ACRE Reading Groups

Upcoming in Spring 2021

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 Zachary Burt at

To apply for one of our reading groups, fill out the application here.

Applications for the Economics and Philosophy Groups are now closed.

Applications for the History Group have been extended until Jan. 25th


“Economics, Evolution, and the Environment”

Economics Reading Group

The McLane Teammates Reading Program will again operate concurrently at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Baylor University, the University of Central Arkansas, and Angelo State University during the Spring 2021 semester. Each group will discuss similar readings. The theme for the Spring 2021 program is Economics, Evolution, and the Environment. Our relationship with the natural environment affects and is affected by every aspect of economic activity. Students will read and discuss works on this issue from a variety of perspectives from authors such as Matthew Ridley and William Nordhaus. Program participants will explore these questions and more:

  • Discussions will address questions such as:
  • How are biological and social evolution related?
  • How can economics inform ecology, and vice versa?
  • What does our evolutionary history imply for social policy?
  • What is the best way to protect the natural environment?
  • How can we address the problem of climate change?

In February, program participants will participate in a virtual summit meeting with participants from each participating school. The summit program will feature group discussions and formal remarks from Matthew Ridley, columnist for The Telegraph and The Times, and member of the Science and Technology select committee for the House of Lords in Great Britain. The group will meet in-person at the College of Business, Monday nights from 5:00-7:00pm.


“Institutions and the Constitution”

History Reading Group

What is the proper role of government? What should its primary function be? What role should government play in the lives of everyday citizens? How do legal and social institutions increase or decrease the power of government? In this reading group, students explored these questions in relation to the creation of the United States Constitution. Students will read works from scholars like Dennis Mueller, James Buchanan, and Joyce Appleby, as well as a wealth of primary source documents.

The group will primarily meet virtually on Wednesday nights from 5:30-7:30pm. Students will meet for one in-person event to hold a mock Constitutional Convention where they will debate issues and write their own Constitution.


“We Watch the Watchmen!”

Philosophy Reading Group

What if superheroes were real? Would they be able to stay heroic in the real world? Participants in this reading group will get to discuss these and other questions about liberty, justice, free will, and punishment.

Philosophy reading group participants will be reading the iconic Watchmen graphic novel created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in the mid 1980s. They will also watch and discuss the award winning 2019 HBO series Watchmen created by Damon Lindelof, who was inspired by the novel.

These works explore resentment, love, & despair. By taking in depth looks at characters like Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, and Sister Night we learn about ourselves and our world.

Participants will also read additional philosophical and historical works to help them contextualize philosophical ideas like Fatalism and Utilitarianism and historical events like the Vietnam War and 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The group will meet in the College of Business during X-period (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:30pm) to watch screenings of the TV series, and will meet Wednesday nights from 5:30-7:00pm for discussions.


If you are interested in participating in a future reading group, or if you have any other questions, please contact Zachary Burt at Check back soon for more information about applications for our Spring 2021 groups.

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.