Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Symposium on Citizenship and Leadership Mini-Conference, April 12-24


MainSPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. Jim Neighbors, assistant professor for English at Wofford College, actively engages his students in discussions about citizenship in today’s world whenever he can.  He considers it part of his job as a professor and as a citizen. 

“Everything we do here as teachers, colleagues, and advisors implies some form of citizenship, but the opportunities are surprisingly few to participate in college and community-wide conversations, especially among people with whom you disagree,” says Neighbors.  He decided it was time to provide such an opportunity.

 Neighbors, along with government professor Dr. William DeMars, has organized the Symposium on Citizenship and Leadership Mini-Conference which will be held on the Wofford College campus April 12-17 and 21-24.  The event will include presentations, round-table discussions, panels, and combinations of the three in an attempt to create opportunities for civil debate about the roles of citizenship and leadership in the global world. 

“We’re presenting 22 events that cover a tremendous range of discussion topics from a number of disciplinary, political, and socio-economic perspectives,” says Neighbors.  “Each event has been organized to promote conversation among participants, both on the stage and off.”

The committee planning and organizing the event have succeeded in landing some highly sought after lecturers and speakers to give presentations at the event: 

• Dr. Timothy Tyson is currently serving as Senior Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.  Published in 2004, his book, “Blood Done Sign My Name” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Tyson will present a lecture titled, “The Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Case Study in How It Really is Possible to Know Less than Nothing.” His lecture, "The Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Case Study in How It Really is Possible to Know Less Than Nothing," will be delivered on Thursday, April 17 at 11 a.m. in Leonard Auditorium.
• Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain will deliver a lecture, “The Sovereign Self? Critical Reflections,” on Tuesday, April 22 at 11 a.m. in Leonard Auditorium.  Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and is a contributing editor for The New Republic.  She was also recently appointed the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom at Georgetown University.  In 2006, Elshtain was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Council of the National Endowment of the Humanities.
• Dr. Joanna Ciulla was one of the founding faculty members of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.  She teaches courses on ethics, critical thinking, conflict resolution and leadership in international contexts. A widely published author, her books include “Ethics, the Heart of Leadership” and “The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work.”  Ciulla has also delivered presentations at The World Economic Forum, The Brookings Institution and the Aspen Institute. She will present a lecture, "Ethics and Leadership" on Thursday, April 24 at 11 a.m. in McMillan Theater.

A complete schedule of the Symposium can be found here.  All events are free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Dr. Jim Neighbors at or Matt Giles at