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What are the Topics? - Semester in Dialogue - Simon Fraser University
"Spring 2016. Semester in Experimental Futures
Full-time, 15 credits (DIAL 390W, 391W, 392W)

Application Deadline: Friday, October 23, 2015 at noon (PST)

“Experimental Futures” will explore the intersections of the environment (nature), politics (culture) and the role of the arts and dialogue to rethink and imagine new environmental and political associations and attitudes. Climate change and environmental degradation are rapidly increasing around the world, disproportionately impacting the globe’s most vulnerable. The intersection of culture, language, and ways of being are pushing us all to rethink how we consider, live among, and interact with each other.

We are bombarded with information in this digital age while struggling to find the meaning within it. Profound cultural changes are afoot and clearly needed in this newly named epoch the Anthropocene, compelling us to seek out new and substantially different solutions, shifting how we collectively engage one another. We will use the arts and dialogue as guides to explore building new relationships between people, places, and institutions while enunciating with clarity and impact the communities we seek for the future.

Focal questions may include:

How can we imagine new disruptive interventions, new models of engagement, collaboration, and governance, even new economic systems?

How can these new ideas be brought to the forefront as we try to bridge that gap between the old way of being in the world with novel ideals and policies for the future?

How do we articulate new progress while honouring powerful and important histories?

What role do the arts and dialogue play in locating and responding to these challenges?

What might relationships between the technological, ecological, and political become in light of these changes and possibilities?

We will explore these questions at various personal, local, regional, and global levels of scale, but focus our work at the local level to facilitate seeking vital responses to the challenges of political, ecological, and cultural issues faced in our immediate communities.

Possible questions might include:

What are the implications of the Anthropocene on the future of the greenest city?

How are the arts understood in the Lower Mainland and what role are they currently playing as disruptive and imaginative forces?

How does this kind of cultural work gain traction in our communities? What is the future of public spaces in the politics of the local?

What role do public movements and changing definitions of the social play in responding to the growing environmental crisis?

Where and how can emergent voices intervene, participate and shape these conversations?

This course will explore these and related themes through dialogues with thought leaders from across the spectrum of the arts, politics, environment and social change. You’ll be exposed to cinema, fiction, art projects and interventions, theoretical writings, case studies and on-the-ground projects with guest thought leaders, attend public events and organize participatory public programming to develop richer, more nuanced understandings of the challenges and possibilities of the future. You will be challenged to develop practices, ways of being, and the skills needed to play active roles as citizens, innovators (experimental imaginers), and collaborators in this new and changing world. This is about the creative imaginings at the intersection between nature and culture.

Course runs Monday thru Friday, 10:00-4:00, January 5 - April 11
15 credits (Dial 390W, 391W, 392W)

INSTRUCTORS

Sean Blenkinsop is an Associate Professor in the SFU Faculty of Education with a secondment for five years to the Semester in Dialogue.

Am Johal is the Director of SFU's Vancouver Office of Community Engagement in the SFU Woodward's Cultural Unit."
via:selinjessa  futures  education  classideas  amjohal  seanblenkinsop  anthropocene  environment  nature  politics  culture  art  climatechange  dialog  urbanism 
september 2015 by robertogreco
ECOLE | A campus initiative for sustainable living, learning and community building
"What is ECOLE? ECOLE aspires to be a space that facilitates a culture of sustainability at McGill University and its surrounding communities through research, teaching, experimentation, living practices, and collaboration with student and community groups. ECOLE exists by the McGill community, for the McGill community.

ECOLE will be a central and accessible space for people to come together, collaborate, research and live in a way that continually strives to be more sustainable. The ECOLE house will integrate the many projects related to environmental sustainability on campus, provide a home for interdisciplinary and applied student research, community engagement, and be a focal point / meeting space for sustainability projects and groups. After two years of development, ECOLE’s pilot year will begin September 2014.

Living: Ten ECOLE facilitators sharing a house with a community space

• Materially sustainable living (compost, energy use, footprint)
• Socially sustainable living (collective living, anti-oppressive practices)

Learning: Each ECOLE facilitator will do an independent study on their sustainable lifestyle from an interdisciplinary perspective

• An inclusive site for applied student research and experimentation
• A space for educational workshops and community events
• A participatory example of urban sustainable living

Community Building: The ECOLE house will be a hub for the McGill and Montreal sustainability communities

• Connect multiple stakeholders of the university in the pursuit of sustainable living
• Provide space, resources, and networks for the sustainability community
• Link the McGill and Milton-Parc communities through projects and events 

Part of the McGill Community

• Support from SSMU: Two new coordinators hired in May 2013
• Support from Student Housing and Hospitality Services: In negotiations to secure a MORE house
• Working with SPF: Funding application and feedback process underway
• Partnering with the Applied Student Research interns to create pool of professors
• In ongoing conversations with key university stakeholders including SSMU, Office of Sustainability, TLS, Student Services, and the Milton Parc Citizens Committee
• Partnering with the Applied Student Research interns to create pool of professors"

[Now here: http://ecoleproject.wordpress.com/ ]
via:selinjessa  ecole  mcgilluniversity  montreal  interdisciplinary  community  communities  life  living  sustainability  horizontality  inclusivity  openstudioproject  lcproject  accessibility  collaboration  shrequest1  inclusion  inlcusivity 
july 2014 by robertogreco
“I bristle at the idea that the only thing Susan Sontag or David Foster Wallace had to offer is advice for me.” | biblioklept
"“I bristle at the idea that the only thing Susan Sontag or David Foster Wallace had to offer is advice for me.”
BY BIBLIOKLEPT

"If I had first encountered Anaïs Nin by reading a quote of hers about love or dreams or fulfilling your potential or massaging your inner child superimposed on an insufferably twee image, I would never have picked up her wonderful remarkably-transgressive books. Perhaps this shows the shortsightedness of my own prejudices but it’s still not a fair or substantial representation of her work. What I want when I encounter Anaïs Nin is Anaïs Nin, not a therapist or a motivational speaker. The same goes for Susan Sontag or Henry Miller or David Foster Wallace or any of the other incandescently brilliant writers whose writing has recently been cherry-picked and repackaged as glorified self-help tracts. The quotes are certainly theirs, being culled from diaries, journals, speeches and interviews (with the double meaning of culled being entirely apt). The sentiments may well be true. Yet it seems to me duplicitous because the quotes have been carefully selected to fit a pre-existing agenda – us. I am a ludicrously solipsistic and selfish person but even I bristle at the idea that the only thing Susan Sontag or David Foster Wallace had to offer is advice for me. At the risk of impertinence, if I chance upon someone using the currently virulent “there is actually no such thing as atheism” quote by Foster Wallace out of context to bash atheists (ignoring its implicit ‘worship God precisely because He is so ineffectual He can’t harm you’ angle) with no further interest in his writing or life, I’m going to nail a copy of Infinite Jest to their collective forehead."

—From an essay that had me enthusiastically mumbling yes the whole way, “Albert Camus and the ventriloquists” by Darran Anderson. Read it."
davidfosterwallace  susansontag  advice  anaïsnin  infinitejest  henrymiller  albertcamus  darrananderson  via:selinjessa  camus 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Social spaces summit – Briarpatch Magazine
"In describing the Thistle’s approach, Bergman said, “One of our goals is being a truly convivial space and really striving to connect to the folks who live near and around the centre. We do pretty good, especially with our drop-in participants, but the core collective is often made up of folks who are a lot alike in their predilections. There’s lots of reasons for this and I think a lot of it has to do with the explicit radical way in which we organize. We like to say we are politically overt but not ideological pure – we are always looking at and reworking this.”"
purplethistle  socialspaces  artistsspaces  praxis  socialtheory  via:selinjessa  2013  sonedworthy  vancouver  organization  openstudioproject 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Tina Richardson: Schizocartography
"Schizocartography is a form of urban critique that studies the aesthetic and psychological response that individuals have to the built environment.

Developed by Tina Richardson - based at the University of Leeds - it encourages individuals to question, and respond to, the outside spaces in which they work and live.

Schizocartography reveals the ideological contradictions that appear in urban space, while simultaneously enabling creative expression for those who inhabit it."

"What is Schizocartography?

I have developed schizocartography from the psychoanalyst Félix Guattari’s term “schizoanalytic cartography”. Schizocartography enables alternative existential modes for individuals in order to challenge dominant representations and power structures. This provides an opportunity for multiple ways of operating in space and reading the environment; it critiques the conventional ways of viewing, interpreting and mapping space. While the term “schizoanalysis” is derived from “schizophrenia”, it does not promote mental illness; rather, “schizo” is used as a way of offering up the possibility of multiple voices, and alternative world-views, amongst other factors.

This is my definition of ‘schizocartography’:

Schizocartography offers a method of cartography that questions dominant power structures and at the same time enables subjective voices to appear from underlying postmodern topography. It is both the process and output of a psychogeography of particular spaces that have been co-opted by various domineering operations, routines or procedures. It attempts to reveal the aesthetic and ideological contradictions that appear in urban space while simultaneously reclaiming the subjectivity of individuals by enabling new modes of creative expression. Schizocartography challenges anti-production, the homogenizing character of overriding forms that work towards silencing heterogeneous voices."
psychogeography  schizocartography  cartography  urban  urbanism  place  builtenvironment  via:selinjessa  tinarichardson  power  powerstructures  multiplicity  ant-production  theory  geography  félixguattari 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Michael Shanks: Archaeologies of the contemporary past
"The origin of many of the ideas here can be tracked back to Reconstructing Archaeology written with Chris Tilley, particularly through my book Experiencing the Past - where I sketched the elements of a contemporary archaeolgical sensibility - see now The Archaeological Imagination - a new work revisiting these matters."

"Embodiment and archaeologies of the ineffable: photographs and archaeological objects can introduce the heterogeneous and ineffable into discourse, that richness and detail in every photograph and artefact which lies outside the categories and schemes of discourse. I use the term embodiment to introduce bodily sensitivity as a means of suspending our conventional categorisations and a means of achieving more textured understanding of social realities. Photographs and artefacts can help us attend to materiality by saying "look at what has been omitted", rather than "look, believe this text". An imperative here is to keep open things which are passed over in an instant. Archaeological source materials are, after all, of a material world with a distinctive temporality. The challenge is to work with this.

To end then I extend an invitation to conceive of the dialectical text and image as tangent to the past - a vector (from the present) touching the past at the point of sense and then moving off to explore its own course, partaking of actuality, the temporality of memory. Such texts are part of a method which lends contexts of all sorts to images, words and artifacts. Good archaeology is such a humanistic discipline which is dialectical because it denies the dualisms of past and present, objective and subjective, real and fictive, with all their pernicious variations. We may work instead upon the continuities which run through our encounters with the shattered remains of the dead."
christilley  michaelshanks  archaeology  photography  documentation  anthropology  past  present  words  artifacts  memory  time  humanism  humanities  dialectic  dialog  sensitivity  discourse  temporality  via:selinjessa  dialogue  vectors 
march 2013 by robertogreco
No priests, no temples – Briarpatch Magazine
"Spiritual practices are often concerned with transcendence, but I like to make a distinction between vertical transcendence and horizontal transcendence. Vertical transcendence is when we’re working so that I can connect with something bigger than myself, which can be self-serving and self-focused. Horizontal transcendence, however, involves a recognition that my devotion to your freedom creates the conditions for my own freedom. It’s about a relational, cultural awakening, rather than a personal awakening."
via:selinjessa  horizontality  horizontalidad  verticality  flatness  transcendence  interdependence  2011  yoga  michaelstone  spirituality  anarchism  anarchy  conviviality  mutualaid 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Horizontalidad - Wikipedia
"Horizontality or horizontalism is a social relationship that advocates the creation, development, and maintenance of social structures for the equitable distribution of management power. These structures and relationships function as a result of dynamic self-management, involving the continuity of participation and exchange between individuals to achieve the larger desired outcomes of the collective whole."

"As a specific term, horizontalidad is attributed to the radical movements that sprouted in December 2001, in Argentina, after the economic crisis. According to Marina Sitrin, it is a new social creation. Different from many social movements of the past, it rejected political programs, opting instead to create directly democratic spaces and new social relationship."

[Via: https://delicious.com/selinjessa/horizontality ]
[See also: https://delicious.com/selinjessa/verticality ]
anarchy  horizontalism  horizontality  horizontalidad  argentina  politics  hierarchy  via:selinjessa  democracy  anarchism  flatness  marinasitrin  2001 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Deep map - Wikipedia
"Deep map refers to an emerging practical method of intensive topographical exploration, popularised by author William Least Heat-Moon with his book PrairyErth: A Deep Map. (1991).

A deep map work most often takes the form of engaged documentary writing of literary quality; although it can equally well be done in long-form on radio. It does not preclude the combination of writing with photography and illustration. Its subject is a particular place, usually quite small and limited, and usually rural.

Some[who?] call the approach 'vertical travel writing', while archeologist Michael Shanks compares it to the eclectic approaches of 18th and early 19th century antiquarian topographers or to the psychogeographic excursions of the early Situationist International[1] http://www.mshanks.com/2012/07/10/chorography-then-and-now/ [2] http://documents.stanford.edu/michaelshanks/51.

A deep map goes beyond simple landscape/history-based topographical writing – to include and interweave autobiography, archeology, stories, memories, folklore, traces, reportage, weather, interviews, natural history, science, and intuition. In its best form, the resulting work arrives at a subtle, multi-layered and 'deep' map of a small area of the earth.

In North America it is a method claimed by those interested in bioregionalism. The best known U.S. examples are Wallace Stegner's Wolf Willow (1962) and Heat-Moon's PrairyErth (1991).

In Great Britain, the method is used by those who use the terms 'spirit of place' and 'local distinctiveness'. BBC Radio 4 has recently undertaken several series of radio documentaries that are deep maps. These are inspired by the 'sense of place' work of the Common Ground organisation."
via:selinjessa  writing  williamleastheat-moon  verticaltravelwriting  documentary  documentation  radio  photography  illustration  place  rural  michaelshanks  topography  psychogeography  situationist  autobiography  archaeology  stories  storytelling  memory  memories  weather  interviews  naturalhistory  bioregionalism  parairyerth  wolfwillow  wallacestegner  localdistinctiveness  bbcradio  bbs  radio4  deepmaps  maps  mapping  commonground  folklore  science  intuition 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Inquiry HUB
"The Inquiry Hub provides grade 9-12 students an innovative, technology driven, full-time program which allows them to pursue their own learning questions by shaping their educational experience around their interests instead of structured classes."
via:selinjessa  coquitlam  alternative  learning  education  openstudioproject  unschooling  lcproject  inquiry  self-directedlearning  alternativeeducation  inquiry-basedlearning  deschooling  openlearning  britishcolumbia  bc 
january 2013 by robertogreco
McMaster Arts & Science
"The Arts & Science Program was designed to provide students with a broad-based, liberal education. The curriculum was planned with three major objectives in mind:

• to provide for substantial work in the disciplines of both arts and science; 
• to further the development of skills in writing, speaking, and critical reasoning;
• to foster the art of scholarly inquiry into issues of public concern.

The value of a broad education is widely acknowledged by educators and business professionals, as well as by the many capable students who apply to the Arts & Science Program. Our Program remains small by design with an enrolment target of 60 first-year students. With relatively small classes, we can do the kind of individual teaching that we believe is essential to the continued success of the Program, and can encourage the cooperative learning among students that we believe serves them best. 

We are proud of the accomplishments of our graduates who have gone on to programs in business…"
liberaleducation  mcmaster  education  via:selinjessa  science  art  interdisciplinary 
january 2013 by robertogreco
JORINDEVOIGT.COM » -NEWS-
"For the past decade, Jorinde Voigt has been creating large-scale drawings on paper, using traditional materials such as ink, oil stick, pencil, watercolor, and, more recently, collage. In the drawings that she did before incorporating collage, the artist combined line and text to diagram both factual and fictive activities, such as the flight of eagles, geographical directions, wind patterns, rotations, shifting horizon lines, top-ten pop charts, kisses, and electrical currents. Whirling across the paper, the sinuous patterns of lines and arrows—some of which may overlap—mark relentless change as well as convey the potential for chaos and ecstasy that resides within any system. Classification and pandemonium are inseparable. It is on the porous border of this vast abyss—what is called “infinity”—that Voigt investigates the caesuras between perception & knowledge, form and dissolution…"

[Text from PDF: http://jorindevoigt.com/blog/wp-content/wp-content/uploads/J.Yau_J.Voigt_EN2.pdf ]
meteorology  cartography  geography  collage  lines  nature  currents  wind  patterns  taxonomy  classification  johnyau  data  design  illustration  visualization  drawing  artists  art  memory  time  mapping  maps  jorindevoigt  via:selinjessa 
january 2013 by robertogreco
The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything : Monkey See : NPR
"What I've observed in recent years is that many people, in cultural conversations, are far more interested in culling than in surrender. And they want to cull as aggressively as they can. After all, you can eliminate a lot of discernment you'd otherwise have to apply to your choices of books if you say, "All genre fiction is trash." You have just massively reduced your effective surrender load, because you've thrown out so much at once.

The same goes for throwing out foreign films, documentaries, classical music, fantasy novels, soap operas, humor, or westerns. I see people culling by category, broadly and aggressively: television is not important, popular fiction is not important, blockbuster movies are not important. Don't talk about rap; it's not important. Don't talk about anyone famous; it isn't important. And by the way, don't tell me it is important, because that would mean I'm ignoring something important, and that's ... uncomfortable. That's surrender.

It's an effort, I think, to make the world smaller and easier to manage, to make the awareness of what we're missing less painful. There are people who choose not to watch television – and plenty of people don't, and good for them – who find it easier to declare that they don't watch television because there is no good television (which is culling) than to say they choose to do other things, but acknowledge that they're missing out on Mad Men (which is surrender).

And people cull in the other direction, too, obviously, dismissing any and all art museums as dull and old-fashioned because actually learning about art is time-consuming — and admitting that you simply don't prioritize it means you might be missing out. (Hint: You are.) …

If "well-read" means "not missing anything," then nobody has a chance. If "well-read" means "making a genuine effort to explore thoughtfully," then yes, we can all be well-read. But what we've seen is always going to be a very small cup dipped out of a very big ocean, and turning your back on the ocean to stare into the cup can't change that."
howweread  infooverload  well-read  fomo  via:selinjessa  2012  filtering  television  tv  culling  art  media  education  music  reading  life  culture  books 
september 2012 by robertogreco
SI - Dancing with Systems
"The Dance

1. Get the beat.
2. Listen to the wisdom of the system.
3. Expose your mental models to the open air.
4. Stay humble. Stay a learner.
5. Honor and protect information.
6. Locate responsibility in the system.
7. Make feedback policies for feedback systems.
8. Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable.
9. Go for the good of the whole.
10. Expand time horizons.
11. Expand thought horizons.
12. Expand the boundary of caring.
13. Celebrate complexity.
14. Hold fast to the goal of goodness."
sustainability  noticing  listening  systemswisdom  responsibility  whatmatters  2001  caring  bighere  longnow  humility  learning  attention  systemsthinking  via:selinjessa  donellameadows  complexity  web  design  systems  deepecology 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Notebooks
"Burned all my notebooks
What good are notebooks
If they won't help me survive?

But a curiosity of my type remains after all the most agreeable of all vices --- sorry, I meant to say: the love of truth has its reward in heaven and even on earth." ---Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 45

'They're, well, notebooks --- things I find amusing, outrageous, strange or otherwise noteworthy; notes towards works-in-glacial-progress; hemi-demi-semi-rants; things I want to learn more about; lists of references; quotations from the Talking Heads where appropriate. If you can help with any of these, I'd be grateful; if you can tell me of anything I can profitably prune, I'd be even more grateful.

There is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ), along with answers, and a colophon, which explains more than anyone would want to know about how these pages are put together. If your question isn't answered in either place, feel free to write, though, sadly, I can't promise a timely reply.'
notes  curiosity  nietzsche  commonplacebooks  notetaking  notebooks  via:selinjessa  cosmashalizi  unbook 
september 2012 by robertogreco

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