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Fri, Jan 29


Physical Location TBD

Divided We Fall

The two books we are reading offer hypotheses about what truly lies at the root of our contemporary polarizations, with the implicit or explicit goal and hope of renewing civil dialogue.

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Divided We Fall

Time & Location

Jan 29, 2021, 1:00 PM – Apr 09, 2021, 2:00 PM

Physical Location TBD

About The Event

About this program:

This reading group will focus on two very recent books: Cynical Theories, How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody, by H. Pluckrose and J. Lindsay; and Morality, Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times, by Jonathan Sacks. Both works offer hypotheses about what truly lies at the root of our contemporary polarizations, with the implicit or explicit goal and hope of renewing civil dialogue. Dr. DeAnn Stuart and Dr. Orlandi will lead the discussion.

We will be meeting Jan. 29 - April 9 (except March 19 and April 2).

Our COVID response for our programs:

This is an in-person reading group and attendance is limited to UT students and faculty. An online option will nonetheless be provided as required by evolving circumstances (City of Austin Covid guidelines, spread of Covid) and by personal preferences.

About our Scholars:

DeAnn Stuart, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Curriculum of the Austin Institute

DeAnn Barta Stuart earned her B.A. and M.Hum. from the University of Dallas and her Ph.D. in English Literature from Baylor University. While at Baylor, she taught courses in composition and literature and served as the Graduate Tutor of Arts and Letters at Brooks Residential College and Graduate Assistant for the Baylor in Maastricht Program. Over the years, she has received various teaching awards at the middle school, high school, and college levels, including Campus Teacher of the Year on two campuses within the Carroll Independent School District, District Teacher of the Year, and Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor. She has spearheaded curriculum-writing teams and mentored new teachers at all levels. When she’s not working, DeAnn loves to host dinners with her husband, to plan trips to faraway places, and to go on long hikes.

Marianna Orlandi, Avv., Ph.D.

Associate Director of Academic Programs

Marianna Orlandi received her Ph.D. in Law from the University of Padua, Italy, and from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Prior to moving to Texas, she was a 2019-2020 James Madison Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. She was admitted to the Italian bar in 2015 after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Padua. She practiced as a criminal lawyer in Milan and worked in the United States as a policy research analyst. Her interests and research focus on issues of life, and on its legal and international protection, in particular through the lens of criminal law.

About this semester's themes:

The Great Divides

Polarization is a buzz word and all one has to do is spend a few minutes on the internet or watching TV to figure out why. On issue after issue, we are divided. From constitutional law to climate change to the relationship between religion and science, the spring 2021 semester's programming at the Austin Institute is designed to convey a sense of the landscape, to map out many of the biggest disagreements separating Americans.


  • 1 hour

    Meeting 1

  • 1 hour

    Meeting 2

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