Humanities Institute

Difficult Dialogues / Planet Texas 2050 Teaching Workshop

Fall 2018 Difficult Dialogues / Planet Texas 2015 Teaching Workshop

Fri, August 31, 2018 | Schmidt Room, Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

3:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Libby Roderick, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Libby Roderick, University of Alaska, Anchorage

The Humanities Institute and Planet Texas 2050 are collaborating on a faculty-led workshop exploring how to teach effectively about difficult environmental issues such as climate change, extreme weather events, population growth, environmental racism, food insecurity, and gentrification. The workshop is open to faculty, AIs, and TAs with responsibility for discussion sections. It will introduce participants to specific skills for leading productive discussions on controversial issues.

Our guest speaker is Libby Roderick, Associate Director of the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence at the University of Alaska at Anchorage; associate editor of Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education; and an environmental and indigenous rights activist. Presenters from the University of Texas include:

  • Dr. Jay Banner (Geological Sciences) on how teaching climate change is supported by an emphasis on the scientific method, an analysis of the strategies of climate change skeptics/deniers, and the importance of K12 STEM education in addressing the problems associated with discourse on climate change
  • Dr. Erika Bsumek (History) on the Radical Hope syllabus, which aims to reframe contemporary discussions about the environment and influence sustainability transformations in ways that are both feasible and hopeful
  • Dr. Jason Cons (Anthropology) on case-based strategies for teaching about environmental politics
  • Dr. Robert Jensen (Journalism) on intellectual, emotional, and moral challenges faced when teaching an honest account of environmental crises 
  • Dr. Fikile Nxumalo (Curriculum and Instruction) on strategies for teaching about the Anthropocene as a “matter of concern” (Latour) rather than simply a scientific fact 
  • Dr. Megan Raby (History) on using historical perspectives on climate change and climate change denial, as well as helping students imagine environmental “histories of the future” 
  • Dr. Arlene Rosen (Anthropology) on using narratives of past societies as analogies for modern ethical challenges such as living sustainably in the Anthropocene environment, food insecurity through the ages, and the ethics involved in adapting to climate change 

The workshop will be moderated by Humanities Institute and Difficult Dialogues Director Dr. Pauline Strong and will take place on Friday August 31, 2018, 3:30 – 6:30 pm, in the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center. Refreshments and teaching materials will be provided to participants. A reception will begin at 3:00 pm; the workshop will start promptly at 3:30 pm.

Places in the workshop are limited, and may be reserved HERE.





Sponsored by: the Office of the Vice President for Research through Planet Texas 2050 and the Humanities Institute through the Barron Ulmer Kidd Centennial Lectureship

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