12 September 2014
We hope you enjoy this weekly update, which highlights some of our recent activities and the work of other cultural agents. Please see our websites for more information, news, and a list of our upcoming events:
http://www.culturalagents.org and www.pre-texts.org
As we hope to support your work as a cultural agent too, please send your news to us at email@example.com.
To all of our supporters, “texters” (tejedores, tecelões), and collaborators throughout the world, thank you!
With many thanks,
The Cultural Agents Team
Professors Doris Sommer and Francesco Erspamer will teach the graduate seminar Civic Humanities and the undergraduate course Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 13: Cultural Agents at Harvard University this semester. In these courses, students will examine aesthetics as a central component of the Humanities and an important aspect of all fields of study. Distinguished professionals from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, law and education, will speak to students, providing them with examples to consider in relation to theoretical readings by such authors as Kant and Boal. Students will also be invited to invent creative interventions that confront a social dilemma.
Next week the South Asia Institute, with the support of the Mahindra Center for the Humanities’ Cultural and Humanitarian Agents seminar, will hold its inaugural event of its Arts Initiative: The Role of Arts in Social Change. This event will center on the role of actor and director Nandita Das as a cultural agent and the role of scholars in critically exploring the social and intellectual power of such cultural agents. Das will be joined by Assistant Professor Cara Moyer-Duncan and Associate Professor Mukti Khaire. For more information on this discussion, please see the event page:
With the support of talented local facilitators such as Victoría Mena, we will be training 100 capacity builders to multiply Pre-Texts facilitators for the State of Antioquia. Governor Sergio Fajardo will support Pre-Texts as the flagship educational program of Antioquia, bringing Pre-Texts to the state’s innovative system of library-park complexes in order to help develop active readers.
Pre-Texts continues to be implemented in high school classrooms at the Instituto de Ciencias y Humanidades in Saltillo. Teachers of a variety of subjects such as mathematics, physics, and English are using Pre-Texts to engage students with the material in new creative ways. In addition, instructors of English from the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila have also begun to use Pre-Texts to help engage students in higher-order learning through creative exercises.
An optional Pre-Texts training workshop for Romance Languages and Literature students with graduate students from Comparative Literature was held at the Bok Center on Friday, August 29, 2014. Participants will continue to play with an excerpt from Marcel Proust’s “Swann’s Way,” “In Search of Lost Time” (1913) in the coming weeks.
These workshops are part of the Great Teachers Series profiles nominated faculty members at Harvard, offering a portrait of his or her work through a selection of interrelated videos. For more information, see:
Other Active Cultural Agents
The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is the nation’s newest people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination. For more on the work of the USDAC, please visit:
Julian Saporiti, now a faculty member at the University of Wyoming, moved to Laramie in the fall of 2012 to pursue an MA in American Studies. During his second year of graduate work, he brought together music, poetry, fiction and non-fiction as part of a Music in Residence for the MFA creative writing program’s reading series. He worked with each month’s readers and selected musicians from the community to complement their work. Many of the region’s best songwriters selected songs from their repertoire or debuted newly written songs which dealt with subject matter and tones that came up in the readings. For more on Julian’s efforts to bridge text, community, and music, see this recent article: