Western Lecture Series

Engaging speakers and scholars deliver talks on a variety of academic subjects and world affairs. Presentations are designed to expand your knowledge base, provoke thought, enhance understanding and inspire creativity. Every lecture introduces a distinct and interesting topic. Offered throughout the year, the Western Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Civil Conversation in an Angry Age

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019logo for humanities washington, which has the words humanities Washington in white text on an orange background.
Time: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: David Smith
Location: Village Green Community Center, Kingston

Free, registration not required. Open to the public.

At what point does a conversation become a battle? Why do some opinions inflame our emotions, leading to anger, fights and even the end of relationships with family and friends?
Philosopher David E. Smith takes a deep look at those moments when civility breaks down. By mapping the structure of how we converse and digging into the root causes of both civility and incivility, Smith explores how we can have meaningful, respectful conversations on notoriously difficult topics like politics, religion and morality. In our increasingly polarized political environment, Smith provides participants with the tools needed to embark upon more thoughtful, fruitful discussions.
Presenter Bio: David Smith holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Temple University. For the past decade he held roles as a lecturer, assistant professor and associate professor of philosophy and religious studies. He currently teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington and frequently gives lectures in libraries, community centers and retirement centers.


artistic sketchup of the village green community center
Village Green Community Center

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