Listen: Envisioning Public/Engaged Scholarship

The year 2016 marked the centennial of John Dewey’s Democracy and Education, in which he deliberated upon the connections among education, the individual, and democratic society. In tribute, the Swarthmore community gathered together to explore the role of public/engaged scholars and how their work connects to the current state of democracy. 

“Envisioning Public/Engaged Scholarship at Swarthmore” brought faculty, students, and community members together to both highlight and investigate the concept of public/engaged scholarship. The event included a keynote address by Nelson Flores '03, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania, a panel discussion of Swarthmore faculty members, and small group discussions jointly led by faculty members and students. 

Some of the essential questions addressed include: What is public/engaged scholarship? Does it include civic engagement, community-based learning, community-based research and experiential learning? Why should we value public scholarship? How do we create reciprocal relationships with communities? What “counts” as scholarship in academia, and how does/should Swarthmore support public scholars/ship? What is the relationship between public scholarship and policy change? Where and how does civic, or political, action fit within the work of a public scholar? 

This event is part of a year-long Public Discourse & Democracy series that kicked off with a talk by political scientist Diana Mutz on speaking across difference and culminated with a talk by Bryan Stevenson on American injustice. The series is sponsored by Swarthmore's Lang Center for Civic and Social ResponsibilityCenter for Innovation and Leadership, and Aydelotte Foundation for the Advancement of the Liberal Arts.