hall 521ʉۢ 5:30 - 7pm

RSVP Requested - please click here to register.

Co-sponsored with the Lynch School of Education


Abstract: American citizens are struggling to hope, leading many to be cynical, check out of democracy, and support authoritarianism. Hope is especially difficult to maintain in politically contentious times. Sometimes we get swept up in it during campaign seasons, only to be let down once the ballot box closes. This talk explains what hope is, why it matters to democracy, and how we can teach it to our citizens. It offers ways to engage in hope that will help to revive democracy during and after the 2020 election.

headshot of sarah stitzlein

Sarah Stitzlein is a professor of education and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.  She is also president of the John Dewey Society, co-editor of the journal, Democracy & Education, and co-director of the Center for Hope & Justice Education. As a philosopher of education, Stitzlein explores and clarifies key concepts within and purposes of education from the perspective of social and political philosophy.  Additionally, she works to uncover problems in education and envisions better alternatives.  Stitzlein is especially interested in issues of political agency, educating for democracy, and equity in schools.  

Stitzlein is the author of several books including her most recent, Learning How to Hope: Reviving Democracy through Schools and Civil Society (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Stitzlein has received the University of New Hampshire Outstanding Professor award and the University of Cincinnati Distinguished Teaching and Golden Apple awards. She also is the recipient of the American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Development Fellowship.

headshot of Chris Higgins

Christopher Higgins is a philosopher of education who has just joined the faculty of the Lynch School to advance its initiative in formative education. His scholarly work explores the ethical and existential dimensions of teaching, the dynamics of the teacher–student relationship, the ideals of aesthetic and humanistic education, and the fate of liberal learning in the corporate multiversity. His book, The Good Life of Teaching: An Ethics of Professional Practice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) offers one of the first systematic extensions of virtue ethics to questions concerning work and professional identity. His current book project on the aims of higher education features four long essays: Learning Publics, Humane Callings, The Virtues of Integrity, and The Humanist Moment.

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