Successful democracies gather their strength and vitality from their ability to generate remarkably rapid knowledge transmission and an impressively fluid circulation of knowledge across geographical and social barriers. In a successful democracy, social diversity translates into an expanded knowledge base compiled from the banks of the entire citizenry. A central goal of the Civic Knowledge Project is to lead the University in generating modes of knowledge transmission between itself and its surrounding knowledge communities that might help jumpstart, in places where it has broken down or has never existed, the process of cultural circulation and mutual influence that is crucial to socioeconomic mobility and fluidity, and successful democratic practice.
- Danielle Allen, Founder of the Civic Knowledge Project and former Dean of the Humanities
- provides educational and humanities programming, linking the University to other knowledge communities surrounding it;
- develops institutional policy that aims to establish channels for the exchange of knowledge among different knowledge communities on the south side of Chicago;
- serves as an organ for the dissemination of knowledge from the University to the community and from the community to the University; and
- undertakes small research projects that foster understanding of
- how knowledge circulates in the demographic context of the U.S. and
- the relationship between the circulation of knowledge and socio-economic status. Most research in this area begins from the assumption that socio-economic status determines knowledge acquisition. We start from the premise that knowledge acquisition and the circulation of knowledge significantly affect socio-economic status. We consider knowledge and its circulation to have structural social effects (i.e. influence class formation) on a fundamental level just as do brute economic realities. Helping to increase knowledge circulation in the area surrounding the University therefore empowers the people of the area’s communities and establishes the University as a valuable community resource. Increasing knowledge circulation between the University and the surrounding community also establishes the community as a valuable resource to the University.
A brief introduction to the Civic Knowledge Project (DOC)
Bart Schultz, "The New Chicago School of Philosophy" (Link)
Danielle Allen on the origins of CKP (PDF)
Bart Schultz on Obama's Rhetoric, Pragmatism and The University of Chicago (PDF)