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We invite you to explore the HxA Conference 2022 schedule as you plan your trip. The lineup features a variety of programming including pre-conference workshops, invited plenary panels, concurrent sessions led by scholars, spaces for networking and chatting, a poster session, and a reception. Click on the title of each session to find out more. 

All times are in Mountain Time. Times and locations subject to change. Room locations for all sessions will be updated in early June and will be available in the printed conference program on-site.

Sunday, June 12

11:00 a.m. | Registration

  • Registration and Check-In Desk Opens

    Check in and pick up your conference pass, welcome bag, and conference program. Team HxA is excited to welcome you!

    Walk-in registration fee: $500. Beat the late surcharge: register before April 29.

1:00-2:30 p.m. | Pre-Conference Workshops

  • What Progress Really Looks Like: Weighing in for a Liberal Approach to Social Justice | Counterweight Support

    This workshop is now full and is no longer accepting registrations.

     

    Workshop Leaders: Elizabeth Spievak and Michael Burke, Counterweight Support

    This workshop draws on Counterweight’s organizational expertise to explore two primary approaches to social justice — liberal and critical. While these two approaches may appear similar to an unfamiliar observer, this workshop clarifies their fundamental philosophical and practical differences, along with their real-world consequences for public policy, academic institutions, and everyday life.

    During the workshop we will explore the liberal approach to social justice with its focus on individualism, pluralism, and universalism, grounded in the human capacity for reason and truth. We will examine the benefits of adopting a liberal approach to social justice over a critical one, whose potentially valuable aspects are often lost in its focus on collective identity, conceptions of power, and relative conceptions of truth.

    Participants do not need to arrive with an understanding of these terms. The workshop will define them and use an interactive approach to explore why a liberal conception of social justice is essential to meaningful progress and a just world.

    Participants will come away with:

    • An understanding of critical social justice (CSJ) and the nature of the debate around it

    • An understanding of why CSJ and liberalism are ideologically opposed rather than complementary

    An understanding of what liberal social justice is, its merits over a critical approach, and methods for adoption

    About Counterweight
    Counterweight is a UK-based non-partisan liberal humanist organization and educational platform providing support to individuals confronting illiberal ideology in the workplace and in education. It is committed to liberal values like freedom of speech, tolerance, and the marketplace of ideas.

  • The Joy of Heterodoxy | The Village Square

    Workshop Leader: Liz Joyner, The Village Square

    As toxic polarization continues its rise, the battle of “us vs. them” tends to flood the zone with sludge. The severity of this problem on campus makes it easy to lose touch with the joy and transcendence of practices that help us embrace our differences and work together toward the production of knowledge.

    In this workshop, Liz Joyner, founder of The Village Square — an organization that gathers citizens voluntarily in large numbers to disagree — will help participants explore how a joyful pursuit of open inquiry can do more than just save our sanity; joy might be our most powerful tool for restoring trust in our institutions and each other.

    One of HxA’s Applied Heterodoxy instructors and co-founder of the Respect + Rebellion project, Liz will share frame-shifting strategies culled from decades of practice, like “taking the carom shot” and “thinking center out,” that bring more joy to our heterodoxy.

    Participants will come away with:

    • Fresh ways of thinking about challenges educators face—and potential solutions

    • Concrete models that can make disagreement less of a slog and more of a hero’s journey

    • Less fear, more hope, and, with any luck, more joy

    About Village Square
    The Village Square is devoted to building civic trust between people who don’t look or think alike, and has a decade and a half of experience elevating the value of difference of opinion in a way that draws large numbers of people together in the common cause of constructive disagreement. The Village Square talks about the things your mother warned you to never discuss in polite company — politics, religion and race. They’ve hosted hundreds of conversations with tens of thousands of people, leveraging contact and systems theories (and food) to build strong communities across our differences.

    Limited seating, registration required

  • The HxA Way and K-12 Classrooms: Designing for Success | Heterodox Academy

    Workshop Leader: Samantha Hedges, Heterodox Academy

    How can high school leaders and educators create a school or classroom environment that encourages open inquiry? How can curricula and pedagogical approaches ensure that diverse viewpoints are fairly represented? What conditions need to be in place for the possibility of constructive disagreement?

    Learning environment design informs the extent to which teachers can easily embed the values of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement into their instructional practices. Even when the curriculum is set, teachers can inventively design the environment in such a way that these values are the norm.

    The HxA Way and accompanying instructional frameworks are available to help create such an environment. This workshop will introduce high school leaders and educators to these existing frameworks and offer an opportunity for participants to plan how to adopt or adapt all or pieces of the frameworks into their instructional design. In addition, the workshop will provide the space for participants to brainstorm and test out these ideas with fellow school leaders and educators.

    Participants will walk away with:

    • Knowledge about instructional frameworks that align with HxA’s values

    • Collections of ideas from peers regarding how to implement these values

    • Preliminary plans for how to adapt their own instructional design

    Limited seating, registration required

  • Get Out of Your Rut! — How to Build a Professional Support Group | Heterodox Academy

    Workshop Leader: Kyle Sebastian Vitale, Heterodox Academy

    Faculty life can be lonely. We craft research agendas in quiet reading rooms and at crowded conferences, face mountains of grading, and only rarely check in with each other. This life becomes even more lonesome when our research and beliefs fall outside the norms of our departments or disciplines.

    And yet, so much professional growth happens when we engage with one another — trading notes on teaching, borrowing writing strategies, commiserating in difficult seasons. Are we barred from this sense of community if our beliefs and inquiries are counter-cultural or we feel pressure to stay quiet? Might it actually be exciting heterodox praxis to suggest that communities of practice are essential to our work? If so, how do we build reliable, supportive communities into our professional lives? What practices can prevent us from sticking it out in our own little ruts?

    HxA has spent years uniquely dedicated to cultivating faculty support groups and communities of practice. Participants will walk away from this workshop with:

    • Strategies and approaches for cultivating professional support groups centered on teaching, writing, and campus life

    Collaborative reflection on questions like How often should we meet? Where? What should we do together and between meetings?

    • Examples of existing and ideal professional group arrangements

    • A plan for their own in-person or virtual community

    Limited seating, registration required

  • Cultivating Collaboration Among Diverse Stakeholders | Myco Consulting

    Workshop Leader: Deb Mashek, Myco Consulting

    Many people have mixed feelings about collaboration. On the one hand, they know collaboration is essential to achieve complex goals. On the other hand, they know collaboration is a slog. People pull in different directions. There’s desperately little communication and even less follow through. One person ends up doing all the work. The result? Friction mounts. Projects fizzle. Great people walk.

    Here’s why: Very few of us ever receive any formal training in how to collaborate well.

    In this interactive session, Deb Mashek will draw on her deep experience as a close relationships researcher, collaboration facilitator, and award-winning teacher to reveal what you need to know to build healthy and productive inter-organizational collaborative relationships.

    In this workshop participants will:

    • Examine the meaning of collaboration

    • Reflect on their personal and organizational interests in pursuing truly collaborative projects

    • Identify the extent to which they and their potential partners have in place the necessary capacities and supports for feasible and sustainable inter-organizational collaboration

    • Explore points of overlap and tension in the mindsets, concerns, enthusiasms, and drivers of potential stakeholders

    • Identify specific practices individuals and organizations can take to better position themselves to realize the promise and potential of inter-organizational collaborations

    You will walk away from this session with tools and perspectives to strengthen your current and future collaborative relationships.

    About Myco Consulting LLC
    Myco Consulting LLC provides advising and professional development to leaders looking to cultivate collaboration among diverse stakeholders in order to accomplish ambitious goals.

    Limited seating, registration required

  • Neither Obstacle nor Obsolete: Religion as an Untapped and Powerful Tool for Bridgebuilding | Interfaith Youth Core

    Workshop Leader: Noah J. Silverman, Interfaith Youth Core

    Imagine you are launching a bridgebuilding initiative. Maybe it’s a campus program, classroom assignment, or a national conference. You take care to create a space where people from diverse identities and divergent perspectives can engage each other productively. You intentionally invite people from a variety of races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, political perspectives, and educational backgrounds. But what about religious backgrounds?

    For specific historical and cultural reasons, religious identity has often been de-emphasized in efforts to engage diversity proactively, especially in academia. But not only is this a glaring oversight of a frequently salient and often under-attended form of identity, religious traditions and identities also bring unique assets to bridgebuilding work.

    Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) has worked with over 500 campuses, multiple Fortune 500 companies, and governmental institutions to inspire, equip, and connect leaders and institutions to unlock the potential of America’s religious diversity.

    In this workshop participants will come away with:

    A deeper understanding of the unique, salient, and contested role of religious identity in American higher education and U.S. culture

    • Insight into and examples of the distinctive assets that religious traditions bring to bridgebuilding efforts, and viewpoint diversity

    • Concrete strategies and approaches for more effectively engaging the religious identities and diversities of their context

    About Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC)
    Religious diversity is a foundational American strength. IFYC is building a nation that achieves that promise for the common good. We are a national non-profit working toward an America where people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions can bridge differences and find common values to build a shared life together.​Our mission is to inspire, equip, and connect leaders and institutions to unlock the potential of America’s religious diversity.

    Limited seating, registration required

3:00–4:30 p.m. | Pre-Conference Workshops

  • Pre-Conference Workshops

    Each of the above workshops (1:00–2:30 p.m.) will be held for a second time during this time slot. Please see above descriptions.

4:45–5:45 p.m. | Group Meetings and Dinner

  • HxA Group Meetings and Light Buffet Dinner

    Colorado Ballroom

    Looking to meet and chat with fellow conference go-ers? Come say hi!

    HxCommunities have designated tables in the Colorado Ballroom for any current or interested members to meet and chat.

    We’ll also have tables for new members (joined within the last six months) and local members to meet.

    • We’ll have an open networking space if you’re just looking to say hi and meet some people.

    Want something more? Participate in a Free Intelligent Conversation to experience some fantastic approaches for engaging in conversation about real topics with others.

    This time is yours to network, chat, and make new friends however you’d like. A light dinner buffet will be served.

6:30–8:00 p.m. | Welcome Keynote

  • Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Open Inquiry Awards Presentation | John Tomasi and Jonathan Haidt

    Aspen Ballroom

    Kick off HxA Conference 2022 with President John Tomasi and Board Chair / Co-founder Jonathan Haidt! They’ll touch on our conference theme, chat all things HxA, and present Open Inquiry Awards.

8:15–9:45 p.m. | Live Entertainment

  • Live Podcast Show: Blocked and Reported, with Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal

    Aspen Ballroom

    Come watch journalists Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal perform a live taping of Blocked and Reported, their podcast about internet nonsense — a subject that goes hand-in-hand with the conversation about free expression on campus. The duo will discuss some of their experiences covering campus free-speech controversies, why there’s reason for hope, and will interview a very special surprise guest.

Monday, June 13

7:00–8:00 a.m. | Breakfast

  • Buffet Breakfast

    Colorado Ballroom

    Start your day off with some coffee and a hearty buffet breakfast. Drop in anytime during this time slot.

8:30–9:45 a.m. | Morning Plenary

  • How to Be a Winsome Disrupter | Kyle Sebastian Vitale, Heterodox Academy

    Colorado Ballroom

    How do we face the maelstrom of cultural change hitting our research, teaching, and campus life? How can individuals possibly change a massive university environment? By being winsome disrupters. Join the Director of Programs at Heterodox Academy to explore how winsomely disrupting new assumptions, approaching our work differently, and telling better stories can win others to our cause and shift the winds of higher ed.

10:00–11:15 a.m. | Concurrent Sessions

  • Academic Freedom: Dangers and Distractions

    Brian Soucek, Professor of Law, UC-Davis
    Elizabeth Niehaus, Associate Professor at the Department of Educational Administration, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
    Jonathan Friedman, Director of Free Expression and Education Programs, PEN America
    Moderator: Michelle Deutchman, Executive Director of the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement

    The media often paints a picture of constant protest from intolerant students and cancel culture writ large as posing an existential threat to academic freedom. Indeed, there are forces undermining academic freedom, but they are myriad and not paid equal attention. Join Michelle Deutchman, executive director of the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement, as she moderates a nuanced conversation with three other experts about major threats to academic freedom that often garner less media attention and the critical dangers they pose to academia’s future.

    Part 1: Outsourcing Academic Decisions
    Brian Soucek, Professor of Law, UC-Davis

    Soucek will argue that university ranking systems present a far greater threat to academic freedom than nearly any of the dangers that dominate the media. Catering to criteria set by outsiders like U.S. News fundamentally affects who gets admitted and hired, what gets taught, and how money is spent at American universities, even those celebrated for their commitment to academic freedom.

    Part 2: Self-Censorship or Just Being Nice? Understanding College Students’ Decisions About Classroom Speech
    Elizabeth Niehaus, Associate Professor at the Department of Educational Administration, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

    Niehaus will argue that despite their popularity, student surveys often tell us very little about how students navigate decisions about classroom speech. Findings from more in-depth, mixed-methods research show that students’ decisions about speaking up in the classroom are generally based on reasonable and often positive considerations of context, audience, and whether they have something productive to add. These findings complicate how we understand the “free speech crisis” in higher education.

    Part 3: Why Educational Gag Orders are a Profound Threat to Heterodoxy
    Jonathan Friedman, Director of Free Expression and Education Programs, PEN America

    Legislatures nationwide are proposing laws that intrude into higher education with bans on teaching certain topics, including direct attacks on “CRT,” gender studies, and American history. Friedman will examine these threats to heterodoxy in the academy, and why many university leaders, faculty members, and public commentators have been relatively quiet about them, downplaying their chilling effect on academic research and teaching.  

  • A Socratic Approach to Fostering Curiosity, Humility, and Empathy in the Classroom

    Matthew Burgess, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Colorado – Boulder

    This presentation will walk through a Socratic polling exercise designed to promote curiosity, humility, and empathy, and to set the stage for future constructive disagreement in the classroom. The exercise has been used with students in Sustainable Economies at the University of Colorado Boulder, a course that was noted in Matthew Burgess’s 2020 Open Inquiry Award for Teaching. Through this talk, the audience will learn the intended pedagogical lessons of this approach and its common results in four years of teaching.

  • What Is Our Role in the Classroom?

    Andrew Hartz, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology, Long Island University
    John Recchiuti, Saffell Endowed Chair and Professor of History, University of Mount Union
    Jukka Savolainen, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, Wayne State University
    Moderator: Martha McCaughey, Professor of Sociology, Appalachian State University 

    The panelists, all participants in HxA’s Writers Group, will share approaches to and benefits of embracing open inquiry in their teaching. How do we get past the defense mechanisms, competing ideologies, and difficult faculty dynamics that challenge open inquiry, and what benefits arise from embracing it in our classrooms? 

    Part 1: Splitting: The Defense Mechanism that Wrecks Dialogue and How to Beat It
    Andrew Hartz, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Psychology, Long Island University

    Hartz will explain the intrapsychic processes behind “splitting,” or framing individuals, groups, or ideas in all-or-nothing terms in order to avoid the mix of feelings that most issues evoke. After considering the unconscious and emotional basis of splitting, Hartz will explore how to identify it and evidence-based techniques to overcome it in the classroom and other contexts. 

    Part 2: Competing Perspectives: Teaching in the Context of American Ideals and Institutions
    John Recchiuti, Saffell Endowed Chair and Professor of History, University of Mount Union

    Recchiuti will explore tested approaches to teaching competing ontological, political, social, and economic perspectives at play in the ideals and institutions of liberal democracy (i.e. freedom of speech and religion, commercial society). He will draw on extensive teaching experience in the Western canon.  Participants will also be invited to share their ideas.

    Part 3: The Kids are Alright: Practicing Heterodoxy on Campus
    Jukka Savolainen, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, Wayne State University

    Savolainen will explore the variation in openness to heterodox ideas between students and faculty / administrators on an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse campus. The presenter shares experiences documenting high tolerance for viewpoint diversity among undergraduate students despite significant resistance to heterodoxy among faculty colleagues and administrative peers. These observations suggest that, at least in this environment, the student body may be the most productive pathway to promoting viewpoint diversity on campus. 

  • Removing the Blinders: Truth-Seeking Across Academic Disciplines

    David Most, Associate Professor, School of Education, Colorado State University
    Jeffery Donaldson, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
    Oliver Traldi, graduate student in philosophy, University of Notre Dame
    Moderator: Spencer Baker, graduate researcher at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

     A deep issue lies just underneath the surface of the modern university: over the last two hundred years, the pursuit of truth has become separated into disciplines that develop their own unique dogmas as their traditions and literatures unfold. When disciplines become too self-important, failing to interact and weigh their ideas against each other, fiefdoms of orthodoxy spring up and further isolate each discipline from other methods of pursuing truth. In this session, the panelists will explore how different areas of study within the humanities and social sciences can take off their blinders and place the pursuit of truth ahead of disciplinary assumptions.

    Challenging Orthodoxy in Science: The Problem of Significance Testing
    David Most, Associate Professor, School of Education, Colorado State University

    The ubiquitous ritualistic practice of (mis)using “significance testing” to make meaning of data is quite pervasive across many disciplines. It is very common for those performing the ritual to draw substantive conclusions that are inconsistent with what a thoughtful analysis of evidence might suggest. This talk will shed light on the nature and consequences of this problem and explore reasons for resistance to challenging beliefs about this practice and changing behavior.

    The Rise of Political Epistemology
    Oliver Traldi, graduate student in philosophy, University of Notre Dame

    Epistemology is the subfield of philosophy concerned with how we should reason and what we should believe. Political epistemology is the part of epistemology that asks what we should believe about politics and how our existence in a politicized society affects how we should reason. This talk will explain some findings in and obstacles for political epistemology and how they relate to the principle of viewpoint diversity.

    Whole Worlds: Literature’s Idea of the Truth
    Jeffery Donaldson, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University

    In his recent book “The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of the Truth,” Jonathan Rauch advocates a “truth-based” or “reality-based” approach to knowledge that is strongly scientific in its conception. However, we need an alternative coherence-based model of truth that includes our understanding of imaginative and literary cosmologies, like that advocated by Thomas Kuhn more than sixty years ago in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” In a minor correction to Rauch’s argument, this presentation proposes an understanding of truth that encompasses both humanist thinkers and scientific theories and models.

  • Salvaging Anthropology: Strategies for a Vibrant and Heterodox Disciplinary Future

    Paul Brodwin, Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Andrew Gardner, Professor of Anthropology, University of Puget Sound
    Dan Eisenberg, Associate Professor, University of Washington-Seattle
    Moderator: Andrew Gardner

    With a concern for diversity at its epistemological core, the mainline discipline of anthropology has long been interested in heterodoxy and with difference in all its human manifestations. In the discipline’s contemporary rendition, however, anthropology is rife with stresses, fractures, and tensions. In some estimations, anthropology’s concerns have increasingly distilled around a narrow set of issues that reject its own disciplinary history. In this session, three anthropologists consider strategies, ideas, and practices for sustaining the topical and intellectual breadth of anthropology, thereby potentially reaching new heterodox horizons. The panelists will draw on experiences as teachers and researchers from both the scientific and humanistic traditions that anthropology straddles.

    Part 1: Partisanship and Methodological Debate in Contemporary Cultural Anthropology
    Paul Brodwin, Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    Brodwin will describe contemporary challenges to ethnography — a method founded on interpretive generosity and the suspension of judgment. He will explore how to sustain those principles while researching topics, such as policing and carceral practices in the U.S., that typically summon up politicized defensiveness and/or condemnation.

    Part 2: Framing Sociocultural Anthropology to New Generations of American Undergraduates
    Andrew Gardner, Professor of Anthropology, University of Puget Sound

    Gardner will develop and describe a set of six interrelated themes that speak to anthropology’s historic strengths and its ongoing utility in the century that lies before us. He will elaborate on anthropology’s foundational concern with the continuum of human diversity, delineate the multifaceted utility of the ethnographic tradition, describe the social scientific legacy around which anthropology was constructed, marvel at the latitude of anthropology’s interests and the holistic vantage point that results, and, finally, assert the ongoing vitality of the culture concept to all these endeavors.

    Part 3: Anchoring Ourselves to the Scientific Method to Combat Biases
    Dan Eisenberg, Associate Professor, University of Washington-Seattle

    Eisenberg will suggest practical means of combating our own and others biases in science. Specifically, he will discuss the importance of pre-registration of hypotheses and methods before data analysis, and other open science methods as ways to constrain our biases, improve our science, and better allow our data to speak truly, be they supporting heterodox or orthodox perspectives.

  • Libraries as Partners in Heterodoxy: History, Current Conflicts, and Best Practices

    Caroline Nappo, Adjunct Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Edward Remus, Assistant Professor and Social Sciences Librarian, Northeastern Illinois University

    Despite recent tendencies toward ideological capture among librarians, libraries remain natural sites for hosting curated debates and facilitated dialogues encompassing diverse viewpoints. This session will discuss the historical origins of intellectual freedom in libraries and the recent “neutrality debate” in librarianship (and its implications for free expression). It will also showcase an ongoing federal grant-funded project at the Northeastern Illinois University Libraries, “Perspectives on the Constitution,” that positions the library as a partner in heterodoxy on campus and offers a practical model that libraries can deploy in partnership with academic departments, grant-funding agencies, and members of the public.

  • Building Bridges, Deepening Understanding - A Community Crossover Approach

    Tom Ancona, Associate Director, Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, Bowdoin College

    Over the last four years, Bowdoin College has partnered with a local non-profit called Make Shift Coffee House on a series of programs which bring together Bowdoin students, staff, and faculty with community members for ‘What Matters’ conversations around partisan issues. This program has brought increased diversity of thought to campus and helped build students’ dialogue skills and understanding for those whose views differ from their own. The goal of this session is to share the goals and experiences of the What Matters Community Crossover as well as how we structured, planned, and funded these programs. There will also be time to model a small dialogue with session attendees so they can experience how these facilitated conversations work.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

  • Reclaiming Discourse: Freedom of Expression on Campus, in Classrooms, and in Communities

    Leila Brammer, Executive Director of the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse at the University of Chicago

    Discourse rests at the entangled nexus of academic inquiry, freedom of expression, democratic practices, and civic education. The testing and refining of ideas necessary for academic inquiry depends on the ability to seek out and engage multiple perspectives as well as difference and disagreement. This workshop provides a proven framework as well as models and practices to seek and productively engage communication about, with, and across differences and disagreements. The session will include: a grounding of freedom of expression as a discursive question, brief introduction to theory of discourse, a diagnosis of limitations of current modes of discourse, and principles and practices for vigorous, inclusive, and productive discourse, accompanied by participant exercises.

  • Creating Consensus and Making Decisions: Tools to Categorize Controversy

    Tim Mahoney, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Educational Foundations, Millersville University 

    For many academics, few areas reveal the gulf between theory and practice more clearly than the process of making decisions. The pandemic highlighted that gulf by turning every decision into a crisis. Using his experience as a department chair as a case study, Mahoney will engage participants in conversation about the decision-making process and propose employing classification systems like Thorndike’s epistemic criterion to help build consistency between belief and practice

  • How Unintentional Contempt from Academic Problem-Solvers Fuels Mistrust in Institutions

    Ashley Hodgson, Associate Professor of Economics and Department Chair, St. Olaf College

    Unintentional contempt can arise when scholars focus their problem-solving efforts primarily where they have agency in providing solutions for others. As a result, scholars may view certain populations as either victims or problems to solve, rather than as groups with values and traits to be admired and called upon for solutions. These attitudes may be an important factor in the decline of trust in institutions, as people may discount facts, information, or good intentions from those who exhibit contempt toward them. Hodgson will lay out a case for rational distrust of contempt and provide solutions for scholars to remedy the problem. Small group discussion will follow the presentation.

  • Constructive Disagreement: Practical Approaches for Strengthening Dialogue Skills

    Joseph Bubman, Founder and Executive Director of Urban Rural Action and  Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University

    In this interactive session participants will learn practical frameworks for facilitating constructive dialogue across differences and practice using these frameworks in small-group conversations to explore different perspectives. Bubman will share case studies and best practices from the Mid-Atlantic Hx Community for engaging students in dialogue across differences. Participants will walk away with clear, accessible dialogue frameworks and structured exercises to deploy on campus and in their classrooms to promote open inquiry, explore viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement. 

  • Baldwin's Paradox: Rethinking University Telos as Curiosity, Critical Thinking & Creativity

    Catherine Johnson, Assistant Lecturer, LeaRN Program at the University of Wyoming

    In his essay, “Notes of a Native Son,” James Baldwin shares a profound realization: he must both accept reality and humans as they are AND fight with all his strength for justice and equality. This, as this presentation argues, is what’s missing from the purposes that inform American higher education: a willingness to grapple with complex, contradictory truths, and to navigate the many paradoxes that life presents. Rather than force our efforts around a single reductive idea, we must respond to this problem by embracing a multi-tiered approach to university purpose that includes stoking curiosity, cultivating critical thinking, and embracing creativity in the classroom. Johnson will share the most current research on curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity across disciplines, and open a conversation about how these methods might offer a non-partisan approach to the crisis of purpose in academia.

  • Improving the Intellectual Environment in High School: A Roundtable Discussion

    Samantha Hedges, Program Manager, Heterodox Academy

    Heterodox Academy has spent the past year exploring the extent to which our principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement are embraced and implemented in American high schools. During this session, HxA’s Program Manager and thought leaders in the field of K-12 education will discuss the findings and recommendations from this year-long exploration and consider what actions  schools, districts, and organizations should take next. The audience will be invited into the conversation to help contemplate the questions: How best can the recommendations be implemented into high schools and classrooms? And what recommendations need to be added?

  • The Mind as ‘Sacred Space’: Re-envisaging Trust in Pursuit of Knowledge

    Holly Hamilton-Bleakley, Assistant Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, the University of San Diego

    Hamilton-Bleakley will sketch out a philosophy of teaching built on a deeper philosophical theory that asserts the dignity and sacredness of the individual human person. Drawing on concepts in Aristotelianism, Kantianism and Christian Existentialism, she will argue that the Kantian notion of the individual as an end-in-themselves enables the understanding that the individual is not a tool or an object to be used or manipulated or dominated for another’s ends. One result of this line of thinking is that the individual’s mind comes to be seen as a ‘sacred space.’ As such, it must ultimately be respected as a space of non-coercion, where others may engage, but not attempt to dominate, manipulate, or force a certain result upon the individual in the pursuit of knowledge.

12:45–1:45 p.m.

  • Lunch Buffet

    Colorado Ballroom

    Take a break and recharge as you enjoy lunch.

2:00–3:30 p.m. | Afternoon Plenary

  • Renewing Trust: Truth, Journalism, and Higher Education

    Rich Lowry, Editor-in-Chief, National Review
    Holden Thorp, Editor-in-Chief, Science
    Batya Ungar-Sargon, Deputy Opinion Editor, Newsweek
    Matthew Yglesias, Co-Founder, Vox.com
    Moderator: Scott Jaschik, Founder and Editor, Inside Higher Ed

    What role does journalism play in overcoming growing disinformation and fractured media? How do we address the cycle of alarmism in higher education reporting? Join Scott Jaschik, Rich Lowry, Holden Thorp, Batya Ungar-Sargon, and Matthew Yglesias for a discussion about trust and knowledge in challenging times.

3:45–5:00 p.m. | Concurrent Sessions

  • Building Trust in Divided Times

    Clay Routledge, Distinguished Professor of Business, North Dakota State University
    Emily Chamlee-Wright, President, Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University
    Robert Talisse, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt
    Moderator: Ben Klutsey, Director, Academic Outreach and the Program on Pluralism and Civil Exchange, Mercatus Center at George Mason University

    Many surveys show that in America over the past few decades, trust in institutions has been on the decline. Moreover, social trust, the trust we have for each other in society, has also continued to decrease sharply since the 1960s. The decline in trust seems to correlate with increased polarization and difficulties in addressing our society’s problems together. This panel will look at the state of trust (in each other and institutions) in America, the psychology of trust, its relevance for sustaining a liberal democracy, and some ideas for building trust in divided times.

    Part 1: The Psychology of Trust
    Clay Routledge, Distinguished Professor of Business, North Dakota State University

    This presentation will review the survey data on trust, including by age cohorts. It will provide perspectives on trust from psychology and discuss the effects of a low trust environment on the deliberative aspects of a democratic society.

    Part 2: Trust and Tribalism in the Good Society
    Emily Chamlee-Wright, President, Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University

    Liberal institutions tame, but do not eliminate our tribal tendencies. This presentation will discuss how, when things go well, we achieve the pluralistic ideal: the rich, intimate sphere of an “us”—family, friends, and our various communities—without resorting to power and without the anxious fear of a “them.” The session will discuss what is required, institutionally and culturally, to improve our odds of achieving and sustaining that ideal. 

    Part 3: The Role of Trust in Sustaining Democracy
    Robert Talisse, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

    This presentation will review the rise of belief polarization and its effects on trust in society. It will also explore whether trust is necessary for a self-governing society of political equals, and what political equals owe to each other. 

  • How to Write an Op-Ed

    Randell Kennedy, President and Founder, Academy Communications

    National media write about higher education, new research, teaching, and emerging campus issues on a daily basis, often quoting faculty sources in their news coverage. Insightful college and university faculty also frame their own insights by developing thoughtful guest columns, op-ed pieces and commentaries for print and online opinion pages, essay columns and blogs. 

    Why should academic experts consider promoting their own insights in the opinion pages? What is an op-ed piece and how is it different from an editorial? How should they be developed and to whom should they be pitched? What are some of the ways social media should be factored into the equation? This session will include the ten most effective op-ed tactics to employ and the five common mistakes to avoid when developing an opinion piece, as well as other tips and insights to become an effective thought shaper in the opinion pages.

  • Engaging Social Justice Narratives

    Matt Moreali, Seminar Instructor, Southern Oregon University
    Ronald Sundstrom, Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco
    William Mattox, Director, Marshall Center for Education Freedom, James Madison Institute
    Moderator: Andrew Jason Cohen, Professor of Philosophy and Founding Director of the PPE Program, Georgia State University

    Social justice is a topic of interest and debate in schools and on campuses across the U.S. Andrew Jason Cohen will moderate a conversation around three approaches to addressing social justice narratives in classrooms and on campuses that add more nuance to dialogue around our most pressing societal issues. The presenters will delve into how equity can be better understood, philosophical debates around freedom, and what historical events can teach about the art of persuasion.

    Part 1: Exchanges in Equity: Reengaging Core Equitable Principles and Avoiding Common Misapplications
    Matt Moreali, Seminar Instructor, Southern Oregon University

    Equity is a ubiquitous but mystifying concept in higher education, and the weight of its authority makes it prone to misuse. Moreali will describe equity’s fundamental principles and how common misapplications undermine its essential function.

    Part 2: Narratives of Freedom
    Ronald Sundstrom, Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco

    What narratives are told in the philosophy we teach about freedom? What philosophy is present in narratives of freedom not normally included in our discipline’s curriculum? Sundstrom will explore how to put American Slave Narratives, and classics of Black American political thought, into conversation with the classics of the social contract tradition and liberalism.

    Part 3: Counter Speech: Helping Students Learn Constructive Engagement Over “Cancel Culture”
    William Mattox, Director, Marshall Center for Education Freedom, James Madison Institute

    In December 1960, a group of Florida A&M students staged a sidewalk protest challenging segregated lunch counters. The protest signs they carried were ripped up by detractors, but rather than responding in kind, the students continued their non-violent approach to persuasion. Mattox will describe how stories such as this can be used to teach the merits of counter speech as a more effective form of persuasion than cancel culture.

  • Common Law Grounds: Facilitating Conversations across the Political Divide in Law Schools

    Deborah Hellman, Professor of Law and Professor of Civil Liberties and Human Rights, University of Virginia School of Law 

    Common Law Grounds [CLG] facilitates discussion and debate among students and faculty across the ideological spectrum with the goal of identifying and articulating areas of agreement about core values and practices, isolating points of substantive disagreement, and fostering a culture of open and civil dialogue about legal and political issues. We pursue these goals not under the naive impression that compromise is always possible or even desirable. Rather, we do so out of a conviction that for a constitutional democracy to survive and thrive, citizens—especially lawyer-citizens—must remain as attuned to what they have in common as they are to what divides them. 

    In this session, Deborah Hellman, together with current and former student leaders, will elaborate on the successes and challenges the group has faced, discuss strategies for spreading CLG to other law schools, and solicit input and questions from the audience.

  • From Wicked People to Wicked Problems: How to Use Deliberative Engagement to Transform Polarized Conversations

    Martin Carcasson, Professor of Communication Studies, Colorado State University; Founder and Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

    Using the case study of the Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation, this session will focus on how to better engage diverse audiences on difficult issues in order to elevate the quality of public discussion, particularly in reaction to the current level of political polarization and hyper-partisanship. This session will use the framework of “wicked problems” to reframe complex issues in a way that allows for more nuanced conversations. The presentation will discuss a range of tools to elevate discourse, namely deliberative engagement processes. Students from the Center for Public Deliberation will also be in attendance to share their experiences in the program, and be available to answer questions.

  • Building Trust and Curiosity in the Classroom

    Phillip Olt, Assistant Professor of Higher Education Student Affairs, Fort Hays State University
    Carrie Lobman, Associate professor and chair of the department of Learning and Teaching, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education
    Robert Carroll, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Moderator: Quentin Langley, Adjunct Faculty, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University

    How can teachers and university instructors help students trust one another’s intentions and exercise authentic interest about differing perspectives in the classroom? In this panel, three case studies will be presented that highlight three approaches to generate curiosity in classrooms and on campus.

    Duoethnography as a Qualitative Methodology to Create Deep Engagement Across Differences
    Phillip Olt

    Applying the qualitative research approach of duoethnography to the instructional setting, this presentation will discuss a methodology to create deep, sustained engagement by students across differences.

    Play, Performance and The “How” of Curiosity
    Carrie Lobman

    As an experienced improvisor, educator, and performer, Carrie Lobman will discuss the role of playfulness and performance in generating curiosity and supporting collective creativity on campus and in the classroom.

    Joie de Vivre in the Flipped Classroom: A Testimony
    Robert Carroll

    In teaching game theory to apprehensive students, Rob Carroll will share his technique to engage students in storytelling that employs  their creativity and abstract thinking to transcend polarizing topics.

  • Research-Based Strategies for Fostering Trust and Curiosity in the Classroom

    Jake Fay, Director of Education, OpenMind

    A great education shapes students as thinkers and learners, while offering them a supportive environment to grapple with complex topics and forge their own worldviews. Unfortunately, increasing ideological fissures in the United States have threatened the spirit of open inquiry in schools and on college campuses. This workshop will teach research-backed strategies to help educators foster a classroom climate of trust and curiosity, which are necessary ingredients for open inquiry. Specifically, educators will learn how to set classroom norms of openness and curiosity; design activities, discussions, and assignments to build students’ perspective-taking skills; and navigate tense moments to get conversations back on track.

5:15–6:15 p.m. | Group Meetings

  • HxA Group Meetings

    Colorado Ballroom

    Looking to meet and chat with fellow conference go-ers? Come say hi!

    HxCommunities have designated tables in the Colorado Ballroom for any current or interested members to meet and chat.

    We’ll also have tables for new members (joined within the last six months) and local members to meet.

    • We’ll have an open networking space if you’re just looking to say hi and meet some people.

    Want something more? Participate in a Free Intelligent Conversation to experience some fantastic approaches for engaging in conversation about real topics with others.

    This time is yours to network, chat, and make new friends however you’d like. 

     

6:30 p.m. | Evening Reception

  • Conference Reception and Poster Session

    Pinnacle Club, 38th Floor

    Conference Reception
    Join us for a reception to mix and mingle with fellow conference attendees and celebrate our first in-person gathering in three years. The reception will take place next door to the Grand Hyatt; exit the main lobby, cross the breezeway into the next building, and take the elevators on the left up to the 38th floor. 

    Poster Session
    Parallel to our main programming, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to showcase the wide range of research our members and colleagues are conducting to broadly study the campus expression climate. We have curated posters on specific campus expression research projects and campus interventions, which will be exhibited during the evening reception. Posters will include context for their methods; goals; iterative processes; obstacles; and how the data can positively impact campus expression climate. 

Tuesday, June 14

8:00–9:00 a.m. | Concurrent Sessions

  • What Leaders Need to Know: Principles and Practices for Increasing Open and Collegial Dialogue in Higher Education

    Sharon Floyd, Associate Professor of Human Resources, University of Massachusetts Global
    Allison Ellsworth, Instructor and Composition Coordinator, Arizona State University

    Educational environments generally promote a hierarchical culture, where the value of individuals is based on their rank or job title. This session explores how educational leaders can address this cultural norm and increase faculty belonging, collegiality, healthy dialogue, and individual self-efficacy regardless of professional level. Attendees will learn how administrators can implement the Empowering Leadership framework and, relatedly, how organizational branding and values alignment can attract and retain faculty, administrators, and staff who champion safe and collaborative environments.

    Part 1: Building a Culture That Values and Promotes Open Inquiry and Constructive Dialogue
    Sharon Floyd, Associate Professor of Human Resources, University of Massachusetts Global

    Healthy educational communities enable members to freely express their individuality within a safe and collaborative environment, and thrive when organizations purposefully align these principles with their core mission and vision. This presentation explores ideas and best practices to increase alignment between university branding, culture, and values, leading to the attraction and retention of employees who champion open and constructive dialogue.

    Part 2: Empowering Leadership: A Framework that Promotes Faculty Dialogue, Agency, and Self-Efficacy
    Allison Ellsworth, Instructor and Composition Coordinator, Arizona State University

    Ellsworth will explore the Empowering Leadership framework, which forwards principles like sharing information and power, deep listening, openness to varying perspectives, and creating environments where disagreement and collegiality coexist. Education leaders practicing these principles can create healthy organizations that encourage faculty to co-create spaces of agency, expertise, and self-efficacy regardless of perspective. 

  • Helping or Harming?: Data From the First-Ever Trigger Warning Meta-Analysis

    Benjamin Bellet, Ph.D. candidate, Clinical Science, Harvard University

    Current research around trigger warnings (statements warning individuals about content in order to allow them to prepare for or avoid it) is mixed. Some studies find they slightly reduce negative emotions, pointing to their potential as disability accommodations for vulnerable individuals. Others suggest they are clinically inert, shaping neither avoidance behavior nor anxiety responses to content. Still others suggest they may, ironically, increase anxiety responses. Regardless, the lack of meta-analysis considering effect sizes in the aggregate allows for “cherry-picking” of specific studies in order to suit one’s position or actions. Responding to this gap, Bellet will present the results of a meta-analysis of all trigger warning studies to date, focusing in particular on how they affect avoidance behavior and anxiety response. The presentation will share findings and explore implications for educational policy, pedagogical practices, and the care of vulnerable students.

  • When the “HxA Way” Collides with Brandolini’s Law

    Erich Vieth, Attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law at Saint Louis University School of Law 

    Brandolini’s Law, also known as the “bullshit asymmetry principle,” states that “the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than is needed to produce it.” When applied to daily interactions, this means that the longer some conversations go on, the less meaningful they become. While we may do our best to diligently practice the “HxA Way,” others may still fling ad hominem attacks or use weak arguments, false dichotomies, and uncharitable interpretations that drag things down. In this session, Erich Vieth will explore these common frustrations and offer strategies — drawn from his experience as a trial lawyer — to help keep contentious conversations on track. 

  • Canceling “Canceling”: The View From the Medieval Inquisition

    Christine Caldwell Ames, Professor of Medieval European History, the University of South Carolina

    Inquisitions against heresy in medieval Europe teach particular lessons for opposing “cancel culture.” While inquisition sought the reintegration of contrite heretics into church and society, this goal was often obstructed by local communities who, from fear or hostility, instead excluded and ostracized them. Inquisitors adopted specific strategies to overcome this social exclusion, and this session asks how we might adapt, and successfully deploy, these strategies in the secular environment of the modern West. 

  • A Call to Grace, Humility, and Compassion: Understanding Suffering in Schools

    Joseph Polizzi, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Sacred Heart University

    This presentation shares the findings of the study “Understanding Suffering in Schools: Shining a Light on the Dark Places of Education.” Because suffering is a constant companion to human striving, the findings suggest that listening to and valuing the voices of suffering students is necessary for understanding the detrimental impact school can have. In this way, educators are better positioned to see how suffering in school lives in juxtaposition to the pursuit of success, happiness, and joy. Participants will gain an understanding of the habits of heart and mind, such as humility, compassion, and grace, fundamental to alleviating suffering, and a solemn yet spirited vision for the future of schools.

  • The Art and Science of Forgiveness

    Frederic Luskin, Director, Stanford Forgiveness Projects

    In this session, Luskin will distinguish the principle of forgiveness from condoning, justice, reconciliation, and acceptance, while suggesting forgiveness as a practice essential for resilience and happiness. The presentation will review the research, practices, and interventions developed by the Stanford Forgiveness Project (SFP) as well as other relevant research on the effect of forgiveness on physical, relationship and emotional well-being. Using SFP case studies from Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, World Trade Center and Columbia the presenter will outline simple, transferable skills that allow for the creation of a future with less conflict.

9:15–10:15 a.m. | Concurrent Sessions

  • Reacting to Student Complaints: Faculty Self-Censorship, Rigor Reduction, Caution, and Demoralization

    Martha McCaughey, Professor of Sociology, Appalachian State University

    This presentation shares the results of a campus-wide survey of all faculty on a large, public university campus, and a set of follow-up interviews, which examined how faculty members responded to student complaints outside of their student evaluations. Findings reveal that nearly half of faculty respondents report that student complaints create a chilling effect on instructional practices — instructors become more cautious, reduce rigor, self-censor, and become demoralized — and these reactions are exacerbated by concerns about the administrative response to student complaints. In addition to presenting these findings, the presentation will explore implications for how university personnel can foster a learning environment that embraces open inquiry and academic freedom.

  • Operationalizing "Civil Discourse" on College Campuses

    Lindsay Hoffman, Associate Professor of Communication and Associate Director of the Center for Political Communication, University of Delaware

    We often talk about “civil discourse” on college campuses without ever fully agreeing on what exactly that means. Hoffman will present preliminary results from a campus climate survey at the University of Delaware, along with some updates on current data collection with Free Intelligent Conversation. She will also examine a variety of conceptualizations and related concepts in an effort to move toward consistent identification and measurement of outcomes. There will be a discussion among participants about how to conduct annual campus surveys, increase response rate, analyze data, as well as some pitfalls to collecting student data. The discussion will also be open to participants regarding best practices for reporting results to university administrations.

  • Beyond Surveying: How to Use the CES to Foster Positive Change on Campus

    Mark Urista, Communication Faculty, Linn-Benton Community College
    Rob Camp, Student Leadership Coordinator, Linn-Benton Community College

    For several years now, Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) has successfully administered HxA’s Campus Expression Surveys to its entire student body and all employees. This presentation will provide a brief recap of the steps taken to administer both surveys and what LBCC did with the results. Participants will gain insights that can help them administer the CES at their institutions and use the results to foster a campus climate that encourages open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement.

  • Exploring the New HxA Best Practices Guide

    Kyle Sebastian Vitale, Director of Programs, Heterodox Academy
    Samantha Hedges, Program Manager, Heterodox Academy

    HxA is excited to roll out its newest resource, The HxA Best Practices Guide: Renewing Higher Education Through Open Inquiry, Viewpoint Diversity, and Constructive Disagreement. The version released at HxA Conference 2022 is a draft – an initial collection of ideas culled from experts in the field intended to start a conversation. In this session, participants are invited to continue the conversation: to learn about the Guide’s inception, discuss its contents and structure with others, and be among the first to offer feedback as we look to grow it into its ultimate form. More information about this session and the Guide will be available at the conference! 

  • CHECK Yourself: How to be More Curious and Less Judgmental

    Erin McLaughlin, educator and the founder of Positive-Ed Consulting

    This presentation introduces an inquisitive, introspective method of preparing for constructive conversation, called “CHECK Yourself.” The method was built on the science of positive psychology and a teaching model of viewpoint diversity based on self-awareness, intellectual humility, and actively open-minded thinking. This practical and easy-to-remember approach works in classrooms, faculty rooms, and boardrooms alike. Participants will walk away with a unique method that begins not with active listening, but active questioning. And those questions are the ones we ask ourselves. In this way, we aim to create a truly inclusive culture based on curiosity instead of judgment. The onus is on us.

  • Implementing the Campus Expression Survey: A Workshop

    Shelly Zhou, Heterodox Academy Researcher
    Steven Zhou, Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology at George Mason University and Heterodox Academy Data Analyst

    Heterodox Academy created the Campus Expression Survey (CES) to measure campus expression climate among college students. It specifically asks about their degree of reluctance to discuss several controversial topics, reasons they might feel such reluctance, and related observations about campus climate. HxA created and administered the survey to U.S. undergraduate students each of the past three years. The published results and the administration manual, which allows others to administer it themselves, are available on the Heterodox Academy website

    In this hands-on workshop, HxA researchers Zhou and Zhou will discuss the CES, how to use it, and how to adapt it for use in the contexts and for the purposes that interest participants. Participants will leave with a thorough understanding of the CES and how it can be adopted to further research on the campus expression climate on their campuses.

10:30–11:45 a.m. | Plenary Brunch

  • Courageous Leadership in Times of Distrust: A Presidential Panel

    Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO, Benedict College
    Lynn Pasquerella, President, American Association of Colleges and Universities
    Michael Roth, President, Wesleyan University
    Moderator: Shirley Mullen, President Emerita, Houghton College

    As HxA’s 2021 Campus Expression Survey revealed, students continue to feel reluctant about sharing their beliefs on campus and in the classroom. With cancel culture chilling faculty voices as well, how should campuses evolve to meet these challenges and those of the coming years? Join Shirley Mullen, Michael Roth, Roslyn Artis, and Lynn Pasquerella as they bring their leadership experiences to bear on this critical question. 

    Brunch will be served during this session.

12:00–1:15 p.m. | Afternoon Plenary

  • How to Have Conversations That Work: A Dialogue between John McWhorter and Glenn Loury, moderated by Erec Smith

    Glenn C. Loury, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics, Brown University
    John McWhorter, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Columbia University
    Moderator: Erec Smith, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, York College of Pennsylvania

    John McWhorter and Glenn Loury are excellent at productive conversation, as fans of “The Glenn Show” podcast know well. They know how to listen, to ask, to argue with evidence, and to stay engaged. Come hear Erec Smith chat with them about what makes a conversation productive and how we can better approach others in discussion.

1:15–1:30 p.m. | Closing Remarks

  • Closing Remarks from John Tomasi, President of Heterodox Academy

    Aspen Ballroom

    Join President John Tomasi as we wrap up HxA Conference 2022 and reflect on our time together.

1:30–2:30 p.m. | Resource Table

  • Resource Table and Meet Team HxA

    Colorado Foyer

    Grab some Heterodox Academy tools and resources before you leave! Team HxA will be on hand and would love to chat.

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