The Project on Civic Reflection is hosting a scholarly examination of the meaning and value of reflective discourse. In October, they will bring together 15 scholar-practitioners to examine the nature and significance of reflective discourse in a democracy, with special attention to emerging models that use the arts and humanities to provoke reflection.
As one of the invitees, I have been asked to prepare a 2500 word essay exploring one of the questions below.
Central questions to be addressed
- How is reflective discourse similar to or different from individual acts of reflection? In what sense can both activities still be called ‘reflection’? What do we mean by ‘reflection’?
- Can we usefully talk about reflective discourse as something distinct from dialogue or deliberation? What are the differences?
- What is the role of reflection in a democracy?
- Can the arts and humanities play a special role in enabling reflection in a democracy? Have they played this role in American democracy?
- Does the practice of text-based discussion enable reflective discourse in especially useful or valuable ways?
I am thrilled to be included in this project and look forward to contributing to this research. The symposium will produce an anthology of essays, a companion webpage, and of course, connections with other scholar-practitioners. I welcome your thoughts about the above questions. See the complete symposium overview here.