Photo of the West Biloxi Public Library.After an interview on WLOX TV in Biloxi, MS, which will air on the 4pm news program, I’ll head to the West Biloxi Public Library for a book talk and signing event.

Logo of Bay Books of Bay Saint Louis, MS.I’m very happy to say that Bay Books of Bay St. Louis, MS, will be there to manage book sales for the signing. Please spread the word and, if you’re near by, come talk about Mississippi’s future.

Date: December 7, 2015
Time: 05:00-06:00 p.m.
Event: 'Uniting Mississippi' Book Signing
Topic: Uniting Mississippi
Sponsor: Bay Books
Venue: West Biloxi Public Library
Location: 2047 Pass Road
Biloxi, MS 39531-3125
Public: Public

If you're interested in having me speak with your group, be in touch, visiting my Contact page. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

Check out the nice promotional video that the local public television station made in Little Rock (UALR TV) for the recording of my talk at the Clinton School, which they aired. They added music and edited bits down into some representative moments. How cool? The music is great.

Paperback editions featuring the cover of 'Uniting Mississippi.'Of course the funny thing about sound bites is in examples in which an idea or a contrast is cut in half — when you explain what’s “on the one hand,” and then we don’t hear what’s “on the other hand.” I don’t think the edit misrepresented what I was talking about, fortunately. The promo still got to the heart of what I’m up to in Uniting Mississippi.

I’m learning the importance of planning a few key short statements of my points, which get called “soundbites.” That’s not foolish or superficial to think about, however. Plato’s Socrates often had long definitions of concepts, which he then boiled down into more succinct restatements. I see that. I also make an effort of that kind for my definition of good democratic leadership in the oh-so-cleverly titled Democracy and Leadership.

Anyway, check out this short, 1 min+ promo video. I’m new to this, so it’s still cool and exciting to me. The video of my full talk is here. Soon I’ll also have the audio from my local Little Rock NPR interview. Coming Soon…

Video of my Interview on WLOV of Tupelo

Screenshot of the interview I gave for WLOV's This Morning show with Katrina Berry.

As promised,  I’m posting here below my interview on WLOV of Tupelo’s This Morning show with Katrina Berry. Also, below that is a photo of the nice layout that Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore setup for the book signing later that day.

Katrina was a lovely person who was kind and encouraging. As I said, she drove home the fact that on WLOV they like to support local authors.  It was a great experience, and also featured the fastest turnaround I’ve experienced for getting a video of the broadcast. All around, great trip.

Oh, and here’s Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore’s nice setup before the book signing. Very nice people there too. They’ve got signed books from John Grisham, George Will, and many more. Great people.

Nice table and display layout for my book signing at Reed's Gumtree Bookstore in Tupelo, MS.

If you know of TV or radio stations that would be interested in an interview about Uniting Mississippi, or groups looking for a speaker, contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or via my info on my Contact page.

Had a Great Visit with Katrina Berry on WLOV Tupelo

Photo of terrible rain in between Oxford and Tupelo, MS.Despite the torrential rain this morning, I made it on time to meet with Katrina Berry of WLOV Tupelo’s This Morning show.

Berry is an impressive, award-winning journalist and TV anchor. Her award was from the Associated Press for her weekly series, Heavenly Helpers. When I first got a chance to talk with her, she explained that they aim to support local authors on the show, which was great.

It can seem strange to most scholars to put a lot of effort into securing and participating in a 3 minute interview, which is what it came out to be. Consider how much advertisers spend on 30 seconds or 1 minute of television, however, and all of a sudden, you can appreciate better what 3 minutes of air-time means, in financial terms. One source estimates that even on a local show, ads can cost from as little as $200 to as much as $1,500 for 30 seconds. So a 3 minute interview could be valued from anywhere between $1,200 and $9,000. That’s worth the drive to Tupelo, MS. Those aren’t funds that come to me, of course, but they are value that the show offers for getting the word out about Uniting Mississippi.

After a few nice questions about the book, Berry asked me about the book signing that I’ll be holding from 12-1:30 pm today at Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore, here in Tupelo. Here are a few photos I snagged of my visit to WLOV. When I get a clip of the video of the interview, I’ll post it to my site also. It was a great experience.

Know a TV station that might be interested in hearing about Uniting Mississippi? Let me know on Twitter or on Facebook

Logo of the John Dewey Society.Leaders of the John Dewey Society asked me to organize a panel workshop on public philosophy for the 2016 American Educational Research Association meeting. The conference them is: “Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies.” 2016 is also the 100th anniversary of the release of Democracy and Education. More info once details are finalized.

Date: April 8, 2016—April 10, 2016
Event: Leading - Public Philosophy Workshop: Building on Dewey's Example
Topic: "Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies."
Sponsor: The John Dewey Society
Venue: American Educational Research Association's Annual Conference
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

If you're in D.C. and would like to meet, or if you have a group that is looking for a speaker, visit my Contact page.

Logo of UNC Charlotte.Excited to announce that I’ll be heading to UNC Charlotte to give a talk in April 2016. The audience will be made up of folks from “philosophy, American Studies, and perhaps also an interdisciplinary mix of public policy faculty and graduate students.” Sounds great. Some of the details I’ve listed are tentative for now. I’ll post more definitive details soon.

Date: April 4, 2016
Time: 02:00-03:00 p.m.
Event: Giving an Invited Talk at UNC Charlotte
Venue: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Location: Charlotte, NC
Public: Public

Public Philosophy Is Worth It

Logo for WLOV Tupelo.I’ve tried my hand at a few new kinds of public engagement efforts that have borne fruit. The latest example for me is in seeking TV interviews to talk about issues in public philosophy, particularly some ideas about how I think Mississippi could benefit from good democratic leadership. I’m headed to Tupelo, MS for an interview on WLOV’s This Morning show, Wednesday, November 18th. Then, on Monday, December 7th November 23rd, (updated), I’ll be heading to Biloxi, MS to give an interview on WLOX’s News at 4 show. After each I’ll be holding a book signing, though only the one in Tupelo has been scheduled at this point.

The Thinker, statue.Scholars or readers curious about higher education may wonder: why do all of this? We certainly have enough work to do teaching classes, researching and writing, applying for grants, and serving our institutions and professional associations (the work of a professor is a lot more than what folks see in the classroom). Why add on to that with “outreach” or public engagement?

In “The Search for the Great Community,” from The Public and Its Problems, John Dewey argues that democracy’s prime difficulty has to do with how a mobile, complex, and many layered community can come to define itself and its interests. He believed that the key to addressing democratic challenges was to make use of democratic means, particularly communication. Democracy can embody wise leadership, but only with widespread, maximally unhindered communication, especially emphasizing the developments of human knowledge — the sciences, broadly speaking. For that reason, it is a clear and crucial extension of his democratic theory to value the public engagement of scholars with their communities.

Scan of 'First Day of Issue' envelope honoring John Dewey in the 'Prominent Americans' series. The envelope bears Dewey's stamp, which was valued at 30 cents and issued on October 21, 1968.

When Dewey referred to public engagement, however, that did not mean only a one-way street. Communication takes listening too. So, the point isn’t only for scholars to speak to audiences, but for them also to learn from the people. When I write, I draw increasingly often from newspapers and magazines to illustrate my points about what people are saying and experiencing beyond the academy. Scholarly research is vital, but so is the world beyond the academy. Some circles have criticized me for it in peer-reviews, but so far I haven’t let that dissuade me from seeing scholars’ task as needing to draw also on sources and input from beyond the academy. In addition, talking with people around Mississippi and in other states about my work has revealed all kinds of interesting insights. Some people offer me great examples that I can use to strengthen my points. Others highlight challenges for bringing about the kinds of changes that I believe are needed.


Logo for Reed's GumTree Bookstore of Tupelo, MS.On Wednesday, November 18th, I’ll be heading to Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore in Tupelo, MS, for a book signing for Uniting Mississippi: Democracy and Leadership in the South, from noon until 1:30 pm.

Earlier that morning, I’ll be giving an interview on WLOV’s This Morning show in Tupelo, MS. If you’re in Tupelo that day, the signing will be at lunch time, so come on by!

Date: November 18, 2015
Time: 12:00-01:30 p.m.
Event: Uniting Mississippi Book Signing at Reed's Gumtree Bookstore
Topic: Uniting Mississippi Book Signing
Venue: Reed's GumTree Bookstore
(662) 842-6453
Location: 111 S Spring St.
Tupelo, MS 38804
Public: Public

Learn more about the book here. Please share this announcement with them and spread the word!

Logo for WLOX.

Excited that I’ll be interviewed on WLOX Biloxi’s News at 4 program to talk about Uniting Mississippi. I’m working with the publisher to set up a book signing while I’m there. Looking forward to it. UPDATED: date moved from November to early December.

Date: December 7, 2015
Time: 04:00 p.m.
Appearance: Tentatively Scheduled Interview for the News at 4 show on Uniting Mississippi
Outlet: WLOX, Biloxi, MS, Channel 3
Location: Biloxi, MS
Format: Television

I'll be talking about Uniting Mississippi, which you can learn more about here.

Logo for WLOV Tupelo.Katrina Berry of WTVA has kindly invited me for an interview on WLOV Tupelo’s This Morning, to talk about Uniting Mississippi.

Date: November 18, 2015
Time: 07:45-08:00 a.m.
Appearance: Interview on Uniting Mississippi with WLOV’s This Morning
Outlet: WLOV, Tupelo, MS, Channel 27
Location: Tupelo, MS
Format: Television

I'll be talking about Uniting Mississippi, which you can learn more about here.