Come Explore with Us!


Fall 2018 2nd Saturday Lineup

Our 2nd Saturday events are a great way to connect with the humanities in a community setting. For each event, we meet in the M Station Classroom (2906 East MLK Jr. Blvd., above the leasing office) from 10 am—noon. We will have bagels and coffee, and attendees are always invited to bring brunch items to share. Kiddos and guests are welcome, with child care provided by M Station Learning Center staff.


Saturday, Sept. 8: What’s in a Name? Hispanic, Latino, Latina, Latinx

As Hispanic Heritage Month approaches, the idea of group identity can be vexing. For people of various Latin American backgrounds, can one name bring together people with wildly varying experiences? What does the recent indigenous migrant from Guatemala have in common with seventh-generation Tejanos? What might either have in common with folks from Puerto Rico or Cuba? And why does this all matter in establishing a visible presence in the US? Through discussion, we’ll get to all these questions and more.

John Morán González, Ph.D., serves as director for The Center for Mexican American Studies and professor of English at UT Austin.


Saturday, Oct. 13: Shakespeare: From Page to Stage

You may have heard it said that the best way to understand Shakespeare’s works is through getting on your feet and performing them. The action and characters of Shakespeare come alive through voice, movement and gesture. Shakespeare performance expert and longtime Free Minds volunteer Clayton Stromberger will return to guide us in an active, intergenerational workshop as we go from “page to stage.” Kids of Free Minders, ages 8 and above, are welcome to join the session.

Clayton Stromberger is Outreach Coordinator for UT’s Shakespeare at Winedale program and has taught active approaches to Shakespeare for 35 years. He is a regular guest leader in Free Minds.


Saturday, Nov. 10: Learning to Read as a Writer 

Writing fiction is an exercise in seeing both the forest and the trees. You need to think about a scene or plot as a whole but work on them one sentence at a time. This is why we often lose track of where we’re going and why our great ideas seem to dissipate once we begin writing. How can we solve problems of character, scene, plot, and structure word by word and sentence by sentence? Often, we can find these strategies in the stories we read. Author and teacher Michael Noll will lead us through several exercises to find new tools for our own work.

Michael directs programming for the Writer’s League of Texas and formerly taught in Free Minds.


Saturday, Dec. 8: Live Your Virtue: Aristotle on Pursuing Excellence and Living in Community

Aristotle’s view of a life well-lived included both the individual pursuit of excellence and living in community with fellow human beings. Join us for a conversation about living well in difficult times, facilitated by Matthew Daude Laurents, Ph.D.

Matthew is a philosopher, philosophical counselor, and long-time professor in the Free Minds Project. He serves as Dean of Liberal Arts at Austin Community College.