A Brief History of Sustainability, with faculty member Ralph H. Lutts: Sustainability is hot, but it is also old stuff. The famous 1987 Brundtland Report that promoted sustainable development was a latecomer on the sustainability scene. Some of its core principles were articulated and began to be practiced in the United States 80 years earlier. The history of sustainability can be traced back to ancient times. We will examine this history of both sustainability successes and failures with an emphasis upon the past century in the U.S. We will also examine conflicts between the concepts of sustainable development and sustainable communities, as well as the interplay between sustainability as personal practice and social policy.
An Experimental Toolkit for Close Reading in Culture(s): Digging Deep, Uncovering Unconscious Biases, with faculty member Karen Campbell: I’d like to introduce you to a multi-lens toolkit that I hope you will find useful (and provocative) when reading the texts you’re studying – and by texts I mean anything from film, to fiction/creative non-fiction or theater, to scholarly books and papers, or actions (& anything else you mine for insight).
Being with Birds, with faculty member Jim Sparrell: This is a three-part early morning workshop. One day will consist of a short walk around campus to see what we hear and see in terms of bird activity. The second part will consist of establishing a “sit spot” and practicing listening closely. In the final session we will revisit the sit spot and discuss our experiences in the context of relational epistemology of place and reflections on indigenous knowing from the work of people like Linda Hogan, Mary Oliver, and Jon Young. This perspective provides an interesting alternative to conservation or objectivist paradigms, can help to counter cynicism and indifference, and have implications for constructions of concepts of “health.”
Critical Thinking and Critical Writing – Tools of Scholarship, with faculty member Sarah Van Hoy: This workshop will provide a simple yet creative framework for deepening critical thinking, critical reading and critical writing skills. We’ll approach both critical thinking and writing from the perspective of authentic scholarship. How do we bring our whole and real selves to our scholarship? How can critical thinking and critical writing inspire us, bring us into relationship with conversations where we want to play? We will explore concrete strategies for research and writing and share our challenges and successes with each other.
Exploring the Solidarity Economy Framework, with faculty members Sarah Bobrow-Williams and Richard Schramm: The solidarity economy concept – economía solidaria – came out of grassroots movements in Latin America in the 1980s, developed into a global movement at the World Social Forum in 2001 and today represents thousands of grassroots initiatives in the U.S. and worldwide. The solidarity economy constitutes a transformative economic model rooted in egalitarian, reciprocal and participatory relationships between individuals, workers, producers, consumers and the earth and in shared values of cooperation, economic democracy, equity and sustainability. Solidarity refers to unity with people and movements who share these values; with oppressed groups of people, especially the poor, women, indigenous peoples, people of color, gay/lesbian/bisexual/ transgendered peoples, and workers; and with a vision of an economically, socially, and environmentally restorative world.
The Feminism Question: Thirteen Ways of Looking at the “F” word, with faculty member Lise Weil: It’s been over thirty years since the emergence of the Second Wave of Feminism in the US in the 1970s, and according to some, we are now living in a post-feminist era. With the critical distance such an interval affords, it seems important to ask: what exactly did feminism achieve? What did it fail to achieve? Is it still relevant in a world so immediately threatened by environmental disaster and if so how? In what ways do we see it embraced and/or refused by today’s queer and transgender movements? Before we address any of those questions, of course, we will need to ask: what was/is feminism? It’s very possible that there will be as many definitions as there are people in the room. We all have our own experiences of feminism, whether it’s understood as a movement or a form of consciousness. I will start with my own story, which begins in the 70s in the northeast US where both feminist and lesbian culture were exploding and where in 1982 I founded the feminist journal Trivia: A Journal of Ideas. As a feminist editor in the 80s and 90s I was at the center of a series of political controversies whose legacies we are still living with today.
How to Start a Revolution: The Work of Gene Sharp, with faculty member Francis X. Charet: Gene Sharp, an American academic who works out of a modest office of The Albert Einstein Institution, in Boston, has been instrumental in developing Gandhi’s method of non-violent resistance into a formidable force for social and political change. Considered by many to be Gandhi’s successor, his writings have inspired activists around the world from Burma to Syria. This workshop will consist of showing the recently released award winning film on him entitled “How to Start a Revolution” followed by a discussion of his work.
Speaking bodies (a three-part minicourse), with faculty member Ellie Epp: We’re linguistic beings. Many of us talk all day long, whether aloud or only in our heads. Written language is how we study and for many of us it’s also our medium of art. Since how we think about language will unconsciously determine how we think of much of what we do by means of language, it would make sense to begin every study by asking how language works – what language is. That rarely happens, but the Speaking bodies minicourse will begin to bring this essential and obscured human function into focus. It will include questions like these: What is the relation of language to consciousness? How does language come to be built in relation to place? How can language mend illness or trauma? Is there an ethic of language – what is good language, or bad language?
Split the Village: Dam-Building, Theatre-Making and Intangible Cultural Heritage – Update and Info Session, with faculty member Katt Lissard: Ecosystems have been disrupted, livelihoods destroyed and millions of people relocated from their homes and villages around the world because of the ongoing construction of dams. In March of 2012, some initial groundwork was laid to create both performance and a series of active archives “capturing” the intangible cultural heritage of the people and place along a 14 kilometer stretch of the Phuthiatšana River in rural Lesotho, southern Africa, which is slated to be flooded in 2013 when construction of the Metolong Dam is complete. Split the Village will take off in earnest this fall and will continue over the coming year and a half – culminating (hopefully) with a joint performance project with the South Dallas Cultural Center in late 2013. Goddard students will have an opportunity to participate in the project in various ways over the next several semesters. Participation could mean a wide variety of things and take a variety of forms depending on what your graduate work engages: place studies, environmental studies, community arts, healing arts, anthropology, cultural studies, sustainability, performing arts, creative writing, land rights, gender inequity, social action … the list, while not endless, is somewhat wide open.
Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing as Revelatory Experience, as Participation in the Creation of the New Story, with faculty member Susan Pearson: In this year of 2012, amidst a profusion of perspectives on the dissolutions and transformations of our time, many are lending their vision to the emergence of a New Story. The old story of Western cultural history has lost its luminosity as an organizing principle for shaping our daily lives, their systems and institutions, …and for explaining who we are in relationship to all of life, why we’re here, what we can bring, and how. As we draw from strengths and capacities developed in response to the old story and discard what no longer fits, we seem to be constructing a more unifying narrative, one more globally honoring and sustaining, a vision of life and the cosmos as self-organizing, dynamically unfolding in each moment, and integrally related as a Whole.
Wreckage, Wonder & Ways Through the Impossible: Writing About Life’s Hard Stuff, with faculty member Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg: Adrienne Rich writes: “I don’t want to know/ wreckage, dreck and waste, but these are the materials/and so are the slow lift of the moon’s belly/ over wreckage, dreck, and waste, wild treefrogs calling in/ another season, light and music still pouring over/ our fissured, cracked terrain.” By drawing on our materials, and writing honestly, ethically and courageously, we can create writing that serves us and the world. Yet in writing fiction, poetry, memoir, multi-genre or other about something charged, looking at when, how and why you write it is essential for creating transformative art. We’ll look at some of the research (including James Pennebaker, Louise DelSalvo and others) about when and how to write about our life’s hard stuff in ways that don’t re-traumatize us or send us spinning our wheels in a big valley of mud (including support you can wrap around you when writing about such topics). We’ll also look at examples of powerful writing about the impossible, such as found in the work of Joy Harjo, Wally Lamb, Adrienne Rich, Gregory Orr, Toni Morrison, Dorothy Allison, and Sharon Olds. Additionally, we’ll try out a few writing prompts to sort through what focus of writing is most ripe in your life, and how to best proceed.