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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

  1. 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’?
  2. Can we usefully talk about reflective discourse as something distinct from dialogue or deliberation? What are the differences?
  3. What is the role of reflection in a democracy?
  4. Can the arts and humanities play a special role in enabling reflection in a democracy? Have they played this role in American democracy?
  5. 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.

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Introducing our first two guest bloggers for the Tavis Smiley All-American Presidential Forums Watch Party on September 27.

Christina Shideler

Christina Shideler currently lives in Austin, Texas after recently spending a year working and living in France, where she learned a deeper love of her own country, language, and international politics. She is a poet, artist, and singer dedicated to not taking herself too seriously and always responding with a good joke. She currently works as a personal assistant to freelance writer Rod Amis (www.g21.net)

Paul Schumann

Paul Schumann is a futurist and innovation consultant. He helps people and their organizations discover future change and exploit that change through innovation. He was a guest blogger for the Democrat Presidential Forum Watch party and will be on hand to blog about the Republican Forum.

For more information about the watch party, download our flier or go to our Texas Forums web site.

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