This is a full-day symposium on Wednesday, April 11, at the Ihotel, featured as part of the Sesquicentennial culmination conference, "Illinois 150: The 21st Century University and Research for the Public Good” (which includes plenary sessions on Tuesday evening, April 10, and Thursday morning, April 12). Please RSVP for the conference. The Humanities and Public Life A democracy, John Dewey wrote, "is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience." Perhaps then, the key institutions in a democratic society are not governmental but educational. At the heart of a democracy are practices and institutions that work to support communicative relations, and to cultivate in the citizenry the dispositions needed to participate in the conversation that is democracy. And within educational institutions, it is the arts and humanities that have consistently devoted themselves to addressing the plight of the public by cultivating the arts of conversation and the rigors of self-knowledge. Learn more about the Humanities and Public Life event and speakers. KEYNOTE PANELS: Romand Coles - “Engaged Scholarship and Transformative Publics in the Face of Political and Ecological Catastrophe” Institute for Social Justice, North Sydney, Australia Carolyn Rouse - "Rethinking Social Justice in the 21st Century: The Case Against Reparations" Department of Anthropology, Princeton University Elaine Scarry - "Unheard Warnings: Nuclear Tyranny Requires a Sleeping Citizenry" Department of English, Harvard University There will also be a panel featuring student work in public humanities and a concluding panel with the three keynoters discussing the humanities and public life. This event is organized by the IPRH’s Public Humanities Research Cluster. The research cluster, directed by Chris Higgins (EPOL) and Anke Pinkert (Germanic Languages and Literatures), is now in its second year. The cluster helms the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) “Learning Publics” initiative (Fall 2017–Fall 2018), which will examine the current conditions of public life, the fate of public higher education, and the power of the arts and humanities to summon the public. It features an ongoing salon (those interested in joining should email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), a public event series, a graduate seminar (CAS 587, Spring 2018), and an undergraduate course (Fall 2018). This symposium is one of 6 selected by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to participate in the Illinois 150: The 21st Century University and Research for the Public Good conference, April 10-12, 2018. The Humanities and Public Life symposium is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the Center for Advanced Study and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.