The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

CTI Related Events

"Sustaining Democracy" Reading Group

“Sustaining Democracy” is a new book club that provides UT students a space in which to read and discuss key thinkers and texts, both canonical and contemporary, that lay the foundations for democratic and ethical governance. Readings will highlight the specific ways that ethical and democratic governance is undermined by authoritarianism, tribalism, and political corruption. Interested students should email for any questions or to join.

For the Spring 2021 semester, we will complete How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, from the previous semester. Readings after that are TBD and will be updated here.

Participants are responsible for acquiring their own copies of the book. Meetings will usually be held on Thursdays at 5 pm; all meetings will be held via Zoom. 
The “Sustaining Democracy” book club is open to all UT students.  To join, register at:
For questions, please email Dr. Hina Azam at 

Thu 1/21: Kick-Off Meeting: No readings -- just a chance to meet and greet, as well as share thoughts about the presidential inauguration, the insurrection, and effort to overturn the election.

Thu 2/4: 
- Ch.8, Trump Against the Guardrails

Thu 2/18:
- Ch.9, Saving Democracy

Thu 3/4: Readings TBD

Tue 3/25: Readings TBD

Thu 4/8: Readings TBD

Thu 4/22: Readings TBD

Thu 5/6: Readings TBD
Please self-enroll in the “Sustaining Democracy” Canvas group for up-to-date information on readings, meetings, etc: