As the hub of a growing network, CultureFeed, a project of the Advanced Studies in Culture Foundation, brings together civic leaders interested in character formation and citizenship education by telling inspiring stories and connecting them with research and analysis from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.
Are your teachers and students becoming remarkable people? Do you have a teacher whose advisory group is consistently amazing? Do you have a student who is leading a peer mentoring program? Do you have a counselor who helps students go from disciplinary referrals to being a classroom leader? Write for CultureFeed. We aim to be the premier platform where educators and civic leaders share stories of promising practices in building character in students.
The social transformation of the last 50 years has radically changed the nature of childhood, particularly the circumstances of children’s socialization and their development of self-identities. Changes in the structure of family and community groups, pervasive communications media, and the interconnectedness and uncertainties of globalization have resulted in a fluid and unpredictable social environment. Children inhabit a more mobile and individualized world, with fewer and weaker external authorities. Personal identity and formation are unlinked from stable social relations.
Over the past 20 years, the Institute’s research has found that rich cultural traditions and dense moral communities are critical to forming good character in children. The purpose of CultureFeed is to connect civic leaders with cultural analysis that informs their work and to provide the platform through which civic leaders tell stories and present promising practices of formation. To that end, CultureFeed revolves around the practices of character and citizenship formation in your institutions. What makes it work? A few ways to think about it:
Several core values inform our philosophy and guide our work, and are helpful “backstory” for authors publishing with us.
In our staff-written articles, we seek to understand and engage cultural change using the “dialectic” of critique and affirmation. In part we aim to critique work with which we disagree but which contains elements that should be affirmed. More importantly, we wish to reflect on insights and resources from all kinds of practitioners and sources.
The stories we tell and the accounts we give are part of the deep structure of culture. They reflect something essential within the human person: narrative is fundamental to human meaning, identity, and purpose, whether individual or collective. Therefore, we’re most excited to receive and post stories and narratives.
The changes taking place in our world have raised unprecedented challenges that all of us confront daily. The culture-shaping work that civic leaders and educators do matters greatly, because much is at stake regarding the flourishing of the present and future generations. Therefore, while we seek writing that is analytical, we prize that which is also passionate.
Our work may have social and political implications, but we do not craft public policy, take partisan positions, or seek to influence governance. We believe that the fundamental human predicament is cultural, not political.
The Institute’s work is informed by its members’ varied disciplinary groundings, and by their diverse and particular religious confessions and philosophical traditions—among them, Jewish, secularist, Christian, and Muslim. These disciplinary perspectives and convictions do not hinder us from or blind us to reality. Rather they are lenses through which aspects of reality are made vivid. Our differences—methodological and philosophical—produce deep, rich, grounded practice.