Beyond Good Manners: Promoting Civil Discussion on Issues that Divide Us

Beyond Good Manners: Promoting Civil Discussion on Issues that Divide Us

This first session of Bridging the Divide will set the stage for the others by emphasizing the need for fact-based, ethical arguments on important political issues. Experts from Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University in the areas of writing and rhetoric, cognition and cognitive neuroscience, and network science and machine learning will discuss the pervasiveness of false information in our current environment, how to protect oneself against it, and the importance of truthfulness and fact-based arguments in civil discourse.

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John Duffy

John Duffy

John Duffy is a Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. He has published on the ethics of writing, the rhetoric of disability, and the historical development of literacy in cross-cultural contexts. In his most recent book, “Provocations of Virtue: Rhetoric, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writing,” he examines the ethical dimensions of teaching writing in a post-truth world. John is co-editor of “Literacy, Economy, and Power,” and his book “Writing from These Roots” was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Book Award by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. He has published essays in “CCC,” “College English,” “Rhetoric Review,” “JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics,” and elsewhere. John is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He teaches courses in rhetoric, writing, and literature.

Lisa Fazio

Lisa Fazio

Lisa Fazio is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. She is a cognitive psychologist who studies how people learn new information, both true and false, and how to correct errors in people’s knowledge. This focus includes how to mitigate the effects of reading false information and how to increase classroom learning. Her research informs basic theories about learning and memory, while also having clear applications for practitioners, such as journalists and teachers.

Maura Policelli (Moderator)

Maura Policelli

Maura Policelli is associate professor of the practice and executive director of the Keough School’s Washington, D.C., office. She has more than twenty years of experience in U.S. politics, national and global policy, and strategic communications. Policelli was chief of staff for Oxfam America after serving in the Obama administration as senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, and then senior vice president of communications at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. For more than a decade, Policelli worked on Capitol Hill, holding senior positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, including twice as chief of staff.

In addition, Policelli worked in nonprofit policy organizations where she implemented new advocacy initiatives, led issue campaigns, and directed various media operations. She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross. 

Tim Weninger

Tim Weninger

Tim Weninger is the Frank M. Freimann Collegiate Associate Professor of Engineering in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. He is also affiliated with the Center for Network and Data Science, the Pulte Institute for Global Development, and the Technology Ethics Center.

Professor Weninger’s research focuses on machine learning, network science, and social media where he uncovers how humans consume and curate information.

His work is funded through separate grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, DARPA, USAID, the Templeton Foundation via the University of Chicago, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

On Reporting and Politics

Presented by Office of the Provost

While Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert Costa’s ’08 work is the news, he and host Ted Fox talked more about the craft of journalism generally—and political journalism specifically—than everything going on in our country and our world in 2020. 

The Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign

Presented by Notre Dame Alumni Association

Join Robert Schmuhl ’70 for an analysis of media coverage and how it has shaped the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Schmuhl is the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism and Director of the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy at Notre Dame.

Arguments and Disagreement

Presented by Notre Dame Alumni Association

The word “argument” has many negative connotations. If used appropriately, however, arguing provides us one of the best chances we have to uncover surprising or difficult truths. In this lecture, Paul Blaschko ’18 Ph.D. explains why this is, and why philosophers think you should be arguing more, not less.

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