Newsletter, February 2016


Arts and Humanities Civic Engagement


Cultural Agents is an interface between academic learning and civic engagement. The Initiative promotes arts and humanities as social resources.



  • Pre-Texts: The Arts Teach
  • WHEN: February 1, 2016, 12 – 1.15pm
  • WHERE: Harvard Graduate School of Education, Room Longfellow 320, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138
  • WHAT: Doris Sommer will be featuring a talk of “Pre-Texts” at the Colloquium in Culture and Institutions from HGSE.


  • Pre-Texts in Perú
  • WHEN: February 4-7, 2016
  • WHERE: Futura Schools, Arequipa, Perú
  • WHAT: In alliance with Futura Schools in Perú, Doris Sommer with Javier Suárez will be facilitators from Pre-Texts Workshops working with teachers of different disciplines in Arequipa.
  • Public Lecture: “Art to the Rescue: Cultural Agents take you by surprise”
  • WHEN: February 18, 2016, 7.30pm
  • WHERE: Scripps College Humanities Institute, Balch Auditorium, 1030 Columbia Ave. #2014
    Claremont, CA 91711
  • WHAT: Professor Doris Sommer will explore how the lost promise of the humanities is being realized by artists and activists in aggrieved communities in New Orleans, Houston and  Los Angeles who are working with the few tools they have in the sparse arenas that are open to them.
  • Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities: “The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities”
  • WHEN: February 22, 2016, 12pm
  • WHERE: UC Merced, California Room, Center for the Humanities
  • WHAT: Professor Doris Sommer will be presenting her book “The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities”.

  • Cultural and Humanitarian Agents Seminar: Simón Hosie: “Planos Vivos: Architecture and Community Engagement in Colombia”
  • WHEN: February 23, 2016, 6pm
  • WHERE: Mahindra Center, Barker Center, room 133, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
  • WHAT: Simón Hosie, a Colombian architect will be presenting his architectural work with communities in Colombia. This lecture is part of the Mahindra Seminar “Cultural and Humanitarian Agents” co sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
  • Culture as a Tool for Crime Prevention: Photography Exhibition: Colectivo Fotografía San Pablo del Monte at Harvard Law School
  • WHEN: February 25, 2016, 2-3pm
  • WHERE: Wasserstein Hall (WCC), Harvard Law School. 1585 Massachusetts Avenue
  • WHAT: Doris Sommer will be participating in a panel related to the Photography Exhibition, giving an insight on the relationship between arts/culture, crime prevention and social change

General News: Cultural Agents

The next visit of Simón Hosie at Mahindra Seminar “Cultural and Humanitarian Agents”


Simón Hosie Samper (1975) is an architect and artist. His architectural endeavours stem from intensive work with underprivileged communities. His projects connect art, architecture, social work and policy making to produce environments specifically designed for their context that act as catalysts for change. He was the youngest architect to ever be awarded the highest prize at the Colombian Architecture Bienal in 2004 in recognition of his project ‘Biblioteca Pública La Casa del Pueblo, Guanacas, Cauca’. Most recently, he has been developing ‘Planos Vivos’, an innovative research methodology and digital platform used to gather complex data and quantitative information about communities in an effort to better understand their most immediate problems and to propose structural solutions. In the past, Hosie has worked as  a professor of architecture, and founder and editor of the magazine + Arquitectura.”

– Jerónimo Duarte Riascos

Mockus’ plan to return Civic Culture to Bogotá

(Photo: Archive, Newspaper “El Tiempo”)

Former Bogota’s Mayor, Antanas Mockus has a new pedagogy of citizenship. His plan, in alliance with the Major Enrique Peñalosa, has two main steps. The first is based on the concept of respect. “El respeto por lo chiquitito” is the slogan created by Mockus, in which he believes respect starts with simple and easy actions as child’s games. The second reflects on the concept of equality of the Constitution. For Mockus, society must to achieve self-regulations’ forms. In this way, it would not be necessary the presence of the police in every block and citizens regulate themselves.

You can read the article in:

Featured Story

Knowing “Dancing to Heal”

Dancing to Heal is a student organization at Harvard University that leads weekly dance lessons for patients and residents at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes in the Boston area. The dances they teach range from traditional Chinese fan dance to social ballroom dances. The aim of the organization is to promote the therapeutic potential of dance and improve the lives of the elderly or ill.

Visit it’s facebook page:

Please see our calendar on the Cultural Agents website for more information on our upcoming events:


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Our mailing address is:
417 Boylston Hall
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
February 2, 2016
by Rodriguez