Faculty Workshops at the Spring 2018 Residency

Francis X. Charet, faculty

The AI Revolution: Will Machines Think and Dream? with Faculty Member, Francis X. Charet. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence and its technological applications raises some fundamental, intriguing and troubling questions. We are now entering a stage of modern technology that moves beyond machines that can correlate massive amounts of information, do complex tasks faster and with more precision that surpasses human capacity. Machines are being programed to replicate human neural networks that allow them to correlate information, analyze data, and make judgments on a scale and in a way that seemingly demonstrates independent capabilities. Artificial intelligence is transforming modern medicine, manufacturing, and even education. Will it be put to destructive ends as Stephen Hawkings, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have warned. Will machines eventually attain consciousness as we know it? Will machines think? Will they dream?

Sarah Bobrow-Williams

Creating and Keeping the Beloved Community in Our Activism, Work and Lives, with Faculty Members, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Sarah Bobrow-Williams. “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said. What does it take to make and sustain such a community where we work, live and strive for justice? Caryn and Sarah – from their varied experiences in organizations, arts-based initiatives, campaigns, workplaces, and institutions – will explore the values and practices of cultivating of facilitating and upholding beloved communities. We’ll then discuss andtrouble-shoot various scenarios to consider ways to navigate through conflict and clashes for the good for the community, and we’ll end the workshop with a writing prompt to consider ways to infuse the philosophy of keeping the belovedness in community through specific practices. This workshop is especially pertinent for all SIS and MA-TLA students as well as for anyone working with others for change.

Embodied Metaphors: Rupture and Repair in the Individual / Social Body, with Faculty Member Sarah Van Hoy. In this workshop we will look at the poetics of rupture and repair and how these metaphors occur in the language and practices of medicine and culture. We will examine the role of metaphor in medicine (and cognition generally) and the social shaping of embodied experience. Bring your ideas for rich conversation.

Feeling What’s Happening: Calming the Nervous System, Faculty Member, Lori Wynters. At times we can be stressed, in a state of “fight, flight, freeze,” with an overactive nervous system, raising our cortisol levels, which can impact sleep cycles, muscular, cardiovascular, immune and digestive systems and our every day thinking. We’ll explore the physiology of stress and experiential somatic practices from Somatic Experiencing, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, yoga, dance and breathing practices that can soothe the nervous system and stimulate the “relaxation response”, supporting the body’s re- centering and mending disconnection.

What Does It Mean, to Heal? with Faculty Member, Lise Weil. We are living a moment in which brokenness, division and disease are being exposed as never before, when healing is necessary—and possibly available—as never before. If cancer tells us it is senseless to consider human disease apart from the diseased earth, ecological devastation is the symptom of a diseased culture. Three powerful recent books—Eva Saulitis’ memoir Becoming Earth, Deena Metzger’s novel A Rain of Night Birds and Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel The Book of Joan—come to the question of disease and healing from a deep understanding that human and earth body are indissoluble. “What does it mean, to heal?”

Katt Lissard and Karen Campbell

Phony Scholarship: How to Prevent your Research from Spiraling off into your own private Disney World, with Faculty Members, Karen Campbell & Katt Lissard. Most of us approach our academic work searching for sources that confirm what we already believe and thus risk allowing our research to become distorted or less-than-challenging – or just plain dull. This workshop focuses on critical thinking, writing, ethics and research, or how to ensure your research findings come closest to representing the truth that is currently available and allow you to get deeply involved in discovering what you might not already know! We’ll tackle short readings from different perspectives on various topics, practice identifying key points, comparing, contrasting, and reporting. Topics include epigenetics, embodiment, consciousness and research methodologies (other topics if you request them in good time). Imagine a team of crack reporters trying to break a story. Or Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys teaming up to solve the mystery. Bring your magnifying glass, compass and a handy piece of twine!

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