Shameless Promotion

What’s the point of having one’s very own blog if you can’t use it for marketing, right? So I’ve been asked to share the media release put out by IUPUI to hype my upcoming presentation of what the University calls “The Last Lecture.”

I really struggled with this particular speech (it’s so much easier to “vent” to a blog each morning…), so I hope at least some members of this blog community will be able to attend.

I should probably clarify that, despite the title,  it won’t really be my last lecture, much as some folks might wish it were so….

Here’s IUPUI’s media release.


The old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” goes to the heart of political philosophy: what should that village look like?

What is the common good? What is the nature of mutual social obligation? What sort of social and political arrangements are most likely to promote and enable — in Aristotle’s term — human flourishing? Perhaps most importantly, do we live in an era when such questions have largely been abandoned?

Sheila Suess Kennedy of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs will explore these and other questions in “Defending Reason in an Unreasonable Time” during IUPUI’s 2015 Last Lecture at 2 p.m. March 27 in the Campus Center Theater.

Kennedy has been at IUPUI since 1998, rising to her role as a professor of law and public policy in SPEA and as director of the Center for Civic Literacy.

The Last Lecture offers the university community the opportunity to hear reflections on life’s lessons and meaning from a retired or current IUPUI colleague of exceptional merit.

Reservations are required. RSVP online by March 23, or call Angie Vinci-Booher at 317-274-4500.

Kennedy says she has lived through the women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the ’60s, the sexual revolution, the gay rights movement, recent decades of religious zealotry that might be characterized as “America’s most recent Great Awakening,” and a dizzying explosion of new transportation and communication technologies. All those experiences have given her perspectives she will share on issues such as social justice, education and the nature of the common good.

Kennedy has a breadth of personal and professional experience that can rival anyone; she has been a lawyer (both in law firms and for the city of Indianapolis), a businesswoman, an author of nine books, a columnist for the Indianapolis Business Journal, a blogger on her own website and others, executive director of the Indiana affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Last Lecture is sponsored by the Senior Academy, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Indiana University Foundation. For additional information, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 317-274-4500.


  1. Sheila; sorry I am unable to attend your lecture, glad to know it won’t actually be your last:) I notice you didn’t list the Indianapolis Star among your professional experiences, probably part of “and others”:) The print issue of the Star today is a pitiful example of news reporting on the local level. I consider reporting on local crime to be a major part of necessary and reasonable public information. After watching TV news reports yesterday evening and again this morning I was seeking information regarding the accepted plea agreement by the murderer in Shelbyville who now states his mother killed his ex-girlfriend Becky Cassidy with a frying pan and he only helped bury Becky…and her purse. Becky was my daughter-in-law’s niece and cousin of my two grandchildren so I have a personal interest but I was also looking for information regarding the brutal attack in Brookside park and the almost daily shootings in Indianapolis. I believe I am being reasonable in expecting this news in my daily newspaper so believe this issue fits in as part of your upcoming lecture, “Defending Reason in an Unreasonable Time”. Correct me if I am wrong. We who follow your blog are aware the Star is now a local blatantly political showcase; omitting these crime reports denies the public their right to be informed of public safety issues…I consider this to be unreasonable.

  2. Will your lecture be available to view after you present it? Surely it will be videotaped….maybe it should be submitted for TED for the possibility of becoming a “TED-talk”!

    The world deserves to see you speak!

    Thanks for all you do,

    Cynthia O’Connor

  3. I signed up to attend as soon as I saw the notice – am looking forward to your talk!

  4. Most of the time, reading here of Indy’s politics, I’m glad that I don’t live there. Having to miss this though makes me regret it. Break a leg!

    ““It takes a village to raise a child,” goes to the heart of political philosophy: what should that village look like?”

    Provocative question. What popped into my head was, like a family. That covers broad ground so perhaps I should raise the bar to the most functional of families and let each of us imagine who meets that criteria in our experience and why.

    What I imagine is a family that I am extremely close to and my best description of it is that their every transaction is so obviously filled with love and mutual respect. And good humor. Lots of smiles. No secrets. Even when different opinions are on the table, a frequent occurrence given strong personality differences , discussion triumphs over domination. They honestly are the best if friends.

    Of course the question is can we ever hope for what’s exceptional in families be common in the commons?

    Of course the other question is, is there any hope for the projected 9B of us to share this tiny tired planet with less?

  5. Would definitely attend if I lived in the area. I second Cynthia O’Conner’s question regarding if it will be videotaped and available for viewing online.

  6. I’m told the talk will be uploaded to You Tube. If so, I will post a link. Thanks for the kind comments–I was sort of embarrassed to “advertise.”

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