I have received funding from CPGC to lead an educational delegation of six Bi-Co student to Nicaragua from May 30-Jun 8. This 10-day study tour, which will introduce students to the political, economic and cultural histories of Nicaragua, is coordinated by ProNica, a Quaker organization founded in 1987 to build “sustainable cross-cultural relationships between the people of North America and Nicaragua” and will be guided by Carmen Gonzalez, who has lived in Nicaragua for over 20 years.
Our delegation begins in Managua, where we stay at Quaker House, learn more about Nicaraguan culture, speak with community leaders, and visit sites important in the Sandinista revolution. From there, we travel to smaller cities and villages in the central highlands, such as San Marcos, Matagalpa, San Ramon, Esteli, Largatillo, and
Achuapa to meet with grassroots organizations that provide integrated health care, opportunities for childhood and adult education, and link producers to fair trade markets. We will speak with women whose husbands and children were killed during the Sandinista Revolution and the Contra War, with adults who provide a safe space for children living in La Chureca, the largest open land-fill in Central America, with women’s healthcare providers, with farmers, librarians, artists and shopkeepers. These interactions will help us understand on a deeper level how international policies and interventions affect the lives of our Nicaraguan neighbors and how we can be in solidarity with them as they build healthier and more sustainable communities.
There was a Rent-A-Text copy of Little Bee left in the classroom last night. It's now in my office. Would someone like to claim it?
A student in my Bodies of Injustice class introduced me to a wonderful Canadian resource, HealthJusticeRadio. Yesterday, they posted a new program about the limited education that medical students receive about LGBT health:
"This week on HJRC we talk gender identity, stigma, “passing” and pronouns with Dr. Carys Massarella. Dr. Massarella is President of the Medical Staff Association at St. Joseph’s hospital. She is a Assistant Clinical Professor in the emergency division at McMaster Medical school. She teaches transgender primary healthcare to students, residents, and family doctors. Dr. Massarella is an outspoken advocate for accessible, and accepting, trans healthcare."
It also includes a link to a recent article published in JAMA.
Haverford's home page features an interview with Rich Espey, who teaches middle school science at the Park School in Baltimore, and recently received the GLSEN Educator of the Year award. (Rich, who is a gay man and an accomplished playwright, did his senior thesis research in my lab.) Rich was honored for his work in developing the program, "Putting Gay in a Positive Context," with other teachers at his K-12 school. They created a superb website of gay resources for teachers, which are organized by age of students, subject, advocacy, and support for teachers. I hope you will check it out!
Careers in Public Health: Career Exploration Day
Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 in Washington, DC
...although the link on our home page to this document by the World Economic Forum did not work for me, you can access this report on our password protected site. Click on the "HausmanTysonZahidi" link.
This year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Leymah Gbowee, who led the women's movement that leveraged public protests and sex strikes to end Liberia's civil war in 2003. She now works internationally to help women build peace in their countries. Jon Stewart interviewed her on the daily show on Monday: http://www.thedailyshow.com/extended-interviews/402235/playlist_tds_extended_leymah_gbowee/402213
Anne and I had designed tonight's class intending to diffract theory and action and to explore how Butler, Barad, Humbach and Welsh might inform and strengthen our work for social justice. However, our lesson plan (or apparatus in Barad's term) revealed a different dimension of this phenomenon. The political responses you shared at the end of class addressed (as we had hoped) important problems of gender and sexuality and were theoretically informed, but what struck me was their raw emotional power. I had not anticipated this irruption of emotion, for theory often presents itself as abstract, rational, distant and can be interrogated using just our intellect. What generated this more visceral response? Unquestionably, rape is a charged, emotional, non-abstract experience for too many people. Yet, we can write papers about rape culture, post responses on Serendip, critique representations in the media. But, perhaps those formats don't engage us the same way as what what we asked you to do tonight? In some ways, academic papers don't ask students to "appear" as whole people, but let them just engage intellectually. Perhaps, academic papers and postings on Serendip are not really public, not really private, but exist in some interstitial zone? I also wonder how much the reading of Ensler's litany and the power of repetition, the speaking out of the violations, the rhythm of her words resonate with our bodies and evoke a more embodied response? I remember the first time I went to a display of the AIDS quilt an
taking advantage of fall break to read extracurricularly, but---so much resonance with our course in egan's novel, including...
opening passage from Proust In Search of Lost Time with echoes of Eli Clare and "memory palaces":
"Poets claim that we recapture for moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years."
(p168-9) a reporter writes about his 40-minute lunch with a celebrity and brings in Karen Barad: "--but the throbbing just beneath that surface is the waiter's hysterical recognition of my subject's fame. And with a simultaneity that can only be explained using principles of quantum mechanics, specifically, the properties of so-called entangled particles, that same pulse of recognition reaches every part of the restaurant at once, even tables so distant from ours that there is simply no way they can see us." (The footnote continues to play with the idea of entangled particles.)
(p234-309) Chapter 12 (written by a 12-year old girl about herself, her autistic13-year old brother, and their parents) is in the mode of powerpoint slides! Particularly interesting to me is the exchange on p253 about the value of using new expressive media: