Here’s a sampling of faculty workshops presented at the Fall 2013 residency.
These workshops represent what faculty are investigating and creating — from explorations with dominant narratives to how and if our brains are encultured to social change theater in India.
A Tree with One Root Tends to Topple: The Appeal and Problem with Dominant Narratives, with faculty member Jim Sparrell. We will consider the challenges and importance of escaping from stereotype, assumption, and simplifying schemas in our research and writing. Viewing brief TED Talks from Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie and one from Aimee Mullins will provide a context for our discussion. From a neurocognitive perspective, Charles Fernyhough’s book, Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Storie
s We Tell About Our Pasts provides accessible insight related to the processes of narrative and autobiographical memory in reconstructing stories. This is an ethics workshop.
The Social and Ethical Considerations of License Renewal for Nuclear Power Plants Past its Design Life: A Case Study of Pilgrim (MA.) Nuclear Power Station, with faculty member Bindu Panikkar. This is an informational workshop that will explore the social, ethical, scientific, and legal and policy concerns surrounding the license renewal of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. About half a century after the first commercial nuclear generator became operational; many first generation reactors are either close to the end of its design life or are functioning past its design life with renewed licenses The goal of this project is to understand and document how social, legal, and ethical factors shape science, technology, and policy making and advances the protection of the environment and prevention of environmental disasters.
Innovations in Cooperation – Models for Cooperatively Developing Communities, Economies and Businesses, with faculty member Sarah Bobrow–Williams: Participants will be introduced to the concepts of cooperative economics and social entrepreneurship. We will discuss cooperative principals, structures, values and approaches that can and are being applied to address issues of social inclusion and community and economic well being. Underlying motivations for starting cooperatives will be examined. Models of economic cooperation including the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in the Basque region of Spain will be reviewed to uncover considerations, development strategies and innovations which can contribute to a cooperative’s long term viability.
Thinking Through the Body –or- How to Write Critically Without Boring Your Readers—And, More Importantly, Yourself, with faculty member Lise Weil: We’ve been taught to think of thinking as something abstracted from the senses, from pleasure, from bodily experience. Critical (i.e. “thinky”) writing is or should be dry, abstract, linear, serious, controlled. “Creative” writing is where we get to loosen up and have fun, to be juicy, associative, anecdotal. In increasing numbers, though, and with great boldness and
imagination, writers today are refusing the split between critical intelligence and embodied voice. Rigorous inquiry invents its own quirky forms, speaks in a personal voice. Personal narratives incorporate research, raw data, journalistic reportage, philosophical inquiry. How does form serve content in these writings? How is coherence achieved and sustained?
Jana Sanskriti: A Theatre on the Field — Film with faculty member Katt Lissard: Jana Sanskriti is a movement founded in the villages of West Bengal, India, which has been using Augusto Boal’s Forum Theatre tools since the mid-1980s. Mixing Indian folk theater, music and dance with Theater of the Oppressed, Jana Sanskriti’s work empowers others to create positive change in their lives, their communities, and the world around them: “On stage we are actors, off stage we are activists!” The film is an entertaining and often moving combination of interviews and performance footage, with a strong emphasis on the role of women and the impact of theatre and art on women (especially young women): “Jana Sanskriti …has led to significant social change in rural areas where over half of the actors in villages are women, and 10 out of 30 satellite teams are run only by women. If women used to serve tea to men, staring down at the floor in sign of subjugation, now their in-laws help with their scripts for the plays, and some graduate from college.”
Where Community, Change and Livelihood Meet: Planning, Creating and Assessing Arts–Based Practicums, with faculty member Caryn Mirriam–Goldberg: Come discuss how to set up workshops, find internships, develop coaching or consulting venues, and other forms of Transformative Language Arts or art–based fieldwork. We’ll look at ways to make contacts with local organizations, institutions and businesses; how to design your practicum as group facilitation, consulting, coaching or an internship; developing related arts and skills needed; conducting arts–related fieldwork (such as interviews and oral histories); and general assessment information.
Is the Brain Encultured?: A Conversation From The Edge on Discoveries in Cultural Neuroscience, Neuroanthropology, and Embodied Cognition, with faculty members Karen Campbell & Francis Charet: Recently the tendency to splinter into an either/or understanding of human development and behavior (nature/nurture, biology/culture, etc.) has shifted. Now neuroscientists, anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists and others are coming together to address some of the fundamental questions that have long mystified and entertained so many.
Envisioning Change for the 21st Century: Discovering New Seeds of Change in Our Encounters with Self, One Another, and the Landscape, with faculty member Susan Pearson: In these transitional times, how do we foster change in a way that resonates with our most cherished values and vision, while engaging a world still immersed in
old structures, processes, and power dynamics that do not serve the collective well–being? In the face of the dilemmas that arise, we are called to bring new voices, ways of knowing, social forms, and modes of communication to this endeavor.
Changing People: An Anthropological Look at the Therapy and Coaching Industries, with faculty member Sarah Van Hoy: In this workshop we’ll look at the contemporary landscape of psychotherapy and coaching with an eye toward the root metaphor
s of change, the obvious and natural truth claims and modes of knowledge production. As both a practitioner and an anthropologist, I will bring both insider and outsider perspectives to this conversation – both critical and clinical. We’ll take a look at some of the theoretical tools for looking at cultures of practice, and we’ll use them in the service of our imaginary clients.