Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dr. Peter Wenz to discuss political philosophies in the U.S. during ECCE presentation

Dr. Peter Wenz, University of Illinois at Springfield Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, will present a program called “How to Form Political Coalitions without Sacrificing Personal Integrity” on Tuesday, June 9, at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus.

Wenz’s presentation is part of the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series at UIS. The event is free and open to the public.

The program will examine the cultural and political division in the United States between the left wing and right wing. Wenz argues that Americans use 12 political philosophies in their thinking, not simply a dual, Republican/Democrat approach when analyzing political and controversial issues. His talk will illustrate this possibility with discussion of same-sex marriage, school vouchers, genetic engineering and other current issues.

Wenz retired from UIS in December 2004 after spending 28 years as a member of the Philosophy Department. He also had a one-third joint appointment to do research and writing in what was originally called the Center for Legal Studies, now called the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies.

Wenz is the author of six books, the most recent of which is titled Beyond Red and Blue: How Twelve Political Philosophies Shape American Debates. After his presentation, the UIS bookstore will be selling copies of the book, and Wenz will also do a book signing.

This program is the first of four ECCE presentations this month. Other events include a program called “V for Vendetta: A Discussion of Terrorism and Political Violence,” with a showing of the movie V for Vendetta and a discussion with Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky, on Monday, June 15 at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, and a program about the Southwind Park Project by Diane Mathis and Butch Elzea on Tuesday, June 23, at 2 p.m. in University Hall room 2008. Marc Miller will give a second program about the Southwind Park Project that will take place at the park on Friday, June 26, at 11 a.m., when community members and UIS students are invited to plant trees and gardens.

For information about any ECCE event, contact Kimberly Craig, series coordinator, at 206-6245 or e-mail

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