October 19-21, 2017
Wake Forest University
Rethinking Community is a three-day conference hosted by the Eudaimonia Institute and the Pro Humanitate Institute of Wake Forest University. It is our response to a call by Provost Rogan Kersh, to convene our counterparts across higher education to grapple with the effects of living in a society more virtual, diverse, polarized, and global than ever.
We are well aware that our effort to rethink community exists within specific local and national contexts including: protesting students, boycotted and harassed speakers, debates about safe spaces versus free speech, the end of tenure, hikes in tuition, open carry laws, and white supremacist lawlessness. These experiences are reminders that colleges and universities are not ivory towers able to avoid controversy; rather, our institutions are deeply embedded in communities and are often highly impactful actors in the local, economic, political, and social life, as well as crucial intellectual contributors to our communities.
During this conference, we will bring together scholars, journalists, elected officials, and public intellectuals from across the ideological spectrum for three days of courageous, robust engagement with the animating questions of our academic and political world. This conference is an opportunity to acknowledge, welcome, discuss, and debate our differing, often competing, viewpoints with vigor, intensity, and respect. We fear this kind of engagement is disappearing in the Academy.
Join us as we engage around two key themes:
How individuals and groups declare, state, show, defend, articulate, and illustrate various ideas of what community is.
How individuals and groups question, challenge, wonder, ruminate, ponder, and speculate about what community is.