Aesthetics & EcoJustice Pedagogy

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I presented this along with Madhu Prakash at the AERA Preconference Seminar in New Orleans in April 2011.

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Aesthetics & EcoJustice Pedagogy

  1. 1. AERA Division B Pre-Conference Seminar EcoJustice and Environmental Justice Educators in Conversation: Exploring Intersections and Tensions Madhu Prakash: Pennsylvania State University Kurt Love: Central Connecticut State University
  2. 2. Reflections,Connections & Implications
  3. 3. Zoe Weil & How We Might Change Teaching
  4. 4. AERA Division B Pre-Conference Seminar EcoJustice and Environmental Justice Educators in Conversation: Exploring Intersections and Tensions Madhu Prakash: Pennsylvania State University Kurt Love: Central Connecticut State University
  5. 5. EcoJustice & Aesthetics Day 2
  6. 6. “Shapeshifter” Brian Jungen
  7. 7. You darkness from which I come,I love you more than all the firesthat fence out the world,for the fire makes a circlefor everyoneso no one sees you anymore.But darkness holds it all:the shape and the flame,the animal and myself,how it holds them,all powers, all sight—and it is possible: its great strength isbreaking into my body.I have faith in the night.-Rainer Maria Rilke(translated by David Whyte in Fire in theEarth)
  8. 8. “Now he seeks to become nobody for a while, to disappear into the woods so that the person he really is might find him.” (Plotkin, 2003, p. 244)
  9. 9. Reflections,Connections & Implications
  10. 10. What is the Earth?
  11. 11. What is the Earth?
  12. 12. What is the Earth?
  13. 13. What is the Earth?
  14. 14. What is the Earth?
  15. 15. Ecological Self &Ecospiritual Self
  16. 16. Hula“Hula is an important part of our Hawaiian culture. It leads us to who we are as people today.”
  17. 17. Aloha & Haole
  18. 18. Aloha & Haole Aloha “Together, we breathe the sacred breath”A consciousness that we are inescapably interwoven witheach other and the earth.What we do to each other and the earth, we do to ourselves.
  19. 19. Aloha & Haole Haole “One who is without sacred breath”A consciousness that does not include an awareness that we areinescapably interwoven with each other and the earth.A consciousness only of self and an ignorance of one’s energetic andspiritual impact. Often comes with little or no understanding ofspirituality or the purpose of one’s soul (soul loss).
  20. 20. Mind & Soul in NatureFrom Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature (1979)“[M]ind became, for me, a reflection of large parts and many parts of thenatural world outside the thinker...[The human mind] was the morecomplex, the aesthetic, the intricate, and the elegant aspects of peoplethat reflected nature...I was seeing there the roots of human symmetry,beauty and ugliness, aesthetics, the human being’s very aliveness and littlebit of wisdom. His [sic] wisdom, his bodily grace, and even his habit ofmaking beautiful objects are just as ‘animal’ as his cruelty. After all, thevery word ‘animal’ means ‘endowed with mind or spirit’ (animus)” (p. 5).From Bill Plotkin’s Soulcra$ (2003)“The individual human soul is one element of the fabric of nature. You arenot in any way separate from nature. The wild world reflects your essenceback to you just like a still lake reflects your image” (p. 216).
  21. 21. Mind & Soul Reflected in NatureFrom Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature (1979)“[M]ind became, for me, a reflection of large parts and many parts of thenatural world outside the thinker...[The human mind] was the morecomplex, the aesthetic, the intricate, and the elegant aspects of peoplethat reflected nature...I was seeing there the roots of human symmetry,beauty and ugliness, aesthetics, the human being’s very aliveness and littlebit of wisdom. His [sic] wisdom, his bodily grace, and even his habit ofmaking beautiful objects are just as ‘animal’ as his cruelty. After all, thevery word ‘animal’ means ‘endowed with mind or spirit’ (animus)” (p. 5).From Bill Plotkin’s Soulcra$ (2003)“The individual human soul is one element of the fabric of nature. You arenot in any way separate from nature. The wild world reflects youressence back to you just like a still lake reflects your image” (p. 216).
  22. 22. Transcends HumanitySpiritSoul Nature & Soul
  23. 23. Soul“The earth provides uswith not only the meansto be physically born intothis world but also thespiritual means torecognize our deeperidentities.” (Plotkin,2003, p. 239) Nature & Soul
  24. 24. Footpath = Your View of Reality?Home Building Nature? Sidewalk Sidewalk Driveway Parking Lot Vehicle
  25. 25. “SPIRITUALITY”What mindsets “spirituality”?How do we know it when we see it?Where does “spirituality” come from?

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