Watch! American Democracy and Science

American Democracy and Science

From October 20: 

Lecturer: Thomas D. Cohen, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Maryland

The philosophical movement known as the Enlightenment stressed the role of reason and in many deeps ways guided the development of modern science. In developing the political system of the United States, its founders were also profoundly influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment. This talk explores the interactions between American democracy and science from their enlightenment beginnings to the present.

Hosted by the Department of Physics

Watch! Promises of Consent and Equality? Public Education

Promises of Consent and Equality? Public Education after the American Revolution

From October 19

Lecturer: Holly Brewer, Burke Chair of American History and Associate Professor
Department of History, University of Maryland

The American Revolution led to the birth of public education as we know it because, as many founders argued, unlike aristocracy where a few men born to power ruled, democracy required an educated citizenry who could govern themselves. While educating the public took place on the state level, not the national, and policies were thus characterized by dramatic differences, the promises of the Revolution opened a national debate over what those promises meant. The founders’ ideas about who could or should consent to their own government framed their policies for who should be educated and in what disciplines and to what degree: these promises of equality did not necessarily include everyone.

Co-hosted by the Department of History and the Center for Global Migration Studies

Watch! Schoolhouse Gate to the Jailhouse Door

From the Schoolhouse Gate to the Jailhouse Door: Constitutional Rights on Campus

From October 13 

Guest Speaker: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director, Student Press Law Center

The Supreme Court first explicitly recognized in 1943 that students have inalienable constitutional protections that public schools cannot take away, but since that time, student rights have been on an ideological roller-coaster depending on the tenor of the times. Why today’s judicial deference to school disciplinary decisions — and school authorities’ panicky overreaction to social media — puts students at risk.

Co-hosted by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and College Park Scholars

Watch! Public & Personal Morality in a Democracy

Lecturer: Susan Dwyer, Executive Director, Honors College and Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland

A hallmark of liberal democracies is that government ought not legislate morality. But while genuine liberty requires that each of us determine our own conception of the good in accordance with our values, democracy itself cannot flourish without all of us — state and private actors alike — taking part in an active and lively conversation about what is morally good and bad and why.

Co-hosted by the Honors College and the Department of Philosophy

McKeldin Library

Can you imagine coming to college and being told you must return to your dorm by 7:30pm? lights out by 10:30pm? Report intended destinations to a chaperone and even need permission to leave the campus? 100 years ago, for the first women accepted to our then young institution, that’s how it was.

Old guidebooks on appropriate behavior and attire for women at this time, are on display at McKeldin Library from now until mid January 2017. These books, interestingly enough, warned that women who giggled in gangs or spoke of going on dates within the library, might be exiled from it for doing so. They also encouraged women to smile at male students so they might do better on quizzes.

Today, UMD is a different world, constantly encouraging us to explore beyond the campus, apply for internships in DC and sending out text alerts when undesired attention crosses the line to sexual harassment. This only happened because as students and educators, we refused to be small minded and quiet. Today I can go to the library in the middle of the night, wear my pajamas to class and set my personal boundaries where I want them. We spoke up again and again to achieve this. Thats why the history of our campus, country and identities within it, are important to reflect on.

Democracy Then and Now: Vote!

Watch! Democratic Readings of Addison’s Cato

Hosted by the Department of Classics

The second event in our Democracy Then & Now lecture series. Judith P Hallett provided lavender handouts for our second DTN event, so that even people who had not yet read Cato, could follow along with important textual references. Now that’s what I call inclusive! Hallett explores the evolving reactions of classical scholars to the play’s representations of race and gender from the 1990s to the present day.

Watch! Historic Visions of Education

Our events have popped off! Starting last week, 9/7, with Ethan Hutt’s thought provoking lecture “Historic Visions of Education at the University of Maryland”. He answers the question, “What is a land grant?”, and then explains how it shaped inclusion in The University of Maryland System.

This lecture was hosted by the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership.

“Democracy Then and Now” on Humanities Connection WYPR

Maryland Humanities Podcasts:

“As the upcoming general election approaches, we reflect upon the critical importance of political participation. “Democracy Then and Now: Citizenship and Public Education,” a Maryland Humanities-supported initiative at the University of Maryland, asks students, faculty, staff, and all Marylanders to consider how public higher education has contributed to the inclusion and exclusion of certain people in full citizenship, including voting rights. Kimberly Coles, associate professor of English at University of Maryland, tells us about a recent court case that sheds light on the role of public education in civic participation.”

Listen to this Podcast (and more!) at