Kristi Leora Gansworth

Faculty, Undergraduate Studies
Residency Site: Plainfield VT

Email
leora.gansworth@goddard.edu

Biography

Leora Gansworth’s training as a scholar of literature informs her practice and approach to academic learning. She has been published in multiple areas including hybrid and cross-genre creative work, most recently as a featured contributor to the Center for Humans and Nature (2018) and the Canadian Association of Geographers (2017). A new collection of poetry, “Actual Mammal,” is forthcoming.

Leora employs multiple modalities of knowledge in relation to river, plant, sea, sky, and earth. Her graduate work with Antioch University examined citizen-engaged water quality improvement strategies alongside Indigenous community concerns related to environmental contamination of traditional food and water sources. She has also worked in the context of student services and Indigenous-focused support programming. In recent years, she designed and collaborated on several innovative programs including a de-pave and rain garden installation project, intercultural education concerning Pacific salmon and native plants, a visiting elder series, Native american culture fair with focus on Indigenous youth, and a series of courses and community events based on Indigenous health and the environment.

Education

MFA in Creative Writing, Goddard College
MA in Environment and Community, Antioch University-Seattle
BA in English, SUNY Buffalo
AA Liberal Arts, Niagara County Community College

Areas of Expertise

My pedagogy does not support or endorse the notion of “expertise” as defined by the academy, but I am interested in contributing to scholarship and literature in the areas of:

  • Creative and critical writing that engages with social change and conditions
  • Indigenous notions of land and community
  • Anishinaabeg knowledge and worldview
  • Indigenous futurity
  • Environmental health
  • Any and all aspects of human relationships to water
  • Critical human geography

Personal Statement

As an educator, I love to witness students pursue their passions and my focus is being an active listener, questioner, and supporter as practitioners undertake their work. Goddard’s teaching and residency model contain aspects of freedom I find productive. As an adviser, I engage a dynamic effort to operate from an anti-oppressive framework. I encourage respect and courtesy as complements to critical rigor, sovereignty and dedication in a context where multiple knowledges and learning styles are celebrated and welcomed. Students who work with me can expect courtesy, kindness, frankness, deep questioning, flexibility and continued support through their personal and project development.

I primarily see the world as Anishinaabe kwe—a niece, daughter, auntie, granddaughter, in relation to all those who have come before me and those who have yet to walk upon the earth. I am interested in the work of people, but also interested in the other nations which compose life on earth—fish, trees, stone, water, for example–and how we affect one another. I seek to unpack the ways that unwanted, internalized being and knowing can be challenged through processes of inquiry and deep reflection.

It’s also important to me that my representations of Indigeneity build upon my own understanding of authenticity. I come from intergenerational survivors of “Indian” residential school histories, genocidal subjugation, environmental destruction and spiritual oppression, and yet have emerged, like many of my Indigenous brothers and sisters, as one who loves life and has immense hope for the present and future.

I was raised to know my families and our stories and experiences as Peoples through reservation life. We will always be here, and we love and care for our families, human and nonhuman. Contemporary educational systems are not an end-all, be-all for me, but contain useful tools with which to share my ideas, commitment, and love of learning, though I critically examine the history and implementation of educational practices I support—to ensure I am engaging on my own terms.

I live and work from Anishinaabe territory, a citizen of Kitigan Zibi Anishinaabeg. I sew, write, dance, gather, swim, create, love and breathe in the trails formed by my Indigenous ancestors.

Publications

  1. Dark SwimmingSalt Publications2012