Can We Talk? The University's Role in Transforming Public Discourse

Eric  Bain-Selbo's picture
Call for Papers
July 14, 2021 to July 18, 2021
United States
Subject Fields: 
Intellectual History, Philosophy, Political History / Studies, Political Science, Public Policy

Can We Talk? The University’s Role in Transforming Public Discourse

July 14-18, 2021
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Guiding Questions & Introduction to the Event:

In a time when misinformation, disinformation, and “fake news” run rampant, how can institutions of higher education respond to the need for accurate information and civil discourse? What ethical obligations do universities and their faculties have to the common good related to accurate and honest information? Proposals for this Request for Participation could address issues including (but not limited to):

  • Social media and the university

  • Information and/or digital information literacy in the curriculum

  • Limits to the freedom of speech in the classroom

  • Public relations and higher education

  • Challenges for religious higher education

  • Post pandemic pedagogy and misinformation

  • Strategies for developing civil discourse on campus

  • Higher education and political engagement

The 2021 SVHE Fellows Meeting will be a unique conference. Rather than relying on an endless series of mono- directional lectures, the meeting will host several creative “studio spaces” where researchers can pursue their ownpath, embark on or continue work on a group project, or lead others on a journey. The meeting will feature public space in which all participants will have the opportunity to share the fruits of their labors. Some potential opportunities for group multi-year funding may exist.

Participation Tracks:

Interdisciplinary and/or practice-oriented proposals are especially encouraged. Participation may follow any of the following tracks:

  • Solo Pilgrim: Solo pilgrims are individual researchers who propose to present a paper, presentation, or poster

  • Expedition Team: Expedition Teams consist of teams of 2-6 members who propose to make use of available “studio space” for creative development of new or on-going projects

  • Sherpas: Sherpa may be either individuals or small teams who wish to lead workshop-style events of 3-9 hours that would be open to all conference participants

Proposal Submission:

Proposals of 200-500 words should indicate which participation track best matches the proposed project and should explain the proposed project and its goals. Those who have papers/projects accepted and are able to attend benefit from a reduced conference registration rate.

Solo Pilgrim projects are eligible to be considered for one of two Robert Spivey Excellence in Scholarship Awards of $300 each if projects are submitted in full by July 1, 2021.

Direct questions and inquiries to Eric Bain-Selbo, Executive Director, Society for Values in Higher Education (

Contact Info: 

Eric Bain-Selbo

Executive Director, Society for Values in Higher Education

Contact Email: