Beyond the Veil: Horror, Boundaries, and the Descent into the Underworld, with IMA graduating student, Sarah Coflan. “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” -E.A. PoeThe horror genre has often been dismissed as cheap and exploitative -sometimes dismissed as such by the creators themselves. As a lifelong, self proclaimed ‘horror geek’, however, I have found the horror genre to be a wellspring of valuable insight, both personally and culturally. In my presentation, I will draw comparisons between the act of engaging with a work of macabre art, and with the storytelling tradition of a hero’s descent into the Underworld. We will visit various incarnations of the Underworld, and see where it has left its mark on our culture. We will look at the Horror genre, both historical and contemporary, and examine specific films in greater depth.
Bringing Inner Experience to the Fore: First Person Consciousness and the Value of Subjectivity, with IMA-CS graduating student, Emily Wrede. Consciousness is that from which everything else springs forth for us as humans. It is that which animates us, enables us to have thoughts, and allows us to have a sense of self. This presentation will explore the process through which I discovered the value of and importance of incorporating what occurs in our inner worlds into approaches to understanding consciousness and the human condition. Drawing mainly from personal experience and briefly from the work of certain contributors to the fields of psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and contemplative traditions, I will explore how incorporating inner experience into an understanding of consciousness draws attention to the need for a paradigm shift, one which is arguably already underway.
“Comfort Quest”- Nursing Pain through a Transformative Lens… Our Heroine’s Journey, with HAS graduating student, Lisa Evers, RN. Attempting to numb our pain is yielding tragic results in society today- Pain continues, Addiction rages, and People are dying! My hypothesis is that the current pain scale is fueling the opioid crisis. Pain is viewed as the enemy, with the single goal of silencing it, at any cost. By flipping the pain scale, I am offering a new Vision- “Comfort Quest” where valuable energy is focused on real solutions- uncovering root causes, understanding pain’s messages, and empowering the body to heal. This study draws on physical, mental, and social well-being are cultivated. Neuroscience, quantum physics, energy medicine and positive psychology as well as intuition and offer feminine wisdom
Engaging Youth: Connecting to Identity, Place, Community, and Nature for a Sustainable Future, with SIS graduating student, Kate Aubin. Systemic racial and social injustice, planet altering climate change, and widening income inequality are so-called “wicked problems” that disproportionately affect youth and especially youth of color. Most discussions of solutions to these issues do not consider the potential for youth leadership. In this presentation I explore why it is vital for youth to assume leadership roles and examine ways to cultivate civic engagement and agency among youth. I will explain how civic engagement can be sparked in youth through positive youth development. I will talk about a workshop I designed and taught to a group of high school aged youth that asked participants to reflect on their relationships with nature, their connections to community, their understanding of personal identity, and their sense of place. I will also speak about my own civic engagement journey and how that grounded my research and informed the development of the workshop.
Occupy Age Movement, with HAS graduating student, Tammy L. Marshall. Ageism is alive and well in America and throughout the world. The notion of ageism impacts every industry. This presentation will uncover how our youth addicted society has impacted healthcare, the field of Long Term Care and the concern for those living with Dementia. There will also be a connection made as to how the loss of the divine feminine in healthcare plays a significant role in keeping Ageism alive. This presentation offers research as well as a personal quest to speak truths.
Our Viral Lives: Telling HIV/AIDS Stories That Matter, with SIS graduating student, Kyle Bella. At the end of 2014, I launched the online archive Our Viral Lives, which sought to tell digital stories about the HIV/AIDS targeted to an under 35 LGBTQ population most affected by the crisis. In the process of creating this archive, I confronted ethical questions about representation of different marginalized communities, informed consent, and information system storage. But the project took on a new dimension as it entered written form. It also became a primer for making the emotional legacies of artists, activists and political visionaries from the 1980s and 1990s alive in the 21st century. This latter exploration pointedly asked the question, “How do we do HIV/AIDS stories that have impact in our present day communities?”
Seeing in the Dark: Illness as Illumination, with IMA-TLA graduating student, Shomriel Sherman. My thesis approaches pain and illness as a quest, a chance to honor and learn from the darkness, rather than attempt to hide, ‘cure,’ or bury what is found there. This presentation will provide a space for discussion around embodied experiences of illness, dialogue with pain and dis- ease, and the points of intersection between individual struggles and the larger world. I will share excerpts from my thesis as well as talk about aspects of my creative process. I will also bring along some visual aids, poems and objects that have proven helpful to me along the way.