The Center for John Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) was established as the central home for the works and study of philosopher/educator John Dewey. Led by Dr. Larry Hickman, "the Center for Dewey Studies is the home of ongoing publishing projects and research materials that focus on the life and work of the American philosopher and educator John Dewey."[1] "By virtue of its publications and research, the Center has become the international focal point for research on Dewey's life and work."[2] As the major Center for Dewey Studies in the world, SIUC hosts scholars from around the globe.[3] "Besides publishing and making available electronically Dewey's works, the SIU Carbondale Center for Dewey Studies helps establish sister centers for Dewey Studies at universities around the world. Right now there are sister centers in Germany, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Japan, Turkey and China. The SIU Carbondale center partners with these sister centers for conferences and other scholarly forums for discussion and investigation of Dewey's works and ideas, but also partners with some of the centers for other activities, such as, in the case of the Chinese center, translating and publishing."[4]

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2011, the Center was founded in 1961 by Lewis E. Hahn[5] initiating as the "Co-operative Research on Dewey Publications."[6] "SIUC has a center dedicated to the study of his life and works because former University President Delyte Morris acquired the majority of Dewey materials for the University, beating out such other hopefuls as Columbia University." [7] "From the outset the "Dewey Project," as it was called until 1971, was unique in the history of American letters: the first full-scale collected edition of the writing of an American philosopher; the only philosophical edition fully supported for more than a decade by a public university; and the first, and for a number of years the only, edition of philosophical writings ever edited according to the rigorous standards of the Modern Language Association's Center for Editions of American Authors.

But why John Dewey? And why Southern Illinois University? Quite simply, through what seems in retrospect to have been a fortuitous congruence of persons and events. George E. Axtelle, director of the Dewey Project for its first five years and a lifelong student of Dewey's work, had, in the years before his retirement from New York University, prepared - with William Gruen and Joseph Ratner - a proposal to develop an analytic concordance of the major philosophical terms in John Dewey's writings."[8]

37 volumes of the philosopher's complete works were completed by the center in the early 1990s.[9]

The Collected Works of John Dewey

"In 1990 the Center's editorial team, under the direction of Dr. Jo Ann Boydston, completed the monumental thirty-seven-volume critical edition of Dewey's writings. The Collected Works of John Dewey was published by Southern Illinois University Press in three series: The Early Works, 1882-1989 (five volumes); The Middle Works, 1899-1924 (fifteen volumes); and The Later Works, 1925-1953 (seventeen volumes). A cumulative short-title and subject index to The Collected Works was published in 1991. In 1996 the Center completed an electronic edition of The Collected Works, available on CD-ROM from the InteLex Corporation. Featuring superior Boolean and hypertex search tools, the electronic edition offers unprecedented access to Dewey's work. In order to facilitate standard citation, line and page breaks of the print edition have been maintained.

The Correspondence of John Dewey

By 1990 Dewey's writings had become available in a critically acclaimed print edition; his correspondence, however, was still widely dispersed and difficult or impossible to access. Researchers had first to determine the location of the materials and then request copies from scores of separate repositories. Some researchers found Dewey's handwriting difficult to read. Even when content could be discerned, researchers still needed to seek advice regarding the best way to quote the material. With generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Dewey Foundation, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and private donors, the Center has published a comprehensive electronic edition of the Dewey correspondence. Volume 1 (1871-1918) was published in a CD-ROM edition in 1999. In January 2000 it was selected by the editors of Choice as one of only nineteen publications in the field of philosophy to receive an "Outstanding Academic Title of 1999" award. Volume 2 (1919–1939) was published in 2001 and Volume 3 (1940–1952) was published in 2005. The Correspondence of John Dewey is available from the InteLex Corporation."[10]

The Center for Dewey Studies also houses a wide variety of rich aesthetic resources on, and related to the life of, John Dewey and his philosophy of art.[11]

The Center and its Director have been featured in the recent film, John Dewey: His Life and Work (2001).[12]

Center for Dewey Studies
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
807 South Oakland Avenue, MC:6822
Carbondale, Illinois

See also


  1. ^ [1], “Center for Dewey Studies.” Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Webpage. (accessed March 22, 2012).
  2. ^ "About" Archived October 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Center for Dewey Studies. Retrieved 1/14/2009.
  3. ^ Southern Illinois University, College of Liberal Arts, “COLA News.” March 2009. Newsletter.[permanent dead link] (accessed March 5, 2012).
  4. ^ Hahn, Andrea. "Center for Dewey Studies marks 50th anniversary." The Southern, Online edition, November 4, 2011. (accessed March 5, 2012).
  5. ^ Hahn, L.E. "Thomé H. Fang and the Spirit of Chinese Philosophy", from Keynote Address to the First International Symposium on the Philosophy of Thomé H. Fang., Retrieved 1/14/2009.
  6. ^ Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, "Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Center for Dewey Studies." Brochure. March 22, 2012.
  7. ^ Southern Illinois University, “SIUC’s Center for Dewey Studies Marks 50th Anniversary.” Weekly Communiqué. On-line newsletter. November 11, 2011. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-03-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (accessed March 5, 2012).
  8. ^ Boydston, Jo Ann, and Hahn, Lewis, E., "The Center for Dewey Studies," Religious Humanism, Volume 15, 1981.
  9. ^ Hechinger, F.M. (July 18, 1990) "Education: About Education", New York Times. Retrieved 1/14/2009.
  10. ^ Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, "Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale." Brochure. August, 2007.
  11. ^ Dewey, John. "Dewey Reading “Art as Our Heritage” in 1940." Audio/Video. Recorded 1940. Center for Dewey Studies. Archived 2014-01-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved: 3/5/2012.
  12. ^ John Dewey: An Introduction to His Life and Work, with Larry Hickman, Ph.D. DVD. San Luis Obispo: Davidson Films, Inc, 2001.