Humanities Institute

Announcing the 2019 Difficult Dialogues Course Design Workshop and Professional Development Funds

Mon, August 5, 2019
Announcing the 2019 Difficult Dialogues Course Design Workshop and Professional Development Funds
Spring 2016 DD Workshop

The Humanities Institute is offering a Difficult Dialogues Course Design Workshop on Thursday, August 8 in the Glickman Conference Center (RLP 1.302E). The August 2019 Course Design Workshop will present an introduction to the Difficult Dialogues teaching methodology, guidelines on designing a Difficult Dialogues signature course, a resource table, and a chance to ask questions about completing the Signature Course Proposal with Signature Course Essentials. Please note that this year’s deadline to propose a UGS Signature Course is Friday, August 16, 2019.

Lunch will be provided at 12 PM, and the formal portion of the workshop will be from 12:30 - 2 PM. The workshop will be followed by an optional syllabus workshopping session. The agenda for the workshop is as follows:


12:00-12:30 PM: Doors Open (Lunch, iced tea and lemonade available)

12:30-1:40 PM: Pauline Strong: Introduction: what is the Difficult Dialogues teaching methodology and how can it be worked into a syllabus?

1:40-2:00 PM: Lori Holleran Steiker: What makes a good Signature Course Proposal?

2:00-3:00 PM: Syllabus Workshopping Session (Optional)

Up to thirty UT faculty participants will receive $200 in the form of professional development funds. In order to receive funds, faculty members must be committed to teaching a Difficult Dialogues Signature Course or using Difficult Dialogues techniques in the classroom (priority will be given to those who are designing a Signature Course). Staff and faculty at other institutions are welcome to attend as well. Please RSVP HERE in order to join us. (Please note that the workshop is currently at capacity. You can email Kathryn North at to be added to the waitlist.)

The nearest UT parking is available in the San Jacinto Garage; limited paid street parking is available on San Jacinto Blvd.

About the Facilitators:
Pauline Strong, PhD, is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Humanities Institute. Strong has taught anthropology, women's and gender studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies at The University of Texas at Austin since 1993. After receiving a bachelor's degree in philosophy at The Colorado College, she completed master's and doctoral degrees in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research centers on historical and contemporary representations of Native Americans and American national identity in such contexts as literature, films, museums, sports arenas, and youth organizations. Strong is the Director of the Difficult Dialogues Program at UT and teaches a Difficult Dialogues Signature Course on Cultural Identities and Differences. She is the recipient of several teaching awards, most recently the Provost's Teaching Fellowship. 

Lori Holleran Steiker, PhD, is the Steve Hicks Professor of Addiction, Recovery and Substance Use Services at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Director of Instruction, Engagement and Wellness at the School of Undergraduate Studies. Holleran Steiker has been at The University of Texas at Austin since 2000, and is the pending Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Honors English from Duke University, her MSW from University of Pennsylvania, and PhD in Social Work from Arizona State University. Holleran Steiker teaches her Signature Course, “Young People and Drugs,” to 150 first-year students every semester; her course is in high demand and has yielded ongoing student projects and groups including the UT Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPA).

About the Difficult Dialogues Program:
Founded in 2006 at the University of Texas, Difficult Dialogues began as part of a Ford Foundation initiative and focuses on teaching students the skills they need to participate in constructive dialogue about controversial and potentially divisive issues. To date UT faculty have developed more than 50 Difficult Dialogue courses, most of which are part of the First-Year Signature Course program. Additionally, each semester, the Humanities Institute hosts a Difficult Dialogues Public Forum that Difficult Dialogues students and faculty are encouraged to attend.

By teaching a Difficult Dialogues course, you become part of a learning community that supports dialogue-based pedagogy and will have access to Difficult Dialogues materials.

Sponsored by The Provost's Teaching Fellowship and the Humanities Institute's Director's Circle.

Bookmark and Share