Democracy is based on hope, the hope that we might solve our problems by talking to each other. Current controversies reflect our nation’s complex history, politics and values. Our views on whether or not America has changed for the better, or for the worse, can differ sharply within our families, our friends, and co-workers. Cultural changes, technological developments, and 24/7 media shape our sense of inclusion and exclusion, what is true and false, what connects us and divides us. How do we balance respect for the people around us, in our neighborhoods and communities? How do we keep the conversation going about difficult political and social events? How can we listen to, and learn from, experiences and opinions different from our own? Join us for a FRANK Talk exploring what brings us together and what separates us.
Matt Kundert is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Arizona’s English department. His primary area of study is 19th-century American literature, and his dissertation is on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writing as a philosophical meditation on democracy and the gnomic. Kundert has taught freshman composition for the last 6 years in UA’s Writing Program, affording him the opportunity to help people understand and articulate their own views, and better understand those of others.