Honors Program presents panel discussion on citizenship education Feb. 18
Honors Program presents panel discussion on citizenship education Feb. 18February 07, 2008Rob Enslinrmenslin@syr.edu
The Renee Crown University Honors Program is presenting its annual Honors Lecture titled “Who Knows Best How to Educate You for Citizenship?” on Monday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Shemin Auditorium of the Shaffer Art Building on the Syracuse University campus. This year’s event features a panel of three distinguished presenters: Samuel Gorovitz, professor of philosophy and founding director of the Renee Crown University Honors Program at SU; George Saunders G’88, professor of English at SU and a MacArthur and Guggenheim fellow; and Peter Levine, director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and a research scholar at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, both at the University of Maryland.
“As we follow the coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, and of other aspects of public affairs, we encounter the many diverse views of experts of all sorts. But do these experts merit our trust? Is expertise real, or an illusion?” asks Gorovitz. “We should consider what voices to heed, as we think about how to function as citizens in a democratic society.”
Instead of the usual single-lecturer format, this year’s event draws on the expertise of three panelists. Gorovitz, former dean of SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, is a leader in the development of the field of medical ethics. He has also published extensively on other topics in philosophy and public policy. In addition to SU, he has held various appointments at Yale University, Cornell University, SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Since 1988, he has served, by gubernatorial appointment, on the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, and has recently been appointed by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to the Empire State Stem Cell Board.
Saunders teaches in SU’s M.F.A. program in creative writing. Most recently, he contributed a 12,000-word cover story about President Clinton’s global fight against AIDS to the December issue of GQ magazine. Saunders has published three collections of short stories — “In Persuasion Nation” (Riverhead Books, 2006), “Pastoralia” (Riverhead Books, 2000) and “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” (Riverhead Books, 1996) — as well as an illustrated novella, “The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil” (Penguin Books, 2005), and a children’s book, “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip” (Random House, 2000). His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire and numerous other publications. He won the National Magazine Award in 1994 for his story “The 400-pound CEO” and again in 1996 for the story “Bounty.” Saunders was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s top 100 most creative people in entertainment (2001) and one of The New Yorker’s best writers 40 and under (2000). He was named a 2006 MacArthur Fellow, within months of being appointed a Guggenheim Fellow.
Levine joined the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy in 1993. He also is an associate of the Charles Kettering Foundation, founding chair of the executive committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, and a member of the steering committee of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium. Levine is the author of numerous books, including “The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens” (University Press of New England, 2007); “The New Progressive Era: Toward a Fair and Deliberative Democracy” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000); “Living Without Philosophy: On Narrative, Rhetoric, and Morality” (SUNY Press, 1998); “Something to Hide,” a novel about politics (St. Martin’s Press, 1996); and “Nietzsche and the Modern Crisis of the Humanities” (SUNY Press, 1995). He also co-organized the writing of The Civic Mission of Schools, a report released by Carnegie Corp. of New York and CIRCLE in 2003, and co-edited “The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century” (Jossey-Bass, 2005), with John Gastil.
Following the panel discussion, Saunders and Levine will sign books, available for sale, in the foyer of the Shaffer building. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call (315) 443-2759. The Renee Crown University Honors Program is an enhanced educational experience for exceptional students of all majors, administrated by The College of Arts and Sciences. More information is available at http://honors.syr.edu.