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Open Letters and Open Inquiry: A Panel Conversation

Virtual November 18, 2020 Public Event

On Wednesday, November 18 at 7pm Eastern, HxA members and affiliates were invited to our next virtual panel, Open Letters and Open Inquiry, featuring Agnes Callard, Adam Ellwanger, Mark Lilla, and Mariano Sana. This panel considered open letters as a means to effect change, the rationale and processes for writing and responding to open letters, and how to engage with critics while advancing open inquiry and viewpoint diversity.

More information on our panelists:

  • Faculty Photo Callard

    Agnes Callard is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, and the author of “Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming.” She writes a monthly column on public philosophy at The Point magazine.

  • Ellwanger.Adam

    Adam Ellwanger is a full professor of English at the University of Houston – Downtown, where he studies rhetorical theory, writing, and public discourse. He also serves at the director of the graduate program in rhetoric and composition. Earlier this year, he published his new book “Metanoia: Rhetoric, Authenticity, and the Transformation of the Self.” In addition to his academic research, he regularly writes political commentary for websites like Quillette, Human Events, The Federalist, American Greatness, and New Discourses. Ellwanger is the author of a recent letter on campus culture signed by over 170 professors and published at The American Mind, a website of the Claremont Institute.

  • LILLA COLOR 63mb

    Mark Lilla is Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. He has been awarded fellowships by the Russell Sage Foundation, the Institut d’études avancées (Paris), the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and the American Academy in Rome. Lilla is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and publications worldwide. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

  • Mariano Sana (1)

    Mariano Sana is associate professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. He earned his PhD in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania. His current research focuses on public opinion on immigration. He has published in the top peer-reviewed journals in demography and migration studies as well as sociology and interdisciplinary journals.

Members and affiliates will receive the registration link in an email. Following the panel, we will post a recording on our public YouTube page. Questions? Email

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Heterodox events are public conversations among academics and experts on a focused topic that offer an opportunity to showcase our values in action, and provide timely discussion of pressing topics. We are currently hosting regular virtual events in addition to periodic live events. Nearly all events, virtual or live, will be recorded and posted on our YouTube channel following the event.


If you have any questions about our events, inquiries about accessibility, or requests for accommodations, please contact us at

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