"(Don't) Talk To Strangers" Symposium to be Held in Chicago this September

A national symposium entitled "(Don't) Talk to Strangers" will be convened in Chicago by The Public Square inviting activists, scholars, and artists from all over the country for a two-day event on the need to foster broad and deep public conversations. The symposium will take place at the University of Illinois Chicago on September 24th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and September 25th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These programs will seek to further the notion that discussion, debate, and dissent are cornerstones of democracy. In an election year, these ideas are all the more important.

On Friday, September 24th, Dr. Danielle Allen, Dean of the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago and 2002 MacArthur Fellow, will deliver the keynote address at 4:00p.m. in the Cardinal Room at UIC Circle Center, 750 South Halsted Street. Dr. Allen will be available to autograph copies of her latest book, "Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education."

Find out more....

A brief description of the book from University of Chicago Press follows:

Returning to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 and to the famous photograph of Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, being cursed by fellow "citizen" Hazel Bryan, Allen argues that we have yet to complete the transition to political friendship that this moment offered. By combining brief readings of philosophers and political theorists with personal reflections on race politics in Chicago, Allen proposes strikingly practical techniques of citizenship. These tools of political friendship, Allen contends, can help us become more trustworthy to others and overcome the fossilized distrust among us. Trenchant, incisive, and ultimately hopeful, "Talking to Strangers" is nothing less than a manifesto for a revitalized democratic citizenry.

The second day will take place on September 25th at 9:00 a.m. at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 South Halsted Street. This day will consist of workshops on topics such as 1) various models/formats for discussion groups, 2) topical discussions vs. abstract themes, and 3) assessing outcomes.

Our goal is to provide participants with a space for lively discussion and opportunities to share best practices by exchanging ideas with a wider audience.

We hope you can attend this exciting event!

voice: 312.993.0682
web: http://www.thepublicsquare.org

Added August 11, 2004