ACRE Reading Groups

Spring 2024 ACRE Reading Groups

Economics: The Morality of Markets: Monday Evenings

Are markets moral? Claims about income inequality, labor exploitation, environmentalism, and more have many wondering whether market systems are compatible with a moral society. Are market systems effective? Is the market “fair?” How do we consider trade-offs and opportunity costs in decision making? How do we measure and compare systems? Throughout this reading group, students will read a variety of primary and secondary articles to learn about the ethical questions surrounding various markets.

Philosophy: Worldly Philosophy: Wednesday Evenings

What do Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Hayek all have in common? They’re dead!

Aside from that, they were also economists, philosophers, and political theorists. Philosophy is a method and a disposition: an approach to understanding our complex world. Historically, political philosophers have asked questions like: How ought we to structure the laws of society? How ought we to distribute scarce resources? What do human beings require in order to flourish, and what, if anything, is the obligation of the state in this regard? What motivates human beings to cooperate, and when is coercion justified? Whether we classify those who address these questions as economists, political economists, philosophers, or social scientists is irrelevant. All who address these issues must delicately balance theories of human nature, law, and social interaction against values of the right and the good. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Marx, Mill, or Smith, one must engage with and understand their approaches to these issues if one wants to understand our world. There is great benefit to engaging with brilliant minds, so….Join us as we explore the ideas of seminal thinkers in philosophy and economics, understanding them in the context of their own times and discovering the continued relevance they have for ours.

Family & Consumer Sciences: Not Your Average Housewives: From Home Economists to Human Ecologists: Thursday Evenings

The field of Family & Consumer Sciences was founded in 1908 by the American Home Economics Association. In 1994 Home Economics rebranded as “Family and Consumer Sciences” to highlight the broad scope of knowledge those with a FACS background receive. The field expanded opportunities for women in the twentieth century by re-focusing skillsets for a variety of professional areas from business to medicine to technology. During this reading group, students will read The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live. Author Danielle Dreilinger traces the field’s history and highlights how women became chemists and marketers, studied nutrition, health, and exercise, tested parachutes, created astronaut food, and took bold steps in childhood development and education.

Additional Information:

ACRE reading groups consist of weekly meetings lead by UCA professors. A $500 scholarship will be awarded upon completion of the reading group. For questions about reading groups and the application process continuing reading, or contact Terra Aquia at The Reading Group Scholarship is awarded to students who fully participate over the course of the program. Students who do not actively participate each week, are consistently tardy, or are absent without legitimate reason will be ineligible for the scholarship.

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.