College of Liberal Arts

Teaching through Dialogue: Spring 2017 Difficult Dialogues Symposium

Monday May 8, 2017 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM | Etter-Harbin Alumni Center, Schmidt & Nowotny Rooms, 2110 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78712

Please join the Humanities Institute on May 8th beginning at 9AM for our Spring 2017 Difficult Dialogues Symposium! The afternoon will provide training for faculty interested in teaching one of our undergraduate courses through the Difficult Dialogues program and for graduate students interested in employing dialogue in undergraduate classroom instruction. The symposium is designed to share techniques and resources for facilitating classroom conversation on difficult topics. HI will host panel discussions with UT faculty on facilitating dialogue in the classroom, as well as two workshops to registered participants interested in hands-on training.

Difficult Dialogues seminars are distinctive in their focus on teaching students the skills they need to participate in constructive dialogue about controversial and potentially divisive issues. To learn more about teaching in our Difficult Dialogues program, please visit the program page.

The Symposium is free and open to faculty and graduate students at central Texas colleges and universities, but RSVPs are requested. Due to limited space, attendees must register to participate in a workshop.

Symposium Agenda

Continental Breakfast

Nowotny Room


“What is Dialogue?” Opening Remarks by Pauline Strong

Schmidt Room


15-minute coffee break

Schmidt Room 


Panel Discussion: "The Role of the Difficult Dialogues Classroom Instructor"

Schmidt Room

Pauline Strong, Moderator

Juli Fellows, “Setting Up the Difficult Dialogues Classroom Environment” 

Gloria Lopez-Gonzalez, “Considering Faculty Positionality in Facilitating Dialogue” 

Robert Crosnoe, “Facilitating Dialogue in a Lecture Course” 

Steve Friesen, "Difficult Dialogues Across Disciplines" 



Nowotny Room 


Panel Discussion: "Modes of Facilitating Dialogue" 

Schmidt Room

Pauline Strong, Moderator

Megan Alrutz, “Modeling Dialogue Through Performance” 

Barbara Jones, “Difficult Silences” 

Luis Caracamo-Huechante, "Indigenous Pedagogies" 

Patricia Wilson, "How to Deliberate When You Know Your View is Best" 

Rasha Diab, “The Duty to Dialogue and the Duty to Listen”  


15-minute coffee break

Schmidt Room 


Afternoon Workshops (Must Register) 


"Framing Questions to Manage Conflict," workshop led by Madeline Maxwell (Nowotny Room)

Difficult Dialogues Syllabus Writing and Course Proposal Workshop, led by Pauline Strong (Schmidt Room)


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