People @ Goddard
Residency Sites: Plainfield, VT
My best skill is asking questions, both of others and myself. My academic training is cultural anthropology, music, and design. I’m now in just my fifth calendar year at Goddard, but I have wanted to be involved with the College since the 70s when Goddard’s Institute of Social Ecology was a living legend in the worlds of both sustainable resources and progressive education.
For fifteen years, I taught environmental design, community energy planning, and indigenous politics at Governors State University, the experimental non-graded campus within the Illinois system. Simultaneously, I took as much work as a jobbing violinist as I could find—everything from recording a commercial for a muffler company, being part of the stage quartet for Rev. Jesse Jackson, and performing with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Tonalities and rhythmic patterns are native to my meaning-making capacities.
I’m very interested in research on mirror neurons, especially as this relates to multi-tasking. For example, I’ve found that sometimes imagining practicing my violin in very precise ways sometimes has the same effect as working with the physical instrument. Grappling with anthropological theory mysteriously builds my violin technique and sharpens my intonation. I love these kinds of simultaneities and coincidences as much as I do anomalies.
My most well-known (and controversial) research is a geometric theory of planetary resources and climate--the earth energy grid. This model is a mnemonic frame for me to store and retrieve what I discover in my life and work—which is almost always from a transdisciplinary perspective. The geometry of the grid lies at the heart of much sustainable construction and theory.
In 1994, I joined the full-time core interdisciplinary doctoral faculty at the Union Institute and moved from Chicago to the coast of Maine.
Along with classical and rock performances, I recorded CDs as soloist with Tim Janis (Celtic) and Dunne Roman (New Age).
I traveled to supervise student work in countries as different from each other as Papua New Guinea, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Finland, and much of Europe. With 9/11 came a crushing sense of myself as not unlike Nero, fiddling while Rome burned, and it haunts me to this day. I do not play as much right now.
I left Union in 2005, wanting to be involved more directly as a U.S. citizen in the global culture. I joined the graduate faculty of the international School of Public Policy & Administration at Walden University.
I advise on sustainable technology, especially food and “homeland security” issues. Still, my heart beats fast in the realm of magic, consciousness studies, and ritual performance. I am always excited to discover intersections of my worlds.
I encourage students to pay attention to analogous discoveries they make in their own life processes. My basic belief is that any discovery actually reveals the identity of self. Connecting with that power is, for me, the promise of soul.
Education Background: PhD in Cultural Anthropology, University of Chicago; MA in Cultural Anthropology, University of Chicago; BA in Sociology and Anthropology, Occidental College.