« investing in democracy: the case of CARE | Main | song of the citizen »

July 15, 2009

a reflection on the summmer institute of civic studies

We are now three days into the first annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship & Public Service (Tufts University). We meet daily for four hours of seminar discussion and then a two-hour talk from a visiting scholar. On a personal level, I am finding the experience deeply gratifying and reinforcing. We sit in the main meeting room of a college of citizenship, decorated with posters about "engagement," "learning," and "democracy." Our students/colleagues are 16 people from around the US and four from other countries who have come together to talk about civic renewal. They are not paying anything, not receiving credit, not formally enrolled, and not being graded. They are here for the love of the subject, and many of them choose to spend their lunch hours and other "free" times continuing to hash out the issues in the readings. The assigned texts have been written by authors who, to a substantial degree, know one another. The first two visiting speakers, Carmen Sirianni and Archon Fung, are also prominently featured on our syllabus (PDF). It's possible that what we have here is an incestuous in-group; but I don't think so. I think this is a diverse but coherent intellectual community, and I feel very privileged to be part of it.

July 15, 2009 12:35 PM | category: none


Site Meter