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Reading and Discussion Groups

Coordinated by Beauvais Lyons ( and Misty Anderson ( 

This reading group serves as an extension of the University Studies: Envisioning the Institution Research Seminar headed by Professors Lisi Schoenbach and Amy Elias during the 2018-2019 academic year. The seminar covered an extensive list of readings, including hosting campus visits by Christopher Newfield, author of The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them (2016) and John Marx and Mark Cooper, co-authors of Media U: How the Need to Win Audiences Has Shaped Higher Education (2018) to consider a variety of factors, including historical, cultural, and economic, that impact how universities function today.

The University Studies Reading Group will meet 2-3 times a semester on Wednesdays once a month from 11:30am-12:30pm to discuss articles and books. Discussions take place at the UT Humanities Center and are open to the university and general public.  To sign up for communications about the group, email:

Regular participants include:

  • Misty Anderson, James R. Cox and Lindsay Young Professor of English
  • Chris Boake, Professor Emerita of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Amy Elias, Director of the Humanities Center and Lindsay Young Professor of English
  • Rosalind Hackett, Professor of Religious Studies
  • Jeff Kovac, Professor of Chemistry and Director of College Scholars
  • Anne Langendorfer, Lecturer in English
  • Beauvais Lyons, Chancellors’ Professor and Ellen McClung Berry Professor of Art
  • Anne Mayhew, Former Provost and Professor Emerita of Economics
  • Mary McAlpin, Professor of French
  • Lisi Schoenbach, Associate Professor of English
  • John Zomchick, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Fall 2019

  • Wednesday September 25, 2019, 11:30am-12:30pm
    Making a Case for the Arts and Humanities
    Martha C. Nussbaum, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, Revised ed. Edition, Princeton University Press; Revised ed. edition (November 8, 2016).

Spring 2020

  • Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 11:30am-1:00pm

    As part of the “Humanities Matters” Series
    J. Z. Muller, The Tyranny of Metrics (Princeton University Press, 2018)

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 11:30am-1:00pm
    Topic to be determined

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