Living Through Change
Conveners: Dr. Elizabeth Goodstein
Wednesday from 2:30-5:30

The Covid pandemic that altered our lives with such astonishing rapidity has confronted us with new challenges both individually and collectively. Even the most fortunate have been faced with anxiety, isolation, precarity, and loss; economic devastation, mass illness, and death have dramatically exposed social, cultural, economic, and political fault-lines in the US and in the entire world. These changes helped catalyze new movements for racial and economic justice and raise awareness of the need to address historic legacies of conflict, suffering, trauma, and disenfranchisement even as catastrophic weather events have underlined the urgency of addressing global climate change and its social and political consequences, including mass trauma and displacement.

By creating an interdisciplinary dialogue about transformation, healing, and resilience, this course aims to identify and develop both individual and institutional resources for engaging actively and creatively with the ongoing processes of change, both positive and negative, that mark contemporary life. Aspiring to reimagine intellectual community for an era of massive, global change, it will bring together students and experts from multiple fields and schools to share diverse approaches to change and conflict and differing understandings of the processes of individual and social transformation and thereby support ongoing efforts to foster needed changes in our own community and institution.

Key concerns will be: integrating historical, cultural, social, and systemic perspectives on change; the relation between individual health and wellbeing and collective goods; the importance of acknowledging and addressing pain, difficulty, historic trauma, and conflict; the role of the arts and culture in opening new perspectives on past and future, on trauma and healing; fostering strategies for making interdisciplinary dialogue fruitful and creating a more vital intellectual community.
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