Newsletter, October 2023

Arts and Policy, San Antonio, Texas

On November 2-3, Renaissance Now will host four in-person workshops, following four online seminars, with participants from diverse departments in San Antonio’s city government. You can inquire for more information by contacting us at

Take a Peek at Senegal’s Workshop

Check out the photos taken on October 27th in Tambacounda, Senegal, during a Pre-Texts session led by Valeria Pica, who received training in Pescara, Italy. Engage with the creative process and cultural exchange that took place during this workshop.


Choreography (de)formation

Photo by Pedagogía y Educación


“Where does violence in schools begin? Educators and justice authorities wonder about the origins of violence to identify ways to put an end to it, or at least mitigate it. In the process, perhaps it’s worth asking ourselves about the school experience itself.”

Read the complete article, “Choreography (de)formation” by Doris Sommer in Escuela y Pedagogía (in Spanish) here.

Humanities and Arts, UFRO Delegation

Photo by VRIP, UFRO

A delegation from Chile’s Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO) visited several educational institutions in Boston, USA, with the dual objective of promoting institutional strengthening and gaining insights into best practices in the fields of Humanities and Arts. This exchange initiative was conducted as part of the Conocimiento 2030 (Knowledge 2030) and the Centro Interdisciplinario en Investigación y Creación Artística (Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Artistic Creation) projects at UFRO. Our colleague José Falconi is actively involved in both of these initiatives. The delegation’s agenda included visits to prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, MIT, and the University of Connecticut, as well as engaging in discussions with leading academics and artists, including Mapuche filmmaker Francisco Huichaqueo. Read more.


New Professional Development Course on Documenting Impact

This academic year, the National Humanities Alliance is offering a new professional development course in documenting the impact of the humanities in higher education. The course consists of five workshops that dig into research methodologies, approaches to analyzing and leveraging data, and impact as it relates to a variety of higher ed contexts, such as humanities centers and the public humanities.


Harvard World Week

The workshop, titled “Collaborative Systems for Solving Complex Social Challenges: Preventing Mental Illness in Chile” took place at Harvard University as part of Harvard Worldwide Week. The event delved into the collaborative efforts of Harvard faculty working alongside leaders from Chile’s business sector, mental health specialists, and Chilean mayors to devise strategies for addressing the complexities of mental health disorders. This workshop was a component of The High Impact Coalition Initiative to Improve Mental Health in Chile, led by ALI Senior Fellow Claudia Bobadilla, and Harvard professors Fawwaz Habbal and Doris Sommer. Read more.


Exhibition at “El Vómito”, Art Gallery

As part of the celebrations for its 20 years of activity, the Belleza y Felicidad School for Children and Art Gallery of Villa Fiorito-Villa Jardín, Province of Buenos Aires, offered a Pre-Textos workshop at El Vómito, Art Gallery. Mayra Giménez, Pre-Texts facilitator at Belleza y Felicidad, along with Talata Rodríguez and Antü Cifuentes, shared the text “Aire Libre” by Argentine writer Liliana Bodoc. Read more.


Ricardo Rojas Library: ‘Recreando Juntos’ Visit

Participants of the Pre-Texts Workshop from the ‘Recreando Juntos’ Community Juegoteca in the City of Buenos Aires Visited the Library of the Ricardo Rojas Institute of Argentine Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of the University of Buenos Aires. The library team showcased the most notable items from their collection to the children and young participants of the workshop, who have been experimenting with the Pre-Texts protocol since 2019. They also shared insights about their roles as librarians and book restorers. Read more.


Love Learning in Libraries, Colombia

Boys and girls from the locality of Usme in Colombia visited the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, and Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas as part of the “La Universidad de los Niños” (Children’s University) program organized by the Sistema de Bibliotecas de Bogotá (Bogotá Library System). Under the guidance of Professor Victoria Mena, they used the Pre-Texts protocol to design and build a House of Fantastic Animals that reflected their magic and originality. Read more.


When Teachers Enjoy Teaching…

Photo by Nicole Schnitzler

The School of Education at Universidad Mayor conducted a teacher training session on creative and expressive skills in the Pre-Texts methodology. Facilitated by Paulina Núñez Lagos and Nicole Schnitzler, this recent event was titled ‘Comunicación efectiva con método Pre-Textos: Potencia la voz de tus estudiantes’ (Effective Communication with the Pre-Texts Method: Empower Your Students’ Voices). During this session, participants explored expressive vocal skills and strategies to enhance students’ creativity and active participation in the educational process. It provided an opportunity for educators to expand their teaching toolkit and empower their students. Read more.


Literary Fair on Reading, Writing, and Communication

The literary fair Lectura, Escritura y Comunicación (Reading, Writing, and Communication) is an annual event organized by the Provincial Department Santiago Poniente, Ministry of Education of Chile. In this event, educational institutions present their methodologies and innovations. This year, the Saint Francis School, represented by Paulina Sala, Coordinator of the Reader Promotion Plan, invited the School of Education of the University Mayor to experience the Pre-Texts methodology with students of different ages. Watch a video of the Fair on our Youtube Channel.


United States
Harvard Pre-Texts

In collaboration with Zachary Hermes, cardiologist with training in law and business, The Harvard Cultural Agents Initiative hosted a training program in Pre-Texts for teaching staff in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard, members of the Advanced Leadership Institute, and partners in the Boston Community. Dr. Hermes launched the Boston-based startup Odessa Health in 2020 as a response to the need in schools around the country. Odessa Health built a platform that enables school administrators to better monitor infections and potential exposures in their schools. Pre-Texts is related intervention, as pedagogical acupuncture that raises reading comprehension, lowers depression, and promotes collaboration. Partners around the world attest to the results. See


Counter Melodies and Creativity

Photo by Creative Roots Collective

The chapter titled ‘Counter Melodies and Creativity: Filling the gaps in a rural Colorado school’ is now available for your reading. Authored by Sophie Brown and Lindsay Bobyak, it has been included in the University of Guelph research repository and is part of the book “Impactful Classroom Experiences in Elementary Schools: Practices and Policies”, published by IGI Global. Read ‘Counter-Melodies and Creativity: Bridging Gaps in a Rural Colorado School’ on the Pre-Texts website.


Authenticity in La Modelo, a Prison Education Initiative in Colombia

Lee Perlman, Co-Director of MIT’s Educational Justice Institute (TEJI), and Colombian filmmaker María Paula Ávila Vera successfully adapted MIT’s ‘Authenticity’ course at La Modelo prison facility in Colombia. A discussion featuring Professor Doris Sommer, Lee Perlman, María Paula Ávila Vera, and Harvard students who participated was held, along with the screening of the official teaser of the documentary about the course, which is currently in the production stage.





Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
October 30, 2023
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