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Discourse in Democracy

Discourse in Democracy is a series of events designed to engage undergraduate students in political and philosophical debate about today’s most important issues.  Discourse in Democracy provides opportunities for students to become more deeply involved in their Texas State community by offering lectures and seminars by keynote speakers, chances to collaborate with professors, other students, and prominent professionals in the field at the federal, state, and local levels.  We will tackle issues that matter most to students, and you can be a part of the solution by participating in our lecture series.  The Department of Political Science invites all students to join in the discussion as we work to understand and solve our country’s greatest challenges. 

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Upcoming Events


Recent Events in Discourse in Democracy

Discourse in Democracy Hosts Dr. R.J. Pestritto

Dr. Pestritto speaks with students

On Thursday March 7th, Discourse in Democracy hosted Dr. R.J. Pestritto of Hillsdale College in Michigan. Over 150 students and faculty attended a lecture entitled “Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism,” which was followed by audience questions and answers with Dr. Pestritto.

The morning after the lecture, Dr. Pestritto addressed Dr. Don Inbody’s PS 3301 (Basic Political Institutions) class. In addition to the formal presentations, Dr. Pestritto met informally with more than a dozen political science majors over lunch and dinner.

Connor Patton, a grad student in political science, observed that “Dr. Pestritto's lecture was an absolute treat. He took the time to talk to all students after the lecture one on one for those who had questions (and there were many) and he even signed my book! Furthermore, having lunch with Dr. Pestritto, and getting to talk with him in a small group setting to talk about his own academic work and my career goals was truly a unique experience."

Dr. Dawn Teele Speaks About Women's Suffrage, Hosted by Discourse in Democracy

Dr. Teele with Students

In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Discourse in Democracy hosted Dr. Dawn Teele (University of Pennsylvania) for a series of events on the subject of Women's Suffrage on Wednesday, February 6th. She discussed gender roles in academia at a seminar attended by two dozen students and faculty and then presented a guest lecture to Dr. Lamm’s “Women in Politics” class (PS 4324). Later that afternoon she delivered a lecture on her book, Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women's Vote to an audience of 85 faculty and students. Additionally, faculty and majors had the opportunity to speak with over lunch and dinner.

“I thought the seminar was an awesome opportunity to discuss gender in political science,” Jasmine Reed, political science sophomore, observed. “I enjoyed hearing different perspectives from others who could relate to gender norms. The whole experience came across genuine and insightful."

Dr. Wilfred McClay Visits Texas State University, Hosted by Discourse in Democracy

Alumni panel speak to students

On Thursday April 4th and Friday April 5th, Discourse in Democracy hosted Dr. Wilfred McClay of the University of Oklahoma. More than a 150 students and faculty attended his Thursday evening lecture on “The Tocquevillean Moment… and Ours.” The lecture explored the importance of universities and the dangers of social media in the light of Tocqueville’s concerns about pathologies to which democratic societies are prone.

In addition to the lecture itself, Dr. McClay conducted a seminar on “How to Think About Patriotism” attended by 25 undergraduates, graduates students and faculty members. The seminar explored two varieties of universalism and nationalism, and America’s experience with patriotism. He also spoke to a section of Basic Political Institutions (PS 3301) and joined students and faculty for dinner and lunch.

Political science graduate student Damilola Asaye noted that she “particularly enjoyed the seminar as I was able to hear different ideas students had about the speaker’s article and really helped me get a better idea about what patriotism really entails. I like how the department creates a friendly environment for students and gives them the opportunity interact on a regular basis with professors.”