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Constitutional democracy requires an informed citizenry, and one of the great achievements of democracy in the United States has been the historically unprecedented expansion of access to higher education.  Today, the twin crises of political polarization and COVID-19 have shone a new spotlight on colleges and universities.  Never has the task of higher education been more necessary, more imperiled, and more up for debate.  Indeed, the very identity of that task—what a liberal education is and what it ought to teach—is now more open to question than ever before.  Please join us for a discussion with Lauren Hall (RIT) and Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò (Georgetown) as we seek to understand the implications of these developments for the future of higher education and constitutional democracy.  Pre-registration is required for this event.  Click here to register.


Each participant will present some brief remarks, to be followed by a dialogue between the panelists and with the audience.  Professor Hall will discuss “Intersectionality, Complexity, and Humility: Liberal Education in a Polarized Moment.”  Professor Táíwò’s remarks will focus on “Being-in-the-Room Privilege and Constructive Epistemology.” 


Lauren Hall is Associate Professor of political science at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author of The Medicalization of Birth and Death (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and Family and the Politics of Moderation (Baylor University Press, 2014) and the co-editor of a volume on the political philosophy of French political thinker Chantal Delsol. She has written extensively on the classical liberal tradition, including articles on Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and Montesquieu. She serves on the editorial board of the interdisciplinary journal Cosmos+Taxis, which publishes on spontaneous orders in the social and political worlds. Her current research is on the moral and political implications of healthcare regulations as well as issues relating to gender and the family. She blogs on a variety of issues at


Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. He completed his PhD at University of California, Los Angeles. Before that, he completed BAs in Philosophy and Political Science at Indiana University. His theoretical work draws liberally from German transcendental philosophy, contemporary philosophy of language, contemporary social science, histories of activism and activist thinkers, and the Black radical tradition. He is currently writing a book entitled Reconsidering Reparations that considers a novel philosophical argument for reparations and explores links with environmental justice. He also is committed to public engagement and is publishing articles in popular outlets with general readership (e.g. Slate, Pacific Standard) exploring intersections between climate justice and colonialism.


The Forum on Constitutionalism and Democracy at SUNY Geneseo was established in 2019 by Professors Carly Herold and Aaron Herold to establish programming and foster campus conversations about civic education and liberal democracy.  The Forum is supported by a grant from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History.


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