About The Encounters Series

The Encounters Series, a program dedicated to fostering unexpected conversations around divisive issues and obscure knowledge, began in Spring 2017 with the sponsorship of the Humility & Conviction in Public Life project, the Hartford Public Library (Hartford History Center), and the Wadsworth Atheneum (The Amistad Center for Art & Culture).

Encounters dives deeply into the subjects that are of interest to the Greater Hartford community through facilitated, small-group dialogues followed by a "question and answer"-style conversation with UConn faculty and community partners. Readings are provided beforehand to better encourage informed and informal dialogue within conversations that often prove to be polarizing, and thus unproductive.

The Fall 2018 Dialogues focused on public encounters around the relationship and dis/connection individuals have with disasters, home, and reality. Discussions centered on the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, the continued effects of The Treaty of Hartford on state history, and relationship between Surrealism and War. New partners Connecticut's Old State House and the Akomawt Educational Initiative were welcomed.

The Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Dialogues focused on public encounters that dealt with the communal ties that separate and bind us to one another. Special attention was also paid to the role of faith, knowledge, and art in these situations. To that end, dialogues were run on The 1%; the Voting Rights Act, Intrafaith Conflict, Alchemy & Science, The American Gothic, and Citizen. Encounters also partners with the University on the Day of Metanoia, "Togetherness: Confronting Racism," to present Encounters: Confronting Racism Through Dialogue.

The Spring 2017 Dialogues focused on public encounters with foundational documents that influence civic identity and politics within the United States, including the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. The theme of the semester was "Rethinking Freedom."

Our Partners:

Hartford Public Library

Hartford History Center

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture

Connecticut's Old State House

Akomawt Educational Initiative