ACRE Reading Groups

Upcoming in Spring 2022

ACRE reading groups are weekly sessions co-lead by UCA professors. A $500 scholarship will be awarded upon completion of the reading group.
For questions about reading groups or the application process, contact Suzanne Massey at

More reading groups may be announced for Spring 2022 – be sure to check back!

 “Capitalism, Socialism, and Human Flourishing”

Economics Reading Group

Students will explore the historical debate about the extent to which economies should be planned by governments or left to individuals. They will read and discuss works by a diverse group of scholars, including Adam Smith, Karl Marx, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Joseph Stiglitz, that examine theoretical arguments for and against capitalism and socialism, as well as the outcomes of these systems in practice. We’ll explore questions such as:

  • What do “socialism” and “capitalism” mean?
  • What is the best way for a society to organize its economic system?
  • How do societies ensure that scarce resources are channeled to highly valued uses?
  • What can we learn from the past experiences of other countries with differing systems of government?

ACRE’s Economics Reading Group complements parallel programs at other Southern universities. Students will examine the same set of readings and may be given opportunities to interact with students at other campuses.

The group will meet in-person at the College of Business, Monday nights from 5:00-7:00pm. Contact Dr. Jeremy Horpedahl at with any questions about the Economics reading group.

The Heresy of Heresies is Common Sense

George Orwell’s 1984, Authoritarianism, and Liberty

Philosophy Reading Group

Before political correctness, there was Thoughtcrime. Before microaggressions, there was Newspeak. Orwell’s classic envisioned a frightening future dystopia where every aspect of human existence, even one’s innermost thoughts, was controlled by Big Brother. At a time when it seems more and more that those who control the present seek to control the past, where polarization has led to partisans seeking uniformity where all think the same thoughts and shout the same slogans. At a time when truth seems an antiquated notion because what is important is only what you believe, it is important to be reminded of some of humanity’s most important values: autonomy, integrity, and popular sovereignty. By engaging George Orwell’s classic 1984 alongside the writings of thinkers such as Erich Fromm, Jonathan Rauch, F.A. Hayek, J.S. Mill, Michel Foucault, Robert Talisse, and Ronald Dworkin, we’ll explore questions such as:

  • Who determines what the truth is, and why does it matter?
  • What is the value of liberty and why are people so willing to sacrifice it?
  • How does power work to control populations?
  • What is the value of free speech?
  • Why is dissent and a diversity of viewpoints fundamental to a healthy, democratic society?

The group will meet in-person at the College of Business, Thursday nights from 5:30-7:00pm. Contact Dr. Jake Held at with any questions about the Philosophy reading group.

Apply now!


Want to check out our past reading group topics? Click here! Or watch the below video to get an idea of what an ACRE reading group could be like for you.