Humanities Institute

Difficult Dialogues Public Programs

Difficult Dialogues

Spring 2015 Public Forum

Fall 2014 Public Forum

Spring 2014 Public Forum

Spring 2014 Forum

Spring 2014 Public ForumFall 2014 Public Forum

Pandemics & Human Rights
On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, the Humanities Institute hosted a discussion on Pandemics and Human Rights. The panel addressed questions such as the social, economic, environmental, and ecological conditions that foster pandemics; the use of quarantines and travel bans to contain diseases; access to experimental treatments; health care workers and the "duty to treat" during pandemics.
Shannon Cavanagh, Dept. of Sociology, UT-Austin
Jeffrey Spike, Professor at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics
Janet Pichette, Chief Epidemiologist, Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services offices

Spring 2014 Public ForumSpring 2014 Public Forum

Human Trafficking, Forced Labor, and our Consumer Choices
On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Humanities Institute hosted a discussion on labor trafficking. The discussion focused on the effects of consumerism, and participants engaged in an exercises to analyze the consequences of their consumer choices.
Noel Busch-Armendariz, School of Social Work
Bruce Kellison, Associate Director of the IC2 Bureau of Business Research
Sulamita Mora, case worker at Refugee Services of Texas
Shelton Green, founder of Good & Fair Clothing Company

Fall 2013 Public ForumFall 2013 Public Forum
Immigration, Education, and the DREAM Act
On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, the Humanities Institute hosted a discussion on current immigration policy in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the social consequences of the U.S. Congress's failure to pass the DREAM Act.
Robert Crosnoe, Department of Sociology
Barbara Hines, School of Law
Marco Malagon, President of the North Texas Dream Team

DD Spring 2013Spring 2013 Public Forum

The Future of Global Education
On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, the Humanities Institute hosted a discussion on the relationships that arise when educational aspirations and opportunities move into the global context.
Richard Handler, University of Virginia
Nancy Abelmann, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Panelists Robert Hummer and Dana Cloud with program coordinator Melissa Biggs. Fall 2012 Public Forum
Surveillance, Space, and the Public

On Monday, November 11, The Humanities Institute held a discussion that highlighted issues of art as critical engagement; linking historical modes of surveillance used to monitor people of color to contemporary practices; and the use of creative engagement with surveillance tactics to form community.
Simone Bowne, UT Sociology Dept
Micha Cárdenas, Los Angeles based artist, scholar, and activist
Ernesto Yerena, artist and activist

Panelists Robert Hummer and Dana Cloud with program coordinator Melissa Biggs.Spring 2012 Public Forum
What is Fair? What is Just?
On Monday, April 2, The Humanities Institute held a discussion with scholars and community activists working on the issues of the accessibility and cost of education and health care.
Dana Cloud
, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Deliana García
, Director of International Research and Development, Migrant Clinicians Network, Austin, Texas.
Robert Hummer
, Professor, Department of Sociology
Laurie Posner
, Senior Education Associate, Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, Texas

Amy Schweiss in discussion with other studentsFall 2011 Public Forum
Muslim Americans in Dialogue Since 9/11
On October 18, 2011, Difficult Dialogues held a discussion that highlighted the diverse perspectives of Muslim Americans. The public forum gave audience members the opportunity to actively engage with the panelists as they explored the variety of ways Muslims in the United States respond to government policies, media portrayals, and public perceptions of their religion and their communities after 9/11.
The forum was moderated by Dr. Maria Curtis, University of Houston Clear Lake. Respondents include Mustafaa Carroll, Council on American Islamic Relations, Houston; Dr. Güner Arslan, Institute of Interfaith Dialog, Austin; Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UT Austin.

Lawrence WrightSpring 2011 Public Forum

March 29, 2011
Author, screenwriter, and playwright, Lawrence Wright will share his experiences as a journalist in the Middle East. A Q&A session and a reception will follow this event.

Lawrence Wright is this year's Cline Centennial Visiting Professor in the Humanities.

Nancy SchiesariFall 2010 Public Forum

Screening and Discussion of Tattooed Under Fire, with filmmaker, Nancy Schiesari and psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Stephen Sonnenberg.

Filmed in a tattoo parlor in Killeen, Texas, Tattooed Under Fire records the experience of soldiers deploying to and returning from Iraq, as they describe why they chose the tattoos that are inked onto their bodies. UT professor, Nancy Schiesari directed the film and participated in the discussion. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Stephen Sonnenberg, Baylor College of Medicine, served as a commentator. He says the film "is a powerful representation of what soldiers experience in war, and how hey attempt to make meaning out of their traumatic experiences." This semester, Sonnenberg is also moderating a community course on "Helping Our Teenagers Think About Violence and Peace."

Dr. Jessica FieldsSpring 2010 Public Forum

"The Worried and the Worrisome: Sex Ed Policy and Practice in the Contemporary United States" led by Dr. Jessica Fields, San Francisco State University.

Dr. Suzanne SeriffFall 2009 Public Forum
October 22, 2009
"Many Voices, Many Stories: Dialogues About Immigration in a Public Museum"

led by Dr. Suzanne Seriff
Department of Anthropology

Curator, "Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America through Galveston Island"

Dr. Robert O'NeilSpring 2009 Public Forum
April 2009
"Science, Religion, and Academic Freedom"

led by Dr. Robert O'Neil
Visiting Professor of Law 2008-2009, UT-Austin
Director, Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
Director, Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative

Dr. Daniel Bolnick, UT-Austin
Dr. John Bugbee, UT-Austin
Dr. Ann Cvetkovich, UT-Austin
Dr. Denné Reed, UT-Austin

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