Bringing people together to discuss today's important issues.

Upcoming Events

Recreating the Constitutional Convention of 1787

A Reacting to the Past Simulation Game

Wednesday, Feb. 12
4:00 - 8:00 p.m.  |  Hidatsa, Memorial Union

Register here

The Constitutional Convention of 1787: Constructing the American Republic brings to life the debates that most profoundly shaped American government. As representatives to the Convention, students must investigate the ideological arguments behind possible structures for a new government and create a new constitution.

Reacting to the Past is an award-winning series of immersive role-playing games that actively engage students in their own learning. Students assume the roles of historical characters and practice critical thinking, primary source analysis, and argument, both written and spoken.

Reacting games are run by students, and Reacting roles and games do not have a fixed script or outcome. While students are obliged to adhere to the philosophical and intellectual beliefs of the historical figures they have been assigned to play, they must devise their own means of expressing those ideas persuasively as they pursue a course of action to try to win the game.

Free Speech and Open Inquiry Series

Steve Listopad

Tuesday, Feb. 18
4 p.m.  |  Minard 230

Hazelwood: 32 years of living with a bad SCOTUS decision, and what we're doing about it

Fifty years ago the Supreme Court decided that students don’t lose their freedom of expression at the schoolhouse gate. Thirty-two years ago the same court decided the exact opposite for student journalists. This presentation is a brief history of the Tinker and Hazelwood cases; their impacts on students, society and democracy; and what journalism advocates around the country are doing to restore the expression rights of student journalists one state at a time.

Thomas Cushman, Ph.D.

Tuesday, March 3
4 p.m.  |  Minard 230

Making Unpersons: The Emergence of Cancel Culture in Modern America

Liberal democracies are based on the idea of civil discourse and tolerance among citizens who hold different views. The presumption is that, no matter how stark our differences, we treat each other as persons, with respect and dignity in order to work through these differences. One of the most troubling developments in contemporary American society is the emergence of what is being called “cancel culture.” The current polarized cultural environment of American society has led to a degradation of mutual respect for the dignity of others. Instead, what has emerged is a situation in which those with conflicting ideas see those with different views as “bad persons”. They are to be shunned, ostracized, punished, in short, made into what might be called “unpersons.” The making of unpersons is a characteristic of intolerant, regressive societies and represents a troubling development for the future of liberal democratic societies. This talk examines the emergence of cancel culture and the prospects for how we might restore dignity and respect for others as persons in order to find common cause in efforts to promote human flourishing in a liberal democratic society.

Vernon Smith, Ph.D. (Nobel laureate)

Friday, March 27
3 p.m.  |  Barry Hall AgCountry Auditorium

Classical Economics: Lost and Found; Role of Experiments

Dr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. His talk will focus on the rediscovery and rehabilitation of classical economics, which he described as an indirect and completely unexpected consequence of his work in experimental economics. He will discuss how neo-classical economics influenced early experimental market explorations and how those experimental explorations changed how we thought about markets, and eventually resurrected the dynamics of classical market price discovery processes. He will also discuss Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments as it relates to the origin and natural evolution of human sociability wherein civil discourse was an essential part of humanization. 

Capitalism and Society Lecture Series

Christopher Coyne, Ph.D.

Monday, April 20
4:30 p.m.  |  Barry Hall AgCountry Auditorium

Doing Bad by Doing Good

Using the tools of economics, Dr. Christopher Coyne's book, Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails, shifts the discussion from the moral imperative of how governments should behave to a positive analysis of how they actually do. In this talk, Coyne will examine the limits of short-term humanitarian aid and long-term development assistance, the disconnect between intentions and reality, and why economic freedom—protection of property rights, private means of production, and free trade of labor and goods—provides the best means for minimizing human suffering.


There is street parking on the surrounding blocks and a nearby parking garage. The Roberts Commons parking garage offers free parking - see Location C on this map:

Please observe all posted signs and do not park in the private Sons of Norway lot.


Our Calendar

The PCPE calendar shows all of our events, reading group meetings, application and scholarship deadlines, conferences and presentations, office closures, and important dates for the NDSU campus. PCPE Calendar



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