ACTC Student Conference

Biennial ACTC Undergraduate Conference "Civil Discourse in Uncivil Times:
Reading Texts that Recover Dialogue"
March 22nd-23rd, 2019

Baylor University is proud to host the 2019 Undergraduate Conference for the Association of Core Texts and Courses. We are currently accepting abstracts from students enrolled at ACTC member institutions. For details on the conference theme, please see the Call for Papers. Those who wish to submit an abstract may do so by clicking here. Through the generosity of Baylor University and ACTC, students whose abstracts are accepted will have lodging and some meals provided free of charge. Abstracts must be electronically submitted no later than November 25th, 2018. A Faculty sponsor should submit a letter of endorsement to by December 1st, 2018.


Conference registration for attendees who are not presenting papers


Those wishing to participate in the 2019 ACTC undergraduate conference without presenting a paper may do so by pre-registering and paying the registration fee of $85.00. Registration will not be available on site and must be completed in advance.


Registration fees must be received by March 1 and must be made by check; we are unable to accept credit cards or any other form of payment. Checks in the amount of $85.00 should be made payable to “ACTC Conference, Baylor University” and sent to:


Paulette Edwards

Assistant to the Dean, Honors College

Baylor University

One Bear Place #97181

Waco, TX 76798-7181


The registration fee includes dinner on Friday, March 22, Continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday, March 23, and refreshments available between panels. Hotel accommodations are not included with registration. Attendees not presenting papers should plan to make their own arrangements for housing.


Tentative Program

Program for Friday, March 22, 2019:


4:00-5:30                     Check-in (Barfield)


5:30                             Welcome (Dr. Doug Henry, Associate Dean of the Honors College)


5:40                             Welcome (Dr. Kathleen Burke, ACTC Executive Director and Dr. Jane Kelly Rodeheffer, Pepperdine)


5:45                             Dinner


7:15                             Recital Lecture (Helge Antoni, Internationally acclaimed concert pianist)

                                    Recital Hall II, Waco Hall


Bus back to hotel


Saturday, March 23, 2019




Fostering Dialogue and Identity in Troubled Times



James Krom                            True Discourse in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce

Saint Vincent College


Paul Gnatowski                      Flannery O’Connor, Civic Friendship, and Dialogue

Saint Vincent College


Alex Rosa                               TBD

Saint Vincent College


Lydia Wittman                        TBD

Messiah College



Race, Culture, and Civil Discourse



Bradley Sundt                         The Complete Citizen: Using Classical Literature to Inform Civil

North Greenville University                           Discourse in America Today


Emma Moffett                         Developing the Black Community and Modern Social Change

Mississippi State University               Rhetoric through Anti-Lynching Protest Literature


Meagan Campbell                               Self-Expression through Music

University of Lynchburg


Katarina Diepholz                   With Great Patrimony Comes Great Responsibility: How to

Valparaiso University            Address Issues of Cultural Patrimony as a Cosmopolitan


10:15-10:45                             Break




Civil Discourse on Stage



Andrew Noland                                              Who has the Stage?

University of Tulsa


Tatum Shackelford                                                     TBD

Pepperdine University


Micah Cooke                          Fictional Characters as the Voice of Mental Health

Midwestern State University



Civil Discourse in Plato



Alexander Raymond                           The Connection Between Poetry and Justice

Huron University


Lauren Vo                                                                   TBD

Baylor University


Jon Taylor                   The Socratic Critique of Writing and Its Relationship to Dialogue

St. Thomas University



12:00-1:15       Lunch





Civil Discourse in American Politics from the Founding Fathers to the Second World War



Jacob Mikuls                                                               TBD

Kansas State University


Chris Lierly                                                                 TBD

University of Tulsa


Jacob Foreman                                    America’s Introduction to Economic Rights

University of Houston


Holly Vlach                                                                 TBD

Samford University


Trinity Rinear                                                 Thomas Jefferson’s Moral Theory

University of Houston



Civil Discourse and Social Upheaval: Antiquity to Modernity



Cory Willingham                     Uncivil Civility: Softening Realpolitik with Civil Tones

Boston University


Paul Weisser                                                               TBD

St. Vincent College


Semra Mikailova                     Never Again as a Text That Moved Argentina towards the

RANEPA                               Practices of Civil Discourse and Transitional Justice


Rigel Turner                            Pericles: How a Philosophy of Humility Creates Warriors

St. John’s College


Kiara Minotta-Hernandez                   Simon Bolivar’s Revolutionary Discourse

University of Houston


2:45-3:15         Break





Discourse in Pursuit of a Just and Happy Life



Kassie Le-Huynh                                Socrates: The Contentious Pacifist

University of Tulsa


Sarah Trammell                                   I Don’t: Catherine Maria Sedgwick and Marriage

Baylor University


Sean Alexander Wang                                    From the Personal to the Social: Self-Transformation as the

Dharma Realm Buddhist University                          Means for Social Change



Putting Civility into Action in Antiquity



Emmet Allen                           Unlearning Indignation: The Value of the Platonic Dialogues for

St. John’s College                                                       the Contemporary Reader


Joseph Gray                                                    Vergil on Civility and Civilization

Rhodes College


Jordan Kaiser                                                  Sense, Sentiment, and Civility

Concordia University



Civil Discourse in Homer



Bailey Sloan                                        A Common Morality: Reconciliation in the Iliad

Baylor University


Piper Prolago                                      The Role of Queens in Homer’s The Odyssey

University of Tulsa


Heath Fusco                            Who’s to Blame When Bad Things Happen? Scapegoating the

University of Tulsa                                         Gods in Homer’s Iliad


4:30 Bus back to hotel, conference ends








About Baylor

Founded under the Republic of Texas in 1845, Baylor University is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. The nationally ranked research institution and Christian university offers 142 undergraduate degree programs, 75 master's programs, and 42 doctoral programs. Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 89 countries, amounting to over 16,000 students. Baylor's mission is to educate students for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment in a caring community. Our goal is intellectual activity that springs from disciplined habits of the heart and inspires action on behalf of the world.


Waco is located in Central Texas on I35 100 miles south of Dallas and 100 miles north of Austin.

ACT—Waco Regional Airport. American Airlines flies here from DFW.

DFW—Dallas/Fort Worth is serviced by virtually all the major air carriers The trip to Waco in a rental car takes about two hours. The Waco Streak will bring you here for $89 one way and $169 round trip, but a rental car may not be a lot more than that, especially if you have multiple people traveling together.

AUT—Austin Bergstrom International is a good alternative and might be cheaper than flying into DFW. The trip to Waco in a rental car takes about an hour and fifty minutes.

About Waco
In recent years, the dynamic city of Waco, Texas, has enjoyed increased tourist visits and a growing downtown. Situated on the I-35 corridor between Dallas and Austin, Waco hosts a regional airport, saving local residents the two hour drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Highlighted on the HGTV hit show, “Fixer Upper,” Waco is also the birthplace of Dr Pepper and home to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, Cameron Park Zoo, and the Waco Mammoth National Monument.