Prior Texts Resource Archive

Confessions in Wisconsin (2014-2015)

Confessions in Wisconsin connected teachers and students throughout the state in the study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s autobiography. The Confessions served as a window into Rousseau’s kaleidoscopic self and bustling world. Through the text, program participants roved through the natural landscapes of Geneva and circulated in Parisian social circles, all while encountering the many and often disparate selves of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. With a repertoire that includes seminal works of philosophy and political science (Social Contract, Discourse on Inequality), educational theory (Emile), a novel (Julie), two works of autobiography (Confessions, Reveries of A Solitary Walker), and an opera, Rousseau's autobiography opened doors to interdisciplinary inquiry like few texts, past or present, providing a forum for critical investigation that will challenge and inspire.

Teachers participating in the program attended two educator colloquia on September 23 and February 10, featuring talks by campus experts, workshopping activities and discussions, and cultural and curricular presentations. Our participating educators and students joined UW-Madison faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, Center staff and members of the public for the Great World Texts in Wisconsin's Annual Student Conference on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Click here for the conference program.

Teaching Resources: click here for the 2014-2015 "Teaching Confessions in Wisconsin" guide and supporting materials.

Confessions in Wisconsin was an initiative of the Center for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supported by the A. W. Mellon Foundation; the Evjue Foundation; UW-Madison Libraries; the Departments of English, History, and French and Italian; the Center for European and German Studies; the Anonymous Fund of the College of Letters & Science; and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

2014-2015 Annual Student Conference Keynote: Danielle S. Allen

Danielle S. Allen is the UPS Foundation Professor of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, a MacArthur Award-winning classicist and political theorist. Her most recent book, Our Declaration, is an incisive re-reading of the Declaration of Independence that restores equality to its rightful place alongside freedom as a foundational principle of democratic governance. Allen met with students and answered student questions at our student conference. She also delivered a free public lecture co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Confessions in Wisconsin Participants

In 2014-2015, nearly 50 educators at 18 high schools around the state participated in Confessions in Wisconsin. 

School City Lead Teachers
Bay Port High School Green Bay Janelle Bailey
Big Foot High School Walworth Suzanne Floody
Bonduel High School Bonduel Hannah Fritsch
Chippewa Falls Senior High School Chippewa Falls Molly Barnes
Community High School Milwaukee William Harvill
Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School Elkhart Lake Lei Lund
Madison Country Day School Madison Evelyn Lasky
Madison East High School Madison Sarah Motl
Milwaukee High School of the Arts Milwaukee Krista Claypool
Necedah Area High School Necedah Mikki Maddox
New Horizons Charter School Shorewood Renee Glembin
Oshkosh North High School Oshkosh Aurora Shimshak
Oshkosh West High School Oshkosh Brian Phelps
Osseo-Fairchild High School Osseo Denise Beasley
Southern Door High School Brussels Erika May
St. Mary's Springs Academy Fond du Lac Lesa Bartel
Washington High School Milwaukee Alexander Branderhorst
Wauwatosa East High School Wauwatosa Damon White