Sunday, March 26, 2017

The 2017 John Dewey Society Annual Meeting Program Schedule

John Dewey Society Annual Meeting
Thursday, April 27 - Friday April 28 2017
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | Room 5

Conference Theme:
Creative Democracy - The Task Before Us in the Era of Clinton v. Trump

Founded in 1935, when American education was under attack from the right, the Society aims to keep alive John Dewey's commitment to critical and reflective intelligence in approaching pressing problems in education and culture. It is fitting, then, at the beginning of the presidency of Donald Trump, that we come together to reflect on its implications for democratic life.    

What are the challenges to a vibrant and healthy democratic life? In an essay late in life, “Creative Democracy – The Task Before Us” John Dewey argued that democracy was more than a political institution; it was a way of life - as dependent upon communication and mutuality within families, friendships, schools, churches, workplaces, and other strands of civil society as on the government.

Today, in many countries including our own, democracy is under attack. Anti-democratic leaders at home and abroad stir the pot of mistrust and hate among social groups. The Secretary of Education promises to undo our commitment to the common school. It is appropriate, therefore, to return to Dewey and consider anew how democratic life and democratic education can be reclaimed.   

Thursday, April 27

Pre-Conference Workshop | 8am-12pm

Session 1: Theorizing Democratic Education (Roudy Hildreth, Chair) | 8am-9:45am

This workshop discussion explores how we might theorize democratic education in the current political and educational situation. Recent events have renewed our focus on the relationship between democracy and education. The positive connections between democracy and education are under strain. We have witnessed how social media preys on Americans’ low levels of political knowledge, creating narrow channels for the flow information, and increasingly, disinformation. We have witnessed increasingly polarized political discourse and the rise of anti-democratic sentiments, as well as attacks on public education. This workshop gathers outstanding scholars who will offer insights on the role of civic learning, broadly understood, in this current context. What should be the goals of civic learning? What qualities do we want young people, college students, and professionals to develop? What is the relationship between civic learning and broader social institutions? What are the best methods to meet these individual and social goals? And finally, underscoring these questions, what is the relationship between theory and practice in theorizing democratic education?

Walter Parker, University of Washington
Paula McAvoy, University of Wisconsin Madison
Kathleen Knight Abowitz, Miami University, Ohio
(Other panelists to be announced)


Session 2: Teaching About Democratic Education (Amy Shuffelton, Organizer) | 10am-11:45 am

The panel discusses approaches to teaching about “democracy and education” and works towards some common insights. While each panelist engages with John Dewey’s ideas, the workshop focuses upon democracy and education, not Dewey’s book by that title. This workshop engages with what it means pedagogically to treat creative democracy as the task before us in higher education. While developed against the background of Trump v. Clinton, and addressing current events, workshop concerns extend beyond the recent election cycle. 

Sue Ellen Henry, Bucknell University
Kathy Hytten, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Amy Shuffelton, Loyola University
Sarah Stitzlein, University of Cincinnati
Kurt Stemhagen, Virginia Commonwealth University, Chair and Discussant

Regular Annual JDS Meeting Sessions

JDS Symposium:
Creative Democracy: Democratic Education in the Era of Clinton v. Trump | 12noon - 145pm

The panelists, all leading educational thinkers, consider the lessons to be drawn from the recent election and Trump presidency and the tasks before us in reconstructing democratic education.

Peter Levine, Tufts University
Walter Parker, University of Washington
Winston Thompson, University of New Hampshire
Diana Hess, University of Wisconsin


School and Society Forum (Kyle Greenwalt, Chair) | 2pm-3:45pm

Communities in Schools San Antonio (CISSA) and the John Dewey Society are proud to host the seventh annual School & Society Forum. The forum is a public space embracing dialogue, interaction, and deliberation concerning school and society issues across multiple stakeholders—P-16 teachers, policymakers, administrators, scholars, parents, students, community educators, & interest groups—drawing upon John Dewey’s commitments to democratic schooling. Students, parents, and CISSA organizers will lead a panel discussion about issues facing the San Antonio community.

Kyle Greenwalt, John Vasquez, Lauren Geraghty, & Jessica Landgraf, Organizers


JDS Dewey Lecture: Harry Boyte | 4pm-5:45pm

Harry Boyte is one of today’s most prominent democratic theorists and activists.  He has worked with many foundations, and non-profit educational, and citizen organizations in the United States and abroad concerned with community development, citizenship education, and civic renewal. In the 1960s, he worked for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a field secretary with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the Civil Rights Movement.
Boyte is the author of nine books on citizenship, democracy, and community organizing, and his writings have appeared in more than 100 publications including the New York Times, Perspectives on Politics, Kettering Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

JDS Reception | 6pm - 7:30pm


Friday, April 28 2017
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | Room 5

Meetings and Working Sessions | 8am-12 noon

Emerging Scholar Working Session (Melissa Bradleyi) | 8am-9am
Education and Action Working Group (Kathleen Knight Abowitz and Harry Boyte) | 9am-10:30am
JDS Executive Board and Directors Meeting (Leonard Waks and Peter Nelsen) | 10:30am–11:45 am

Regular Conference Sessions

Dewey and Philosophy Panel I (A.G. Rud, Chair)| 12noon -1:45pm

Creative Integration and Pragmatist Optimism: Dispositions for the Task Before Us
Barbara S. Stengel, Vanderbilt University

Creative Democracy, Equality, and Religion: Bhimrao Ambedkar’s Pragmatic Reconstruction of Buddhism
Scott R. Stroud, University of Texas at Austin

Mindfulness and Creative Democracy
Kyle Greenwalt and Cuong Nguyen, Michigan State University

The (Im)Possibilities of Realizing Dewey’s Vision in the Age of Trump: Towards More Creative Democracy
Roudy Hildreth, University of Colorado Boulder


Dewey through the Generations Panel (Jessica Heybach, Chair) | 2pm -3:30pm
Challenges for Democracy: New Developments and Tendencies

The Secularism that Divides Us: Reframing Dewey’s Conception of Moral Education
Alexander T. K. Elnabli, Graduate Teaching Fellow, Fordham University

In the Surge of Authoritarianism: Democratic Faith
Chanhee Lee, Vincennes University

Respondent: Gregory Pappas, Texas A&M University


Dewey and Philosophy Panel II (A.G. Rud, Chair)| 3:45pm - 5:15pm
Dewey’s Pragmatism and Contemporary Challenges of Media and Democracy
Lance E. Mason, Indiana University Kokomo

Dear Democracy, The 2016 Presidential Election, Love Philosophy
Daniel A. Lilly, Florida State University

Creating the Conditions for a Creative, Democracy: John Dewey and D.W. Winnicott on Democratic Living
Jane Blanken-Webb, University of Eastern Finland

JDS Business Meeting | 5:20pm- 6:30pm

Monday, March 6, 2017

Summer Seminar on the Future of Philosophical Practice

Summer Seminar on the Future of Philosophical Practice:

University of North Carolina at Asheville
Friday July 14, 2017—Sunday July 16, 2017

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS is Sunday April 9, 2017

We invite abstract submissions (600 words) to read a 30-minute paper on the Main Program. The local hosts are Brian E. Butler and Grace Campbell. They are collecting the 600-word abstracts for committee consideration. Please submit your proposals to his address ( He can also answer questions about local accommodations. 

“Come on down a day or two early – Asheville is beautiful in early June!”


This summer seminar brings together a “continental congress” of philosophers, and other related stakeholders, to discuss the future of philosophical practice (within and beyond the academy).

We are interested in any paper proposal that engages with our theme, broadly construed. 

For example:

• Genealogies of the problems facing professional philosophy
• Philosophy beyond the traditional philosophy department
• The economics of practicing philosophy (e.g. philosophical coaching, and other models)
• The role of public philosophy in an uncertain age
• Intersectional, decolonized, and other alternatives to mainstream philosophy
• Reading, Teaching, Practice: Philosophical Curriculum in the Twenty First Century

In addition to our regular conference schedule, other activities are planned such as:

a Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) panel. SOPHIA will host a panel intended to introduce people to what we do. SOPHIA’s mission is to build communities of philosophical conversation, locally, nationally, and online. We will invite key local community members to come talk about “Ethics at the End of Life.” We will begin our discussion with a short reading: “It’s Over Debbie,” on the basis of which we will all be on the same page. For more information about SOPHIA and our panel, visit, or
email Executive Director Eric Thomas Weber at

a Graduate Philosophy Pilot Program Working Group: a working group, meeting throughout the weekend, to plan the foundations for a new pilot graduate philosophy program. The goal is to create a program that can address the structural, fiscal, and economic problems facing the current professional model of doing philosophy. The working group will create a steering committee to continue after the meeting. The Graduate
Philosophy Pilot Program Workshop will start with an evening introductory meeting on Thursday July 13, 2017. If you are interested in participating in the working group contact Eli Kramer at:;

and The American Institute of Philosophical and Cultural Thought (AIPCT) (www.americanphilosophy.netwill host an informational and discussion panel about the future of cultural thought, as a whole, led by Randall Auxier of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.