2020 Dewey Lecture: Building a Civic Temper

Working together toward the common good by prioritizing civic engagement in scholarship and practice

The Edward Ginsberg Center, in partnership with University of Michigan Museum of Art, warmly invite you and your colleagues to join us for our biennual event.

The Ginsberg Center’s Dewey Series recognizes the enduring legacy of philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey, who taught at U of M in the 1890’s and, later, went on to found the New School for Social Research. Chief among Dewey’s enduring ideas were that experience is the means through which we come to understand and connect with the world around us and that universal education is the key to democracy.

This year's theme is inspired by William James' 1906 Essay, 'The Moral Equivalent of War.' While some of James' assertions are cause for critique, his primary observation that we need to focus on building our shared public life remains more important than ever.  Acknowledging that the events unfolding--locally and nationally--are on our minds, and after careful reflection, we modified the agenda for this year’s Dewey Lecture. We focused our September 18, 2020 session on building community and engaging with one another through a facilitated Dialogue Deck discussion activity, co-designed with UMMA, to explore our prior ideas and experiences around civic engagement and consider how each of us can contribute to build the civic temper. Our planned panel will be offered at a later date.