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Past Visiting Scholars

Slider: BA in Individualized Studies

Past Visiting Scholars

Marianela Medrano-Marra - Presenting at the Spring 2012 Residency, Plainfield, VT

"Cross-Cultural Experiences: Writing from the Root" 

Marianela Medrano-Marra is a Dominican writer and poet. She holds a PhD in psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Poetry Therapist. She works as a consultant and has a psychotherapy private practice in Connecticut. Medrano-Marra has earned fellowships from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Center for The Divine Feminine at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Her most recent poetry publications include: Curada de Espantos (Torremozas, 2002) and Diosas de la Yuca, (Torremozas, 2011).  For additional information visit:





Gillian GoslingaGillian Goslinga - Spring 2009 Residency

The Art of Situating Knowledges and Our Selves 

The feminist science studies scholar Donna Haraway, in a groundbreaking essay, coined the phrase "situated knowledge" in 1989 by that same name. In this workshop, we’ll use this timeless feminist masterpiece as the starting point of a query into how we understand the historical, social, and cultural contexts of the knowledges we engage with as well as our own knowledge-making projects.  


Screening: The Poojari’s Daughter (The Priest’s Daughter)

In an informal survey of some 300 South Indian Hindu temples in the late 1990s, only 4 female poojaris or priestesses were counted. The Poojari's Daughter is about one such priestess, Rajathiamma, who spiritually inherited from her father at his death the post of "periya poojari" or big priest. In intimate detail and through Rajathiamma's own narration, the visuals capture the conflict between her calling to serve her god and her attachment to her family, as well as details the patterns of worship at this non-Brahmanical Hindu temple.

Anthropologist Peter Gold

Navajo and Tibetan Sacred Wisdom: Circle of the Spirit: A Multi-Media Talk

Since the dawn of humanity, life has been founded on a fundamental process for developing and maintaining mental and physical wellness and social harmony. In this multimedia talk we are introduced to wisdom systems and ways that are still informing Navajo Indians and Tibetans and which are universal to the human experience.

Emily Anderson, Founder and Director of The Awareness Theater Company

Stories on Stage: Reaching Minds that are Hard to Find

In this workshop you will learn about the technique and outcomes of one theater artist’s work with people with developmental disabilities. This workshop will explain the creative process for the pieces that will be performed later by The Awareness Theater Company. It will also touch on the methods used in VSA arts of Vermont’s High School Self Advocacy Theater Program which has been conducted in special education programs all over Vermont. A major focus will be on the development of a screen play by a man named Mark Utter who has autism and uses facilitated communication for his “true, dear thoughts”.

Buddhist Teacher Michael Greenleaf

The Theory and Practice of Meditation: A Buddhist Perspective

The experience of nowness is the essence of meditation practice, which is a simple method for seeing clearly what is here and now - without any object or ambition. In this workshop, basic instruction for meditation will be presented, along with an exploration of what motivates us to sit down and work with our mind in this way.

Ken Bergstrom

Circles of Trust: Circles of Trust

Following the life and work of Parker Palmer, social activist, traveling teacher, and author of many books, among them Courage to Teach and A Hidden Wholeness, Circles of Trust are a way for a group to come together and reflect, in solitude and in community, on those challenges that we face in our lives. The assumption is that each of us has an "inner teacher" whose voice is subtler, quieter and more authentic than the voice of the mind, yet always present when we listen carefully with our hearts. Around a "third thing," a story or poem that holds its own questions about life and an inviting energy that welcomes those questions (and what good teachers have always recognized), participants will experience formation work as away to reclaim our sacred Selves and relearn to trust ourselves and each other,

Writer Marianela Medrano-Marra

Embodied Writing: When the Body Expresses the Human Experience

Embodied Writing, created by Professor Rosemarie Anderson of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA, concerns itself with capturing the expression of human experience in a way that elicits sympathetic resonance, or a natural response through which a reader vibrates empathically with the writer. Embodied Writing requires the use of all senses and the ability to retreat into silence and reel in what needs to be portrayed. We will focus on the following seven elements of writing: 1) Vivid and true-to-life depictions; 2) Bridging internal and external information; 3) Writing from the inside out; 4) Slowing down to capture nuance; 5) Attuning to the living body; 6) Writing in the first-person, present tense; 7) Editing: killing your darlings.


Professor and Writer Gretchen Legler

What Wind Does to Snow: A Writer’s Antarctic Journey: A Words and Pictures Presentation

Gretchen Legler is a Professor of Creative Writing in the Humanities Department at the University of Maine at Farmington, specializing in memoir writing, the personal essay, and nonfiction essays about the natural world. Her newest book, On the Ice: An Intimate Portrait of Life in McMurdo Station Antarctica, is based on her experiences in Antarctica, where she spent six months as a fellow with the National Science Foundation’s Artists and Writers Program. Work from her first collection of essays, All The Powerful Invisible Things: A Sportswoman’s Notebook, has won two Pushcart Prizes, and has been widely excerpted and anthologized in books and magazines including Orion Magazine, Uncommon Waters, Another Wilderness, Gifts of the Wild, Minnesota Seasons, A Different Angle, and more. Her work on American women nature writers and ecocriticism has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

Bethe Hagens

Music Without Appropriation: Is it Possible?

Thinking about appropriation here . . .My dad was an improv pianist. The jazz, classical and pop "ethnic" tonalities and rhythmic patterns I heard him play every day (and which he never explicitly labeled as Black, African, Eurocentric, pseudo-south seas. . .) are native to my meaning-making capacities. Am "I," as a human being, a cultural appropriation? My meaning-making capacities infuse selective functioning into the "mirror neurons" of my brain. Observing anything imprints a level of skill in my brain. The same "I" constructs anthropological discourse as well as composes and improvises world music. Grappling with ethical theory mysteriously builds my violin technique and sharpens my intonation. What and who is appropriating--or being appropriated? Please, bring your own moebus-strip questions :) (Instruments, too, if you like.)