My name is Ilana Redstone. I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have a joint Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of Pennsylvania.
I am an avid believer in the importance of understanding different viewpoints and worldviews, both in the classroom and more broadly. It is through mutual understanding and communication that we can reduce political polarization and hostility and move towards better solutions for many of our most vexing problems.
During the Spring 2019 semester, I taught a course I developed on viewpoint diversity (called Bigots and Snowflakes) along with a more traditional Social Problems course. Both courses are unique: The former was developed with the explicit goal of building an appreciation for intellectual diversity and the latter converted a more traditional course from one normally taught from a singular political perspective to one with a wide range of viewpoints. I look forward to teaching both again in the 2019-2020 academic year.
I have also recently completed a manuscript (with co-author John Villasenor, UCLA) on the specifics of how these problems manifest in a way that constrains the academic enterprise. I am excited to bring these ideas and skills to the world outside of academia.