Newsletter, November 2019

Upcoming Events

Medicine with Words Series: A Conversation with Rex Lee Jim
Collective Storytelling, Collective Healing: Songs, Prayers, Stories, Rituals

As part of the Medicine with Words Series, Rex Lee Jim will be speaking at Harvard on Nov. 20th at 6pm at the Barker Center, Room 018. Rex Lee Jim is of the Kin Linchii’ nii clan for the Tachii’ nii clan. His maternal grandfather is of the Kin Yaa’aanii clan and his paternal grandfather is of the Naakaii Dine’e clan. He is an anthologized poet, playwright, actor and producer, and also a medicine man who practices the Blessing Way, a ceremony that focuses on healing the human mind and habilitation of healthy behaviors. He uses collective prayers, songs, stories and rituals to heal personal and community traumas, both current and historical. As the former Vice President of Navajo Nation, Jim has also worked with the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Carter Center, and other international organizations to improve relations between nation states and indigenous peoples. Jim is currently the Executive Director of the Navajo Sovereignty Institute at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona.

Read more about the event here.

CaixaForum Madrid: Pre-Textos para todo, para todos

Professor Doris Sommer will be giving a talk entitled “Pre-Textos para todo, para todos” at the CaixaForum Madrid on Nov. 28th. CaixaForum Madrid is a 21st century sociocultural center which opens its doors to ancient, modern and contemporary art, music and poetry festivals, multimedia art, debates on current affairs, social conferences and family and educational workshops.

Read more about CaixaForum Madrid here.

Pre-Texts News

Pre-Texts at the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning

Prof. Doris Sommer and Thomas Wisniewski facilitated a 3-session Pre-Texts workshop at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. The sessions took place over three Fridays on October 11th, 18th and 25th. Participants read, played and made art with an excerpt from Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

Reflections on Pre-Texts in Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia

Pre-Texts facilitators from the Subsecretary of Family Welfare in Rionegro visited Harvard on Nov. 5th and shared their reflections on the implementation of the Pre-Texts methodology in Rionegro. Pre-Texts has reached a total of 1,650 people since November 2018 in Rionegro and is a powerful example of a successful community cultural intervention.

Pre-Texts in Ciudad Bolívar, Bogotá

On Nov. 6th, Cultural Agents Colombia held a mini Pre-Texts workshop with older adults from the locality of Ciudad Bolívar in Bogotá. The elderly community explored various forms of expression using traditional practices, such as Central American quitapena dolls and lullabies and collective songs of the Colombian Pacific.

Forum Theater

Arianna Mazzeo, a lecturer at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, organized a session of Forum Theater on Nov. 12th.

Pre-Texts with Prof. David Johnson

In honor of Professor David Johnson, a Chartered Psychologist and Professorial Fellow and Reader in Comparative and International Education at the University of Oxford, and currently a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a mini Pre-Texts session was held on Nov. 15th.

Read more about Prof. David Johnson here.

Pre-Texts in Colombia: La paz se toma la palabra

As part of the project La paz se toma la palabra with Banco de la República in Colombia, a series of Pre-Texts workshops were held in October. The workshops were open to cultural mediators from Cartagena, Barranquilla, Montería, Santa Marta, Riohacha San Andrés, Sincelejo, Valledupar and Bogotá. During the month of November, the new Pre-Texts facilitators organized workshops in their communities, facilitating creative activities based on the local culture and practices of each region.


Featured News

The ALARI First Continental Conference on Afro-Latin American Studies
December 11-13, 2019 – Barker Center 9am-5pm

This gathering seeks to promote the academic field of Afro-Latin American Studies by fostering a necessary dialogue among actors involved in the production and implementation of academic and race justice agendas in Latin America.

The Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University is the first research institution in the United States devoted to the history and culture of peoples of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over 95 percent of the Africans forcibly imported into the Americas went to Latin America and the Caribbean, two thirds of them to the Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Many Hispanics in the United States are also of African descent. Cultural forms and community practices associated with Africa are conspicuous across the region – indeed, the very existence of Latin America would be unthinkable without them.

During the last few decades, Afro-Latin Americans have created numerous civic, cultural, and community organizations to demand recognition, equality and resources, prompting legislative action and the implementation of compensatory policies. The Afro-Latin American Research Institute stimulates and sponsors scholarship on the Afro-Latin American experience and provides a forum where scholars, intellectuals, activists and policy makers engage in exchanges and debates.

Read ALARI’s October 2019 newsletter here and read more about the ALARI First Continental Conference on Afro-Latin American Studies here.

White Snake Projects is a Boston-based activist opera company founded and led by Cerise Lim Jacobs, an immigrant woman of color. The project integrates social activism with original opera, partnering with other activists to cross-promote important social issues and opera, and redefining how opera is made by involving young people from immigrant communities. This year’s event was the critically acclaimed opera I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, which unpacks immigrant stereotypes through the stories of two women. Their work this coming season takes the theme of decolonization and Jacobs is currently working with musicians, writers and storytellers to compose a new piece, and individual songs on this theme. More information on the artistic call is here.

Read more about the White Snake Projects here.

Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
November 4, 2019
by Rodriguez