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Karen Campbell

Residency Sites: Plainfield, VT

I started life in a rather tight, island-nation that thought itself “white,” was translated through various cultures (mostly "Eastern"), and languages, and spent twenty-odd years working in another, sometimes (but not in all ways) even tighter, self-consciously not-white and not-brown, often quaking, island-nation. I’ve spent the past 3 years trying to fit in to US culture/s, first in Arkansas, now in Vermont and owe such learning as I’ve managed to the staff and participants of the ARC Arkansas arts center where I’ve been a volunteer drama and fine arts facilitator. I can't for certain say which culture/language has most blinkered me. I can say, with some authority, that island nations can be as insular as continental versions; and that culture is (but not necessarily inevitably) a prison.

My official "field" is Cultural Studies, and that inefficiently covers ever so many sins: colonial and post-colonial histories, languages, translations, literatures, the invention of Others, of nations, and discourses of development; the influence of economics, sciences, religions on constructs of race, class, sex/gender, abilities, multiculturalism, and discriminations associated with them; the roles of intellectuals in the construction and dissemination of knowledges. . . . I’m delighted to engage with students interested in any of these matters but have recently been rather obsessively pondering (with Goddard students) the possibilities of embodied and subversive research methods and presentation of research that might more effectively help shape a just and equitable society.

I am also passionate about all kinds of art, like fiction and theater (particularly comedy) that peel away cultural layers. I was involved in “social action” theater in Japan for many years, write this and that, and perform when allowed. For the past three years, I’ve been privileged to facilitate improvisational theater classes and direct the annual ARC Arkansas performing arts camp for adults with developmental disabilities who attend camp from various parts of the US. I delight in the complexities and magic of the Goddard learning model, and am reliably determined to join students in facing our academic demons—with humor and growing self-esteem—so we can put our theory into healthy & ethical practice in sensible -- if wild -- ways.

Educational Background:

MA in Cultural Studies, Goddard College; BEd with honors in Education, Psychology, and Arts, University of London Institute of Education.