Public Conversation History 

Did you know the first Public Conversation in 1996 featured Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, and Dan Wakefield in a conversation at Clowes Memorial Hall about the relationship between "spirit" and "place?" 

BIG thanks to the visionary partners who helped to launch this first event and 20 more wonderful years!
The Polis Center's Project on Religion and Urban Culture
Butler University's Writer's Studio
Christian Theological Seminary
Indiana Historical Society
Indiana Humanities
Indianapolis Public Library
Madame Walker Theatre Center
Marian University
Martin University
University of Indianapolis
2nd Globe

23rd Annual Public Conversation
featuring Zeynep Tufekci

Sunday, Nov. 11
Indiana State Museum (650 W. Washington St.)

Provocative and challenging discussion on the ways authority, technology, and civic society intersect. 

Zeynep Tufekci is a techno-sociologist who focuses on social movements and civics, privacy and surveillance, and social interactions. Tufekci’s latest book, Twitter and Teargas, thoughtfully examines both the positive and negative ways digital platforms support the work of social change. 

Increasingly, Tufekci is also seen as a leading expert on algorithmic decision-making. She has become an influential voice in pushing Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others to address the moral and political implications of their creations. (Think: Facebook and Cambridge Analytic.) Tufekci does not believe these platforms are neutral players and should be held accountable for the spread of false information. In a recent TedTalk she argues, "We need a digital economy where our data and our attention is not for sale to the highest bidding authoritarian or demagogue.”

First-come, first serve parking available in the White River State Park Garage. $5 reduced-fee parking vouchers will be provided.

RSVPs encouraged by Nov. 10 due to limited seating.

2017 Public Conversation: Reflections on Race
Featuring Indiana historian Dr. James Madison, poet Dr. Maria Hamilton Abegunde, SongSquad, and actors with Indiana Historical Society’s Museum Theater program, the 2017 Public Conversation used historic documents, images, and music to help the community reflect on the history of race. Attendees heard fresh insights from thoughtful thinkers and doers, but they were also challenged to use their power to tackle intractable issues like race. By bringing the past alive through music, dramatic readings, interactive opportunities, and meaningful reflection, we connected attendees to opp
ortunities, inspired an open minds, and strengthened conviction to engage in critical conversations.

2016 Public Conversation: Home
The 2016 Public Conversation brought together Harvard sociologist and MacArthur Genius Matthew Desmond, author of  New York Times bestselling book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in an American City; Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, the artist behind the "Homeless Jesus" piece outside Roberts Park UMC downtown; and Allison Luthe who serves as the Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Community Center (MLK Center) located in Butler-Tarkington. The event was moderated by Terri Jett, Associate Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity at Butler University. 


Special thanks to our sponsors!

IU School of Public Affairs

Indiana Humanities

Fair Housing Center


Indiana Landmarks