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Community, Citizenship & Belonging: The 2021 USMC Research Colloquium
“Fostering community” has become a buzzword in corporate, educational, and religious settings, but what do we actually mean by community? How large, varied, or virtual can a community meaningfully be and how necessary are political, legal, and institutional structures to forming and maintaining communities? What can and should “citizenship” mean within an increasingly globalized world? Can we speak of a “global community” or be a “citizen of the world”?
The 2021 USMC research colloquium invites St Michael’s College undergraduate and graduate students from the humanities and sciences to consider the nature, limits, and promise of communities, and to contemplate how our understandings of community shape our individual and collective identities. Potential questions and topics that contributors might address include, but are not limited to, the following:
- How do individuals navigate belonging to several different communities? What ethical, psychological and/or sociological factors affect how individuals handle competing demands from the different communities to which they belong? What guidance does theology provide?
- Can the idea of being a “citizen of the world” promote a greater sense of belonging? Or does the concept of global citizenship sever people’s connections to more rooted and particular communities?
- What role should scientific expertise and scientific communities play in social and political life?
- To what degree can technology help us build and sustain communities across distances? How important is physical proximity to the development of a sense of communal belonging?
- What past or traditional ways of living in community, such as monastic life, can help us foster community in the present?
Any undergraduate or graduate student affiliated with St. Michael’s College may apply, though preference will be given to undergraduate submissions. Students should submit an abstract of 200-300 words by January 30. Completed papers are due Feb. 27, two weeks prior to the March 13 Colloquium. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.