HxA’s bimonthly themes guide conversation on heterodox: the blog and in our events and programs. These themes aim to amplify ideas and approaches considered heterodox; to highlight dimensions of education where open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement struggle to thrive; and to otherwise invite unencumbered discussion about improving teaching, research, and university purpose. 

While blog contributors are welcome to submit pieces that are off-theme for a given month, pieces responding to our call for current themes or tying current and prior themes will be given priority consideration. All themed submissions must adhere to the blog standards laid out in our submission guidelines.

Call For Themed Blog Submissions

January and February, 2022: The University After 2021

Since the founding of Heterodox Academy, we have watched colleges and universities grow increasingly conflicted about their purpose—a trend further exacerbated by the pandemic and national racial justice movements. What role do educational institutions play in pursuing social justice? How are COVID and technology changing the role of the instructor? With increasing trends around student attrition and polarized campuses, how are we to understand the direction the university is taking?

We can use this difficult moment to rethink our assumptions about the purposes and practices of academic life. Throughout January and February 2022, we invite blog contributions exploring the telos and future of the university. What traditional academic assumptions and norms did COVID challenge, and should any be dumped? What should the classroom look like amidst increasing political polarization? How do we gather around a shared vision of educational purpose?

Those interested in contributing to the blog or joining the discussion might consider the following additional questions:

  • What should the university of the future look like? How different do we look ten years from now? 
  • What do debates over COVID, vaccines, and campus mask mandates reveal about attitudes and practices in higher ed research and teaching? 
  • How has COVID-19 changed the narrative around if and why we attend college? 
  • How does Jonathan Haidt’s essay about Social Justice U and Truth U inform the university after 2021? 
  • HxA President John Tomasi recently responded to Haidt with an essay describing Curiosity U. Are there other higher purposes for higher education that we can gather around? 
  • How do universities effectively prepare students to seek truth amidst rapid technological developments? 
  • Do universities need to be identity-affirming institutions? If so, what dimensions of identity and why (racial, religious, viewpoint, etc.)? 
  • In what ways have cultural events changed how instructors, scholars, and students understand their work and roles on campus? Has our self-perception changed? 
  • Is there still joy in our work? If not, how do we renew it as we navigate this dark moment?

Submit to the theme!

Past HxThemes