Print Email Facebook Twitter Release Share Font Size: A A A A
Conference March 10-12
$212,735 grant funds 'civility in democracy'
Friday, Aug. 20, 2010
By Gail Siegel, College of Liberal Arts
The history and future of civility in American democracy will be the topic of a national conference co-hosted by WSU and funded through a federal initiative.
WSU's Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service received a grant of $212,735 from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ “Bridging Cultures” initiative to host the conference March 10-12 at WSU Spokane. WSU received one of eight grants awarded out of more than 90 proposals submitted.
Internationally recognized humanities scholars will explore the role of civility in democracy from five distinct perspectives: history, religion, art and architecture, philosophy, and communication and media.
"These specific humanities disciplines were chosen because of their importance to any meaningful discussion of ideas of civility and civilization," said Cornell Clayton, Foley Institute director and WSU professor of political science. "Each has produced important, relevant bodies of scholarship that address the role of civility in democracy.”
“Civility in American Democracy: Where Have We Come and Where are We Headed” is scheduled as a two-day public forum followed by a daylong workshop where invited scholars, librarians, filmmakers and K-12 educators will generate ideas for development of curricula, museum exhibits, library programs and online resources.
The NEH launched the “Bridging Cultures” initiative this year with the aim of revitalizing intellectual and civic life through the humanities. Structured around two themes, “Civility and Democracy” and “The Muslim World and the Humanities,” the program encourages projects that explore the ways in which world cultures and the myriad subcultures within the U.S. have influenced American society.
Partnering with the Foley Institute to host the conference are Humanities Washington and the Idaho Humanities Council.
The Foley Institute was established in 1995 to honor U.S. Rep. Foley's lifetime of public service to both state and nation and his tenure as 49th Speaker of the House. The institute's mission is to foster civic education, public service and public policy research in a nonpartisan, cross-disciplinary setting.
The institute recently also joined efforts with the Oyez Project on the “Temple of Justice” project to create a website dedicated to the 120-year history of the Washington State Supreme Court.