Civil rights, elusive sleep, technology are next teach-out topics


Four new teach-outs in August and September will focus on technological advances that have changed the way we live, civil rights and civil liberties in the current political environment, and a silent epidemic that impacts the health of millions. 

The second round of the short, weekend-long global learning opportunities will focus on:

Round 3 call for proposals
  • Call for proposals
  • Deadline for submission: Sept. 27

  • Awards announced: Oct. 5

  • Information session and coffee hour: 9-10 a.m. Sept. 8, Academic Innovation offices, eighth floor, Hatcher Graduate Library South
  • Award amount: Up to $5,000, with additional resources and support by AI

  • Teach-out dates: Oct. 18, 2017 to Jan. 18, 2018

• The evolution of the Internet and impact on our lives and society.

• Civil rights and liberties in a Trump era.

• Privacy and identity in a Big Data era.

• Confronting the modern epidemic of sleep deprivation.

“As we had hoped, faculty innovators see in the teach-out series an opportunity to unbundle our curricula from the disciplines and rebundle around society’s most interesting and important problems,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation.

“In expanding the series, we’re inviting global learners to connect with our campus community to understand current movements, trends and disruptions shaping our society. Importantly, we hope teach-out learners discover specific ways to participate in and shape the future, both as individuals and as members of communities.”

President Mark Schlissel launched the series in March as part of an Academic Innovation Initiative. The first four teach-outs took place from March to May, and reached several thousand learners from 130 countries.

The learning opportunities are modeled after the historic U-M teach-ins, which started in 1965 in response to military action in Vietnam. Instead of protesting, faculty brought together experts for a marathon educational event on campus.

The teach-outs, similar in their focus on current topics, use modern technology and just-in-time learning strategies to deliver the content.

Margo Schlanger, the Henry M. Butzel Professor of Law, is presenting the teach-out on civil rights. She said the session is representative of the work she has done throughout her career as a civil rights lawyer, and relates to her decade-long project, the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.

In the proposal Schlanger wrote about the relevance of the topic, asking why President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration is seen as a civil rights issue but a Republican move to repeal the Affordable Care Act is not.

“I hope participants will learn a new perspective on civil rights claims — that American conceptions of civil rights have varied over time, changing as they are contested and molded by public movements. I particularly want to counter the conception of civil rights as a 1960s movement that is over and done, and highlight the current contests and how they have evolved,” Schlanger said.  

“I hope the audience will be people involved in or seeking to understand current civil rights movements and contests. And we’ll also have some special activities and curricular materials for high school teachers who teach about government, law, or civil rights history.”

Joining her in the teach-out are faculty from law, political science and sociology at U-M, and one history professor from Grand Valley State University. 

“Powerful faculty collaboration across disciplines increases our ability to elevate public awareness and discourse around timely topics of widespread interest,” DeVaney said.

In addition to those represented in the civil rights teach-out, others are from the departments of Physics and History in LSA, the Medical School and the School of Information.

Enrollment information will be posted at Email questions to


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