This conference is
part of the Center's mission of helping to create a more engaged civil society,
working towards social change, fostering coalitions between theorists and
activists, and combating anti-intellectualism in contemporary culture. It will
be both a celebration of ideas and a rigorous examination of the roles and
responsibilities that intellectuals play in society.
We will engage the public in the following
- Lively panel discussions that encourage public discussions and
- Breakout sessions that include activist tours of the Chicago
area and innovative collaborative projects in diverse Chicago neighborhoods
- A working breakfast session that will be a chance to learn
about exciting scholar-activist projects in Chicago and network with one
another for future collaborations
- A "mini-conference" on the ways that intellectuals intervene
in the critically important topic of genetic ethics.
The participants will draw
from many different kinds of intellectual work, including journalism, activism,
academics, public policy, business, and the arts.
Center for Public Intellectuals is a non-profit 501 (c) (3)
educational organization that fosters intellectual curiosity in the Chicago
area. We build bridges between the city's intellectuals and the general public
and facilitate collaborative partnerships between people that might otherwise
not meet in order to work towards social change. One particular focus is on
strengthening the ties between the city's higher education institutions and its
Please click here to
further information, please call 312.413.2518.
Dr. Patricia Williams
Friday, April 19th, 6:00
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St.
Free and open to the public!
Co-sponsored by the Chicago Public
Interdisciplinary legal scholar, public intellectual, and MacArthur
"genius" award-winner, Williams is the author of Seeing a Color-Blind
Future: The Paradox of Race.
2:00-3:30 p.m., Chicago Illini Union, 828
I. Why Do Ideas
Matter? (a keynote panel)
We introduce the meta theme of
the conference by hearing success stories from diverse voices
discussing their experiences intervening intellectually.
Timuel Black, Chicago activist;
Prof. Emeritus, City Colleges of Chicago
Lonnie Bunch, President,
Chicago Historical Society
Bernardine Dohrn, Northwestern University
Law School, Children and Family Justice Center
Gerald Graff, UIC,
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Richard Rorty, Stanford
6:00 p.m. Patricia Williams
(Columbia University Law School) Harold Washington Library Center
7:30 p.m. Dinner for Patricia Williams and Conference Presenters
April 20th 9:00-11:00
I. Working Breakfast
This session brings together people
taking on important social problems in theory and in practice. They will gather
according to interest, such as "housing," "poverty," "human rights," and
"education," to teach each other to create new collaborative networks. All are
invited to participate.
Guest participants will include:
Arvis Averette (housing issues)
Jim Duignan (DePaul,
Stevan Weine (UIC Psychiatry, refugees and
survivors of terrorism)
III. Lunch and
Alternative breakout tours led by Chicago activists.
Tours of Bronzeville and other communities, and visits to organizations that
are working on partnering theorists with activists.
IV. Intellectuals in Times of Crisis
applications of intellectual work in urgent situations.
William Ayers, UIC, College of
Education; author of Fugitive Days
Northwestern University, Center for International Human Rights
Cohen, University of Chicago, Political Science
Chicago Tribune; In These Times
Barack Obama, Illinois State
Barbara Ransby, UIC, African-American Studies (moderator)
Mini-Conference on Genetics and Ethics: a special topic panel
that acts like a test case of public intellectual work.
Lori Andrews, Chicago-Kent College of
Rex Chisholm, Northwestern University, Center for Genetic
Eduardo Kac, School of the Art Institute of
Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago, Law and
Dorothy Roberts, Northwestern University, Law
Eiser, University of Illinois at Chicago, General Internal Medicine
6:00-6:45 p.m. End of conference