2018 Authors and Presenters

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Marwa Al-Sabouni, PhD

"Country in the Waiting: On Attachment, Loss, and Home"

Location: Pigott Auditorium 104 - via video and Skype

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Marwa Al-Sabouni, PhD Marwa Al-Sabouni, PhD Book Cover

Through the lens of architecture, Marwa Al-Sabouni looks at the inflamed conflict in her homeland and explains in her book The Battle for Home (2016) how architecture and urban planning played a role in the current war in Syria. Although it is a local story, she makes the case for it as a global one. Al-Sabouni will address what kind of life the built environment in Syria has generated through its transformation and how segregation and sectarian antagonism was built, what kind of social code had governed the communities’ relationships and what kind of alternatives has engulfed life in the aftermath.

Author Biography

Marwa Al-Sabouni is a Syrian architect and writer who holds a PhD in Islamic Architecture. Her first book, The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria, was published internationally in April 2016 by Thames and Hudson. The work has been widely covered by the media, including cover stories in The Guardian, Financial Times, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Sunday Times as well as features on BBC Radio, CNN, ABC, and many other outlets in Europe, Australia, and the U.S. Al-Sabouni has written for the RIBA Journal, Architectural Review, Financial Times, Standpoint, Wall Street International, and others. She participated in United Nations conferences and workshops in Berlin, Beirut, and Geneva convened to tackle the Syrian post-war situation. She was a speaker at the first Basel Peace Forum held in January 2017 and at the World Economic Forum MENA in Amman in May 2017.

Al-Sabouni gave the closing address for the Perth Writers Festival in 2017, and spoke at the Galway International Arts Festival in July 2017 and at the Bristol Festival of Ideas in October 2017. She was a keynote speaker at the celebrated Helsinki design expo, Habitare, and exhibited her contribution to the homelessness project launched by the Finnish Cultural Institute.

Al-Sabouni has taught architectural design in the university and been running her private architectural studio. Her proposal for rebuilding a locality won first national place at the UN-Habitat international competition in 2014. Her TED Talk was selected among the Best TED Talks of 2016 and viewed over 880,000 times.

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Matthew Amster-Burton

"Not Just Noise Candy: Music and Meaning in the Grunge Era"

Location: Sullivan Ct C3

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts

Description of Presentation

Matthew Amster-Burton Matthew Amster-Burton Book Cover

Our Secret Better Lives (2017) is a coming-of-age novel about falling in love with a song. Join author Matthew Amster-Burton for a reading from the book and a discussion of how our favorite songs make us who we are. We'll listen to some classic 90s tunes and talk about how pop music can - and can't - help us make sense of the world.

Author Biography

Matthew Amster-Burton is a writer and comedian. He is the author of the young adult novel Our Secret Better Lives and four non-fiction books, including Hungry Monkey (2009) and Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo (2013), which was a bestseller in Japan and has been optioned for film. Amster-Burton has written for Gourmet, The Wall Street Journal, and The Seattle Times, and has appeared in the Best Food Writing anthology five times. He is the cohost, with Molly Wizenberg, of the hit comedy podcast Spilled Milk, which reaches over 13,000 listeners. He lives with his family in Seattle.

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Anuk Arudpragasam, MA, MPhil

"Leaving the World: Some Reflections on Religion and Trauma"

Location: Pigott 200

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Anuk Arudpragasam, MA, MPhil Anuk Arudpragasam, MA, MPhil Book Cover

Reading from The Story of a Brief Marriage (2017), his debut novel set during the 2009 genocide in Sri Lanka, as well as from more recent fiction, Anuk Arudpragasam will speak about the profound resonance that contemporary experiences of war in Sri Lanka and elsewhere have with certain strands of South Asian religious literature.

Author Biography

Anuk Arudpragasam is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and currently lives in New York, where he is finishing a dissertation in philosophy at Columbia University. The Story of a Brief Marriage is his first novel, and translations have been published or are forthcoming in French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Czech. The novel was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and is currently longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Arudpragasam writes in English and Tamil.

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Lorraine K. Bannai, JD

“Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu’s Quest for Justice”

Location: Sullivan 109

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Lorraine K. Bannai, JD Lorraine K. Bannai, JD Book Cover

In 1942, Fred Korematsu was a 22-year-old welder in Oakland, California, when he refused to comply with military orders that led to the forced incarceration of over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry. Two-thirds of those incarcerated were, like Mr. Korematsu, American citizens. In December 1944, in one of the most infamous decisions in American legal history, the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction, holding that the mass removal of Japanese Americans was justified by military necessity. Forty years later, Mr. Korematsu successfully reopened his case on proof that the wartime government had lied to the Court, helping to pave the way for redress for the Japanese American community. Lorraine Bannai’s book Enduring Conviction (2015) relates the story of this remarkable man who has become a civil liberties icon, while also illuminating the ways in which his story continues to resonate as the U.S. struggles with issues of race and the danger of sacrificing civil liberties during times of perceived crisis.

Author Biography

Lorraine Bannai is director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality and a professor of Lawyering Skills at the Seattle University School of Law. After earning her JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Bannai practiced with what is now the San Francisco firm of Minami Tamaki. While in practice, she was on the legal team that successfully challenged Mr. Korematsu’s wartime conviction. Bannai has written and spoken widely on the issue of the wartime incarceration, including testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and presentations before numerous academic and civic institutions, such as the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association.

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Cynthia Barnett, MA

"Rain: A History for Stormy Times"

Location: Sullivan Ct C5

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: History, Nature and Environment

Description of Presentation

Cynthia Barnett, MA Cynthia Barnett, MA Book Cover

Environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett has chased the story of humanity and rain from the storms of the Little Ice Age to the modern extremes of climate change. A wellspring of life, rain also captures the human spirit, flowing through religion and the arts. Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. Changing rainfall patterns are some of the earliest tremors of our warming globe. Armed with computer models looking forward, there is also much to learn from looking back. Too much and not enough, rain is a story we share across culture and time. Its history has much to tell us about coming together to adapt to the stormy times ahead.

Author Biography

Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning journalist who has reported on water and climate worldwide. She is the author of three books on water, including the latest, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History (2015), a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing and named a best book of 2015 by NPR’s Science Friday, The Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, and others.                      

Barnett’s work appears in National Geographic, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Salon, Politico, Discover, and other publications. Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. (2007), won the gold medal for best non-fiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read. Her second, Blue Revolution (2011), which calls for a new water ethic, was named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 U.S. science books of 2011.

Barnett holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in environmental history and spent a year studying freshwater as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, where she is also Environmental Journalist in Residence at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

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Marcia Bartusiak, MS

"Einstein's Unfinished Symphony: The Story of a Gamble, Two Black Holes, and a New Age of Astronomy"

Location: Sullivan Ct C1

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: History, Nature and Environment

Description of Presentation

Marcia Bartusiak, MS Marcia Bartusiak, MS Book Cover

Marcia Bartusiak will recount the long hunt for gravitational waves, vibrations in space-time first predicted by Einstein in 1916. Converted to sound, these waves become a cosmic orchestra, allowing us to “hear” exploding stars, colliding black holes, rotating pulsars, and possibly even echoes from the Big Bang itself. Having reported on this field for more than three decades, including first detection in 2015, Bartusiak will reveal the brilliance, personalities, and luck that led to this new age of astronomy, one that may refashion our understanding of the universe.

Author Biography

Combining her undergraduate training in journalism with a master’s degree in physics, Marcia Bartusiak has been covering the fields of astronomy and physics for nearly four decades. Now a columnist for Natural History magazine, she has also published in a variety of publications, including Science, Smithsonian, Discover, National Geographic, and Astronomy.

The author of six books, Bartusiak is currently Professor of the Practice of the Graduate Program in Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her latest books are a revised edition of Einstein's Unfinished Symphony (2017), her award-winning history of gravitational-wave astronomy, Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved (2015), and The Day We Found the Universe (2009), on the birth of modern cosmology, which won the Davis Prize of the History of Science Society. Bartusiak’s book Archives of the Universe (2004), a history of the major discoveries in astronomy told through 100 of its original scientific publications, is used in introductory astronomy courses across the nation.

In 1982, Bartusiak was the first woman to win the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, and five years later was a finalist in NASA‘s Journalist-in-Space competition. She has also received an AIP Gemant Award and the Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. In 2008, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, cited for “exceptionally clear communication of the rich history, the intricate nature, and the modern practice of astronomy to the public at large.”

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Erica Bauermeister, PhD

"The Unsettling Role of Empathy in Fiction"

Location: Pigott 304

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts

Description of Presentation

Erica Bauermeister, PhD Erica Bauermeister, PhD Book Cover

Especially in times of cultural division, fiction provides the chance to inhabit another viewpoint. We dive deep, through words, past words, into another life. But how do we get there? And what is the author’s role in this act of artistic sleight of hand? Drawing off her experience as a writer of interconnected short stories, and utilizing wide-ranging examples in literature, Erica Bauermeister will explore the relationship between fiction and empathy, as well as the cognitive development it requires of the author.

Author Biography

Erica Bauermeister is the best-selling author of three works of fiction, The School of Essential Ingredients (2009), Joy for Beginners (2011), and The Lost Art of Mixing (2013). Her books have been published in over 25 countries. She is also the co-author of two non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide (1994) and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14 (1997). Bauermeister holds a PhD in literature from the University of Washington and has taught there and at Antioch University. A founding member of the Seattle7Writers, she currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

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Moustafa Bayoumi

"How Does It Feel To Be a Problem? Being Young and Muslim in America Today"

Location: Sullivan Ct C1

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Moustafa Bayoumi Moustafa Bayoumi Book Cover

Author Moustafa Bayoumi reveals what the War on Terror looks like from the vantage point of young Muslim Americans. He highlights the ways that Muslims are responding to growing hostility from our national politicians, and he illustrates the profound effect law enforcement surveillance has had on their lives. By discussing the ways that Muslim Americans grapple daily with the presumed assumptions people carry about them, Bayoumi shows how threats to Muslim American rights are in fact a threat to all of our civil liberties.

Author Biography

Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of the critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America (2008), which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction. His latest book, This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror (2015), was chosen as a Best Book of 2015 by The Progressive magazine and was also awarded the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Bayoumi is a columnist for The Guardian, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The National, CNN.com, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Progressive, and other publications. His essay “Disco Inferno” was included in the collection Best Music Writing of 2006. Bayoumi is the co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (2000) and editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict (2010). With Lizzy Ratner, he also co-edited a special issue of The Nation magazine on Islamophobia (July 2-9, 2012). Bayoumi is Professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of  New York. In 2015, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Southern Vermont College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Dave Boling

"Spotlighting Forgotten Injustices Through Historical Fiction"

Location: Pigott 108

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Arts, History, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Dave Boling Dave Boling Book Cover

In his first two novels, Guernica (2008) and The Lost History of Stars (2017), author Dave Boling focused on the great revolving fallacies of war. The novels personalize the fight against resurgent fascism and imperialistic nation-building - plagues that continue today. Boling will discuss how the experiences of the Basques dealing with Franco in the Spanish Civil War and the Boers fighting against resource-hungry Brits in the Anglo-Boer War are relevant to 21st century existence.

Author Biography

Along with his career in newspaper journalism, Dave Boling is author of the international best-selling Guernica and, more recently, The Lost History of Stars. Formerly a sports columnist for the Tacoma News Tribune, Boling now lives in Kirkland, Washington.

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Jessica Bruder, MS

"Nomadland: Surviving in the Shadow of the American Economy"

Location: Sullivan Ct C6

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Jessica Bruder, MS Jessica Bruder, MS Book Cover

From North Dakota’s beet fields to National Forest campgrounds in California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool of transient older Americans. Finding Social Security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves “workampers.” Journalist Jessica Bruder immersed with them over a three-year span to report her book Nomadland (2017).

Author Biography

Jessica Bruder is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and dark corners of the economy. She teaches narrative writing at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. For her new book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, Bruder spent months living in a camper van named  Halen, documenting itinerant Americans as they carve a place for themselves in a precarious economy.

“What photographer Jacob Riis did for the tenement poor in How the Other Half Lives (1890) and what novelist Upton Sinclair did for stockyard workers in The Jungle (1906), journalist Bruder now does for a segment of today’s older Americans forced to eke out a living as migrant workers. . . . [A] powerhouse of a book. . . . Visceral and haunting reporting,” wrote a Booklist critic in a starred review of Nomadland.

Bruder has written for publications including Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Nation, and The Washington Post. Support for her work has come from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, where she was a resident fellow in August 2016. Bruder’s previous book, Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man (2007), received accolades from The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, where a reviewer called it “quietly poetic.” Her next book project – about the human right to privacy and her experience serving as the unwitting mule for Edward Snowden’s entire leaked NSA archive – is co-authored with Dale Maharidge and coming in 2018 from Verso Books.

Links

Gloria J. Burgess, PhD

"Legacy: Writing on the Canvas of Eternity"

Location: Sullivan 109

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Gloria J. Burgess, PhD Gloria J. Burgess, PhD Book Cover

In her inspiring presentations and books, Gloria Burgess delves into the profound nature of legacy. She equips us to understand that legacy is about our daily choices and decisions. Burgess experienced these dimensions of legacy through her father, Earnest McEwen, Jr., and his life-changing relationship with his benefactor and friend Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Faulkner. These ordinary individuals did the extraordinary - they honored each other’s dignity and humanity across cultural, social, and racial divides.

Author Biography

Gloria Burgess is a pioneering leadership author, inspirational speaker, and professor of transformational leadership. She has served as faculty at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry and College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Washington, the University of Southern California, and Slovenia’s IEDC–Bled School of Management

Burgess’s recent books include Pass It On! (2018), Flawless Leadership: Connecting Who You Are with What You Know and Do (2016), Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside: Live Your Legacy NOW (2008), and Legacy Living (2006). She co-edited Leading in Complex Worlds (2012) and The Embodiment of Leadership (2013), two volumes in the International Leadership Association’s acclaimed Building Leadership Bridges series. Recently, Burgess authored the chapter “Unpacking Inclusivity: Lessons from Ubuntu Leadership” in Breaking the Zero-Sum Game: Transforming Societies Through Inclusive Leadership (2017) as well as several forthcoming chapters on the intersectionality of leadership and the arts.

A distinguished scholar in the humanities, Burgess is also a Cave Canem Fellow, a prestigious collective of poets and writers of the African Diaspora. Her poetry appears in diverse anthologies, including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007) and Fire on Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry (2010). She is currently working on a book series on legacy and leadership.

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The Rev. Dr. Sathianathan Clarke, ThD

"Competing Fundamentalisms: The Violent Face of Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism"

Location: Sullivan Ct C1

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics

Description of Presentation

The Rev. Dr. Sathianathan Clarke, ThD The Rev. Dr. Sathianathan Clarke, ThD  Book Cover

Religious fundamentalisms - oftentimes grounded in fiery worldviews, sometimes legitimated by furious gods and goddesses, and always marshaling muscular disciples - are growing dangerously into an assortment of violent local and global movements. Sathianathan “Sathi” Clarke will probe the religious sources of violent fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, and explore the competing character of this contemporary phenomenon within the aggressive spirit of modern globalism. While offering an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon of competing religious fundamentalisms, Clarke also seeks to challenge and transform this form of violent surrogate religion.

Author Biography

Sathianathan “Sathi” Clarke is Bishop Sundo Kim Chair in World Christianity and Professor of Theology, Culture, and Mission at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. He has also served as Honorary Minister at the Church of the Epiphany, Diocese of Washington, where he facilitated a bible study among homeless friends. Clarke’s vocation has been a unique blend of the joy of church ministry, passion for working with communities of the poor and other religious faiths, and love of academic research and teaching.                           

Clarke holds graduate degrees from Madras University (MA), Seramapore University (BD), Yale Divinity School (STM), and Harvard Divinity School (ThD). He has worked passionately for justice for the poor and has traveled extensively to educate and encourage interreligious dialogue. Clarke started his ministry in the Church of South India as a social worker and priest among Dalit communities in rural India. Presently, he is on the Episcopal House of Bishops Theology Committee and on the Religion and Violence Reference Group of the World Council of Churches. Clarke bridges the world between the establishment and the marginalized, the global and the local, and the academy and the congregation. For the last twenty years, he has taught and lectured on global Christianity, contextual theology, postcolonial mission, and interreligious dialogue in various countries around the world.

Clarke has published widely in international journals and has co-edited three books. He is the author of Dalits and Christianity: Subaltern Religion and Liberation Theology in India (1998) and Competing Fundamentalisms: Violent Extremism in Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism (2017).

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Sharon Cumberland, PhD

“‘Strange with Age’: Using Poetry to Cope with the March of Time"

Location: Pigott 304

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Arts

Description of Presentation

Sharon Cumberland, PhD Sharon Cumberland, PhD Book Cover

Whether you care for aging loved ones or cope with symptoms of aging yourself, this hands-on session shows that reading and writing poetry are powerful, easily acquired tools for facing realities of passing time. Prize-winning poet and creative writing professor Sharon Cumberland uses her own work and that of others to demonstrate how poetry can support us within a broad community of people who use this art to embrace the realities of aging. You will learn how to “scaffold” by using successful poetry to write original poems of your own.

Author Biography

Sharon Cumberland’s poems have been published in many literary journals, including Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Image, and Beloit Poetry Journal. She has been awarded Kalliope’s Sue Saniel Elkind Award, The Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association’s Zola Award for Poetry (2007, 2013), and the Writers Haven Press Bright Side Award. Cumberland’s full-length collections, Peculiar Honors (2012) and Strange with Age (2017) are published by Black Heron Press. Her chapbooks are The Arithmetic of Mourning from Green Rock Press, and Greatest Hits 1985-2000, from Pudding House Press.

Cumberland has been a resident artist at Yaddo, in Saratoga Springs, New York, the Jack Straw Foundation in Seattle, and the Grünewald Guild, in Plain, Washington. She was the Poet-in-Residence at The Seasons Music Festival in Yakima, Washington and has given poetry meditations at churches throughout the region. Cumberland is also the founder and member of the Greenwood Poets at the Greenwood Senior Center in Seattle. She is an arts reviewer for Seattle Gay News, covering dance, early music, and opera.

A lifelong Episcopalian, Cumberland spent two years as a member of the Order of St. Helena, and one year at the Catholic Worker in New York City. She is now a professor of English at Seattle University, and married to the letterpress printer James T. Jones.

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Maria Massi Dakake, PhD

“‘The Words of God Will Not Be Exhausted’: Contemplating the Qur’an in the Contemporary Context”

Location: Pigott 305

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

Maria Massi Dakake, PhD Maria Massi Dakake, PhD Book Cover

In November 2015, HarperOne released a landmark publication, The Study Qur’an, which offers a new translation of the Qur’an, along with a million-word commentary based on the rich and diverse tradition of Muslim commentary on their own sacred text. Maria Massi Dakake, the only woman who was part of the four-person scholarly team that produced the book, reflects on the effort to foster a continuous, living engagement with a scriptural text whose powerful imagery and multivalent language invite its readers toward contemplation, even as it cautions against misreading its verses.

Author Biography

Maria Massi Dakake holds a BA from Cornell University (1990) and an MA (1998) and PhD (2000) in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. She is currently Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia. Dakake is the director of the undergraduate interdisciplinary Islamic Studies program at GMU, and a founding member and former co-director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies. Her research interests and publications lie in the fields of Islamic intellectual history, with a particular interest in Qur’anic studies, Shi`ite and Sufi mystical traditions, and in women’s religious experiences. Over the last several years, Dakake’s work has focused primarily on the Qur’an and its commentary tradition.                       

Dakake has organized or co-organized several international conferences on the Qur’an and Qur’anic interpretation at GMU and at Howard Divinity School. She is associate editor and co-author of The Study Qur’an, which includes verse-by-verse annotation and extensive commentary on the Qur’anic text based on 1,400 years of Muslim exegesis of its scripture. Dakake is also the author of The Charismatic Community: Shi`ite Identity in Early Islam (2008), and is currently completing work on the Routledge Companion to the Qur’an (co-edited with Daniel Madigan). She has recently begun working independently on a monograph on the concept of religion as a universal phenomenon in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition.

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Robin DiAngelo, PhD

"What Does It Mean to Be White?"

Location: Sullivan Ct C6

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Robin DiAngelo, PhD Robin DiAngelo, PhD Book Cover

What does it mean to be White in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? Robin DiAngelo describes the way race shapes the lives of White people, explains what makes racism so hard for White people to see, and identifies common White racial patterns that prevent racial equity. Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and examples, she provides the framework needed to develop White racial literacy. People of color may also find the analysis valuable as it is one that is rarely affirmed in mainstream society.

Author Biography

Robin DiAngelo is a former associate professor of education and a two- time winner of the Student's Choice Award for Educator of the Year from the University of Washington. Her scholarship is in White racial identity and race relations. In addition to her academic work, DiAngelo has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in issues of race relations and racial justice. She was appointed to co-design the City of Seattle's Race Social Justice Initiative Training. DiAngelo has numerous publications and books, including What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy (2012). Her work on White fragility has influenced the national dialogue on race and been featured in AlterNet, Salon, NPR, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and Colorlines. Her next book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism, will be published by Beacon Press in June 2018, with a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson.

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Omar El Akkad

"Dangerous Fiction: Stories of the Displaced and Placeless"

Location: Sullivan Ct C3

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Omar El Akkad Omar El Akkad Book Cover

Omar El Akkad, author of American War (2017), will discuss the role of fiction in telling the stories of the unanchored: immigrants, refugees, and those whose lives don't fit neatly into a single cultural narrative, and the extent to which the American literary tradition has helped amplify or silence those stories.

Author Biography

Omar El Akkad was born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Doha, Qatar until he moved to Canada with his family. He is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. Akkad’s reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantànamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt, and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of Canada’s National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Tanya Erzen, PhD

"God Behind Bars: The Rise of Faith-Based Ministries in an Age of Mass Incarceration"

Location: Pigott 304

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Social Justice, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

Tanya Erzen, PhD Tanya Erzen, PhD Book Cover

In prisons throughout the United States, punishment and religious revivalism are occurring simultaneously. Faith-based ministries have become a dominant force in American prisons, operating under the logic that religious conversion and redemption will transform prisoners into new human beings. Tanya Erzen explores a little-known story: why Christian prison ministries are on the rise amidst an increasingly punitive system of mass incarceration. What are the implications of the state’s promotion of Christianity over other religious traditions in some prisons? How do faith-based programs enable forms of transformation and community organizing? How do people in prison practice religion in a space of coercion and discipline? Why have conservative Christians, particularly, embraced criminal justice reform?

Author Biography

Tanya Erzen is an associate professor of religion and gender studies at the University of Puget Sound and Executive Director of the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, a college program for incarcerated women in Washington state. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Hedgebrook Writers Residency, and a Soros Justice Fellowship to complete her book God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Ministries in an Age of Mass Incarceration (2017).

Erzen is the author of several books, including Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement (2006), which won the Gustave O. Arlt Book Award and the Ruth Benedict Prize. Her writing has appeared in various media, including Guernica, The Nation, The Boston Globe, Chronicle of Higher Education, and academic journals.

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Frances FitzGerald

"Evangelicals and the Religious Imagination"

Location: Pigott Auditorium 104

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Frances FitzGerald Frances FitzGerald Book Cover

In her new book, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (2017), Frances FitzGerald explores the history of American evangelicals and their efforts to shape the religious and political nature of the country from the First Great Awakening to today. In this talk, she will focus on the late 19th century conflict between modernist and the fundamentalist evangelicals that split American Protestantism and led to the culture wars that continue today. In FitzGerald’s view, the American evangelical tradition is never static but always a new work of the imagination as well as reaction to the events of the day. She believes that the Christian right is making way for a new generation with new ideas.

Author Biography

An American journalist and historian, Frances FitzGerald has written extensively on foreign affairs, politics, and religion. Her first book, Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (1972), won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, the National Book Award, and other prizes. Her subsequent books include an examination of the American history text books; and a study of four idealistic communities, including the gay community in the Castro district of San Francisco, for which she won the English Speaking Union Award for Literature. FitzGerald’s book on Reagan and Star Wars was selected as one of the ten top books of 2000 by the The New York Times. She has also written for numerous publications, The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, in particular.

Photo credit: Frances F. Denny

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Elizabeth Ford, MD

“Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward”

Location: Pigott 102

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Elizabeth Ford, MD Elizabeth Ford, MD Book Cover

In the United States, the world where mental illness and incarceration meet has evolved into an exceptionally complex, dysfunctional, and largely hidden institution where always poignant, often tragic, and frequently surprising stories of courage and human connection go untold. As a psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, caring for men with serious mental illness who are incarcerated on Rikers Island in New York City, and described in her compelling memoir, Elizabeth Ford shatters assumptions about those we may fear the most and shows that dignity and hope can be discovered even in the most challenging circumstances.

Author Biography

Elizabeth Ford is currently the Chief of Psychiatry for Correctional Health Services for New York City’s Health + Hospitals and is responsible for the mental health care of the men and women incarcerated in the New York City jails. Formerly the Director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center and the Training Director for the New York University School of Medicine’s Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, she spent years treating patients on the jail inpatient psychiatry service at Bellevue and in the Bellevue psychiatric emergency room, specializing in the care of individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system.

Ford is also an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and teaches and writes extensively about a broad array of topics related to the interface of mental health, law, and correctional settings, including the health and mental health impact of incarceration. She has authored and co-authored numerous academic articles and books, including a textbook about significant U.S. legal cases related to psychiatry and the law and the American Psychiatric Association’s most recent guidelines regarding psychiatric services in jails and prisons. Ford’s most recent book, a memoir entitled Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward, was published in 2017.

Ford has appeared on national radio and television, including NPR’s Fresh Air and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Time.com. She lives in New York with her family.

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Estelle Frankel, MS, MFT

"Wisdom of ‘Not Knowing’: Spiritual Tools for Thriving in These Uncertain Times"

Location: Sullivan 110

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness

Description of Presentation

Estelle Frankel, MS, MFT Estelle Frankel, MS, MFT Book Cover

For most of us, the “unknown” is both friend and foe. At times it is a source of paralyzing fear and uncertainty, and at other times it is the starting point for adventure, creativity, and transformation. The unknown forms a deep current that runs through all religious and mystical traditions; it is the gateway to the realm of awe and Mystery. Drawing on insights from Kabbalah, depth psychology, and Buddhism, Estelle Frankel shows us how we can grow our souls by tapping into the wisdom of “not knowing” and embracing uncertainty.

Author Biography

Estelle Frankel is a practicing psychotherapist, spiritual director, and seasoned teacher of Jewish mysticism who blends depth psychology with the healing wisdom and spiritual practices of Kabbalah. Ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, she has taught Jewish studies in Israel and throughout the U.S. for over forty years. Frankel is currently on the faculty of Lehrhaus Judaica and Chochmat HaLev Jewish Meditation Center where she teaches courses on Judaism and Positive Psychology and Kabbalah and healing. She also leads a monthly Contemplative Sabbath service and a popular interreligious dialogue forum at Chochmat known as the Open Faith Salon.

Frankel is a popular public speaker who has been hosted by many educational institutions, including the Starr King School of the Ministry, the Cape Cod Institute, the University of Judaism (Los Angeles), the Academy of Jewish Religion, Naropa’s Wisdom University (Oakland), the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and the New York Open Center. 

Frankel is the author of two award-winning books and numerous essays that have been published by academic journals and popular magazines, including Tikkun and Parabola. Her first book, Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness (2005), was chosen as a best spiritual self-help book by Spirituality and Practice magazine. It also received a gold medal from the Independent Publisher book awards. Frankel’s latest book, The Wisdom of Not Knowing: Discovering a Life of Wonder by Embracing Uncertainty (2017), was awarded a gold medal by the Next Generation Independent Book Awards for best self-help book of 2017.

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Laurie Frankel, MA

"This Is How It Always Is: Replacing Either/Or With In-Between"

Location: Pigott 100

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Laurie Frankel, MA Laurie Frankel, MA Book Cover

So often the answer to “Which?” isn't one or the other but neither or both. This Is How It Always Is (2017) is a novel about a boy who becomes a girl, but more broadly, it’s about transformations, transitions, and spaces in-between. Laurie Frankel will discuss the complicated answers to seemingly simple either/or questions: Is this book fiction or non-fiction? Is your child a son or a daughter? Is this bathroom male or female? Is gender biology or social construct? Buddhism's Middle Way and the unpredictable realities of parenting reveal difficult but vital alternatives.

Author Biography

Laurie Frankel is the best-selling, award-winning writer of three novels: This Is How It Always Is, Goodbye For Now (2012), and The Atlas of Love (2010). Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Publisher's Weekly, and other publications. A former college professor, she now writes full-time, teaches intermittently, and serves on the board of the literacy non-profit Seattle7Writers. She lives in Seattle with her family.

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Greg Garrett, MDiv, PhD

"Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse"

Location: Vachon Gallery

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Arts

Description of Presentation

Greg Garrett, MDiv, PhD Greg Garrett, MDiv, PhD Book Cover

In his study of stories of the Zombie Apocalypse, Living with the Living Dead (2017), Greg Garrett argues that these narratives help post-9/11 Westerners make meaning in a world full of menace. These stories, ranging from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to The Walking Dead, can offer wisdom on what it means to be fully human, remind us of the power of community, and help teach us how to live with integrity in a world full of fear - a world like our own.

Author Biography

Greg Garrett is the Austin, Texas author of over 25 books of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and translation. BBC Radio has called Garrett "one of America's leading voices on religion and culture," and he has written on such topics as spirituality and suffering, film and pop culture, Harry Potter, faith and politics, and contemporary Christianity. Garrett's work has been covered by The New Yorker, USA Today, The New York Times, FOX News, BBC Radio, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, Vice, and many other broadcast, print, and web media sources. He speaks regularly at universities, churches, seminaries, conventions, and retreats across the U.S. and Europe, including recent appearances at the Edinburgh Festival of Books, American Library in Paris, Cambridge University, Kings College in London, Villanova University, the Greenbelt Festival, and the Washington National Cathedral.

Garrett has taught at Baylor University since 1989. He also serves as Theologian in Residence at the American Cathedral in Paris, and as Writer in Residence at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest. He lives in Austin with his wife Jeanie and their daughters Lily and Sophia

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Ginny Gilder

“From the Ethereal to the Concrete: The Efficacy of Memoir in the Search for Meaning”

Location: Pigott 305

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Social Justice, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

Ginny Gilder Ginny Gilder  Book Cover

Nearing 50, Ginny Gilder could reflect on several accomplishments, in sports, business, and the non-profit realm. Yet, she felt unsettled about her past and doubtful about her future. Motivated by her mother’s recent death, Gilder began writing. In 2015, Beacon Press published her memoir Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX. Memoir invites both writer and reader to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Gilder will explore memoir as both a quest for meaning and an expression of purpose. Tracing her path from confusion and uncertainty to clarity about her life’s purpose, she will detail a road map for others to contemplate in their search for meaning.

Author Biography

Ginny Gilder has started several entrepreneurial ventures, both businesses and non-profits, whose founding dreams range from the practical to the transformational. Today, she is CEO of the Gilder family investment office, which she founded in 2004. In addition, Gilder is the managing partner of Force 10 Enterprises, which owns the WNBA’s Seattle Storm franchise, Force 10 Sports Management, and Force 10 Performance, an affordable multi-sport training center for all athletes and abilities, located in Redmond, Washington. This latest career chapter comingles Gilder’s love of business with her passion for sport and deep belief in its power to transform lives. Force 10 Enterprises is dedicated to the philosophy that women should enjoy access to competitive activities at every level.

A decorated rower at Yale University, Gilder helped usher in the post-Title IX era at her alma mater by participating in the now-famous women’s crew strip-in, protesting the lack of equal facilities. She represented the United States on four national teams, including two Olympic teams, winning a silver medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.

Gilder has received an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for community service (2004), the U.S. Rowing Association’s Jack Kelly Award (2015), and Yale University’s George H.W. Bush ’48 Lifetime of Leadership Award (2015). Author of the memoir Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX (2015), Gilder also claims three children, two step-children, and two grandchildren. She lives with her wife, Lynn, and their two poodles in Seattle.

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Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz, PhD

“Ignatian Exegesis: A Postcolonial Exploration of the Use of the Gospels in the Spiritual Exercises”

Location: Pigott 109

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness

Description of Presentation

Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz, PhD Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz, PhD Book Cover

One of the central characteristics of the Spiritual Exercises is their adaptability. Ever since Ignacio de Loyola wrote his Exercises they have been read, analyzed, interpreted, and practiced in many different ways, synergized not only by the countless viewpoints of those who embrace them, but also by their diverse cultural and historical realities. In this presentation, reading from her social location as a postcolonial subject, Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz explores the ways in which Ignacio uses the Gospels stories to set in motion his spiritual exercises. In doing so, she shows how Loyola, although a man of his time, adopted a creative exegetical tactic that continues to animate a timeless spirituality.

Author Biography

Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz is an associate professor of Christian Scriptures at the School of Theology and Ministry of Seattle University, and the current chair of the Howell Professorship of Theology and Ministry. During the three-year appointment, the Howell Professor conducts research in an area related to Jesuit identity, spirituality, and/or lay leadership, and offers a public lecture on the topic. During her tenure as Howell Professor, Guardiola-Sáenz has focused her research on Ignatian Spirituality from her point of view as a New Testament scholar. The lecture she is presenting now offers some of her research findings.

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Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD

“Poetic Subjectivities”

Location: Sullivan Ct C3

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD Book Cover

Poet and scholar Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs will take participants through a poetic journey of her published poetry from A Most Improbable Life (2003) to her recently published The Runaway Poems (2017), including the “¿How Many Indians Can We Be?” manuscript, begun on the plane to India in 2011 where she represented American poets at the Nagpur International Poetry Festival, and the unique poems from Sustainable Humanity, where she raises issues about equity and social class, beauty, and indigeneity in our 21st century.

Author Biography

Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs is the author of several books, including being first editor of the revolutionary Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (2012). She has authored multiple articles, poetry collections, and encyclopedia entries, and in 2015, was awarded the Provost’s Inaugural Award for Scholarship, Research and Creativity at Seattle University. Gutiérrez y Muhs was also selected university-wide as the Director for the Center for the Study of Justice in Society (2015-2017). Her collection ¿How Many Indians Can We Be? is forthcoming with Mango Press. In 2017, she published The Runaway Poems with Finishing Line Press.

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Noah Hass-Cohen, PsyD, ATR-BC

“Thriving Resilience: Findings from Memory Reconsolidation Research”

Location: Pigott 109

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Arts

Description of Presentation

Noah Hass-Cohen, PsyD, ATR-BC Noah Hass-Cohen, PsyD, ATR-BC Book Cover

During memory reconsolidation, established autobiographical memories are retrieved, returned to a labile state, and then either reinforced or permanently changed. Thus, within a short period of time after recalling, explicit fear-based memories can be updated with non-fearful information. However, any implicit triggering of distressing non-verbal memories may constrain the reinventing of such thriving autobiographical resilience. Art-based expression and therapies may remediate this kindling by facilitating explicit access to non-verbal autobiographical memories. Noah Hass-Cohen will review advances in memory reconsolidation research and show case pertinent art therapy relational neuroscience protocol interventions.

Author Biography

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” - C. G. Jung

Noah Hass-Cohen has developed a pioneering art therapy relational neurobiology approach. Her publications, and her frequent national and international presentations, focus on the advantages of therapeutic art making from an integrated neuroscience perspective. Hass-Cohen is the first author of two books, Art Therapy & Clinical Neuroscience (2008), and Art Therapy & The Neuroscience of Relationships, Creativity & Resiliency (2015). She has received the most prestigious American Journal of Art Therapy for her work.

Originally from Israel, Hass-Cohen became invested in developing a theoretical framework for the expressive arts when she was exposed to systems theory and clinical neuroscience research in the United States. Her current interest is in understanding the potential of creative arts for thriving resilience. Thriving goes beyond survival and coping; it vicariously occurs when, despite the odds, people reinvent their lives.

On the faculty at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University in Los Angeles, Hass-Cohen holds advanced degrees in clinical psychology and in couples and family therapies as well as advanced certifications in mindfulness instruction. She has over three decades of clinical experience. She is grateful to all the gifts that her graduate students have given her over the years, and feels that she and husband are so lucky to have their adult children and grandchild live close by in Los Angeles and in Santa Cruz. Her favorite art medium is pastels.

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Ernestine Hayes, MFA

"The Tao of Raven, An Alaska Native Memoir"

Location: Pigott 103

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Ernestine Hayes, MFA Ernestine Hayes, MFA Book Cover

Alaska Writer Laureate Ernestine Hayes constructs journeys of imagination, examining significant cultural events and their impact and asking, “What Shall We Do With Our Histories?” In her first book, Blonde Indian, An Alaska Native Memoir (2006), Hayes weaves experiences growing up in the Alaska Territory with stories of the land she loves. In her latest book, The Tao of Raven, An Alaska Native Memoir (2016), Hayes continues narratives from Blonde Indian, and reflects on similarities between the ancient story “Raven and the Box of Daylight” and teachings in The Art of War.

Author Biography

Born in the Territory of Alaska at the end of the Second World War, Ernestine Hayes moved to California at the age of 15, where she lived for 25 years. At the age of 40, she lived in her car, stood in food lines, and slept in shelters for eight months to get back home to Alaska. Her first book, Blonde Indian, weaves the story of her return with the cycles and returning of the land, glaciers, bears, and salmon of her Alaska home.

At the age of 50, Hayes enrolled at the University of Alaska to complete an education that had ended when she dropped out in tenth grade. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Literary Arts and now teaches composition and creative writing at the campus where she began her education. In 2015, Blonde Indian was named the inaugural selection for the Alaska Reads program. Hayes’s work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Studies in American Indian Literature, A History of Western American Literature, and other venues. In 2013, her poetry was installed at Totem Bight State Historical Park; in 2016, her prose was installed at the entrance to the Alaska Native exhibit at the newly renovated Alaska State Museum.

The current Alaska State Writer Laureate, Hayes is known as an advocate for social equity. A member of the Wolf House of the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Tlingit nation, she is the mother of three, grandmother of four, and great-grandmother of three.

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Hedgebrook Author Panel

"Women Authoring Change"

Location: Sullivan Ct C5

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Social Justice, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

Hedgebrook Author Panel Hedgebrook Author Panel  Book Cover

Hear from Ruby Hansen Murray, MFA, LaShawnDa Pittman, PhD, and Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, MFA - women authoring change who are all alumnae of the world-renowned women’s writing retreat, Hedgebrook, based on Whidbey Island. Founded by Seattle philanthropist Nancy Nordhoff, with a creative advisory council led by Gloria Steinem, Hedgebrook is celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2018.

Nordhoff’s vision has evolved into a global community of writers enriched by diversity: of culture, nationality, voice, genre, generation, perspective, and religious beliefs. Nearly two-thirds of Hedgebrook’s alumnae are women of color, and they come from all over the world and all walks of life. They are emerging and published, ranging in age from 18-85, and writing in all genres. And their writing is exemplary: out of Hedgebrook’s rigorous three-round selection process, and a growing international pool of more than 1,800 applicants, 40 writers each year are awarded a multi-week residency.

For this panel presentation, moderated by fellow Hedgebrook alumna Josephine Ensign, DrPH, Murray, Pittman, and Tuffaha will discuss the importance of women’s storytelling for social change and share some of their work. They will explore the ways in which telling their unique stories and writing from their experiences not only honors the women who came before them but also gives voice to those stories that have been marginalized for so long. Murray, Pittman, and Tuffaha also pave the path for the women who will come after them, enriching our shared culture and providing memories and role models for a wider range of girls and young women as they embark on their journeys. 

Author Biography

Ruby Hansen Murray, MFA is a writer and photographer living in the lower Columbia River estuary. Her work appears (or is forthcoming) in As/Us, World Literature Today, CutBank, The Rumpus, Yellow Medicine Review, Apogee, About Place Journal and American Ghost: Poets on Life after Industry (2011). She’s the winner of the 2017 Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction and has been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook, Ragdale, Playa, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Storyknife in Homer, and the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. Murray studied at Warren Wilson College and received an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She’s a citizen of the Osage Nation with West Indian roots on her mother’s side.

LaShawnDa Pittman, PhD is an assistant professor in the American Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Washington. Her current book project, Black Grandmothers from Slavery to the Present, examines the ways in which black grandmothers humanize, reconstitute, and hold together their families amid varying degrees of involvement and also given the structural (legal, social, economic) constraints at any given time. Hedgebrook, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities and Royalty Research Fund have supported this work. Pittman's work has appeared in the Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Women, Gender, and Families of Color, City and Community, and Social Science and Medicine. She is also the founder of the first digital archive devoted to black grandmothers, realblackgrandmothers.com. The mission of Real Black Grandmothers is to create a digital archive of personal accounts, cultural artifacts, living and oral histories that captures the remarkable and diverse experiences of black grandmothers and their grandchildren from the past to the present. 

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, MFA is an American writer of Palestinian, Syrian, and Jordanian heritage. Her first book of poems, Water & Salt (2017), is published by Red Hen Press. Her chapbook, Arab in Newsland, won the 2016 Two Sylvias Prize. Tuffaha's essays have been published in Kenyon Review Online, World Literature Today, The Rumpus, the Seattle Times, and Al-Ahram Weekly. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and have been published in American and international journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, and Sukoon. They are also published in anthologies, including Letters to Palestine and Bettering American Poetry v.2. Tuffaha holds a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington and an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She is co-founder of the Institute for Middle East Understanding. This year, Tuffaha serves as inaugural Poet-In-Residence at Open Books: A Poem Emporium in Seattle. She is a proud member of RAWI (Radius of Arab American Writers) and an eternally grateful alum of Hedgebrook.

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Azeem Ibrahim, PhD

"Rohingya: The World's Most Persecuted Minority"

Location: Pigott Auditorium 104

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, History, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Azeem Ibrahim, PhD Azeem Ibrahim, PhD Book Cover

The Rohingyas, a Muslim ethnic group living in the predominantly Buddhist country of Myanmar, are described by the United Nations as among the most persecuted people in the world. In his book The Rohingyas (2016), Azeem Ibrahim investigates Myanmar’s marginalized and vulnerable ethnic Rohingya. Despite their multigenerational history within Myanmar and centuries of coexistence with the Burman majority, violent conflict between Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya erupted in 2012 and has persisted. The humanitarian crisis has left hundreds dead and roughly 140,000 Rohingya internally displaced in refugee camps, and cast a pall on Myanmar’s peaceful democratic transition.

Author Biography

Azeem Ibrahim is a senior fellow at the Centre for Global Policy and a research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute U.S. Army War College. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge and served as an international security fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a world fellow at Yale University.

Outside his academic career, Ibrahim has been a reservist in the IV Battalion Parachute Regiment (the UK’s elite airborne infantry reserve) and a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, has published hundreds of articles in diverse international publications, and runs a charitable foundation. Over the years, Ibrahim has met and advised numerous world leaders on policy development and was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Ibrahim made a number of trips to Myanmar and Bangladesh to carry out the research for his book. He has written and spoken extensively on the persecution of the Rohingya in recent years.

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Trudy A. James, MRE

"Expanding End of Life Choices" (with Phyllis Shacter)

Location: Pigott 103

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness

Description of Presentation

Trudy A. James, MRE Trudy A. James, MRE Book Cover

Two dynamic women - one an author, one a film producer, both well acquainted with death and dying - will share stories, experiences, and resources to encourage and support each of us in preparing well for a good ending. Their knowledge, humor, and experiential wisdom will inspire and empower you to go deeper into this timely topic.

Author Biography

Trudy James is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She’s a long-time interfaith hospital chaplain who learned unforgettable lessons about death, dying, and grief in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. James was honored at the Clinton White House for her work creating and supporting congregation-based AIDS CareTeams in Arkansas during the 1980s and 1990s.

Twenty years with AIDS programming and five years as a chaplain at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance inspired James to create Heartwork, a program of spiritual retreats, grief and loss presentations, and end-of-life planning workshops. Her passion for helping people learn about available resources and envision a better way of dying guided her to produce a 30- minute documentary film, Speaking of Dying. This gentle and comforting film featuring diverse families and medical personnel has been publicly screened in over 300 venues across the United States, helping individuals and families learn about - and talk about - the choices and resources needed to plan for their own good endings.

James has trained more than a dozen Heartwork facilitators, who currently conduct personal end-of-life workshops throughout the Puget Sound area and in other states. She offers presentations about grief and the many issues surrounding death and dying from her long experience and her compassionate heart.

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Margot Kahn, MFA

"Home: A Four-Letter Word”

Location: Pigott 201

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

 Margot Kahn, MFA  Margot Kahn, MFA Book Cover

Home is a loaded word, a complex idea: it’s a place that can be comforting, difficult, nourishing, war-torn, or political. And it’s a subject that remains at the core of our national conversations. What makes a home? What do equality, safety, and politics have to do with it? And why is it so important to us to feel like we belong? Based on her thought-provoking new collection of 30 women’s personal essays on the theme of home, editor Margot Kahn will discuss the topics and trends that thread through the book (neighbors, marriage, kids, sentimental objects, homelessness, domestic violence, solitude, immigration, gentrification, geography, and more), and why in this day and age we still equate home with women, women with home.

Author Biography

Margot Kahn is the author of Horses That Buck (2008), the biography of champion cowboy Bill Smith and his changing American West. The book won the High Plains Book Award and was named a New West Best Book of the Year. A graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in non-fiction, Kahn’s essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in Tablet, River Teeth, The Los Angeles Review, and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, among other places. Her work has been anthologized in the collections YOU: An Anthology of Essays Devoted to the Second Person and Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze. Kahn is the recipient of grants and residencies from the Ohioana Library, the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, Bread Loaf, and the Jack Straw Writers Program. She is the co-editor, together with Kelly McMasters, of the anthology This Is the Place: Women Writing About Home (2017).

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Waqas Khwaja, PhD

"Poetry in a World of Fractured Realities"

Location: Pigott 108

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts

Description of Presentation

Waqas Khwaja, PhD Waqas Khwaja, PhD Book Cover

Besieged selves and populations, forced and involuntary migrations, some of the most destructive wars and assaults on human life, liberty, and civil values, and, as if this were not enough, desecration and spoliation of nature’s habitats and resources, even as ranks of the world’s deprived grow apace and sink deeper into destitution and misery. Then there is love, the being considerate and caring in the face of violence and ruination. Waqas Khwaja’s poetry interrogates the poet’s role and relevance in confronting this world of metamorphic shapes and fractured realities.

Author Biography

Waqas Khwaja is the Ellen Douglass Leyburn Professor of English at Agnes Scott College. He obtained his PhD in English from Emory University and a law degree (LLB) from the Punjab University Law College. Khwaja has published four collections of poetry, Hold Your Breath (2017), No One Waits for the Train (2007), Mariam’s Lament (1992), and Six Geese from a Tomb at Medum (1987). He’s also written a literary travelogue, Writers and Landscapes (1991), about his experiences as a fellow of the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. In addition, Khwaja has published three edited anthologies of Pakistani literature, Cactus (1984), Mornings in the Wilderness (1988), and Short Stories from Pakistan (1992).

Khwaja was the translation editor and contributor for Modern Poetry of Pakistan (2011), showcasing the work of 44 poets from seven of the country’s languages, and he guest-edited a special issue of scholarly articles on Pakistani literature for the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. He has also guest edited a special issue on Pakistani poetry for Atlanta Review. His poems and translations have appeared in U.S., South Asian, European, and Far Eastern publications, literary journals, and anthologies.

Khwaja teaches courses in postcolonial literature, British romanticism, narratives of empire, Gothic literature, Victorian poetry and fiction, literature and leadership, and creative writing. He was a practicing lawyer, a visiting professor of law, and a regular columnist for national newspapers in Pakistan before migrating to the U.S. in 1994.

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Josh Larsen

"Movies Are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings"

Location: Pigott 108

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness, Arts

Description of Presentation

Josh Larsen Josh Larsen Book Cover

Movies do more than tell a good story. They are expressions of raw emotion, naked vulnerability, and unbridled rage. They often function in the same way as prayers, communicating our deepest longings and joys to a God who hears each and every one. Filmspotting co-host Josh Larsen explores how movies function as expressions of lament, praise, joy, confession, and more. When words fail, the perfect film might be just what you need to jump-start your conversations with the Almighty.

Author Biography

Josh Larsen is the co-host of the radio show and podcast Filmspotting, as well as editor and film critic at Think Christian, a faith and pop culture website. He’s been writing and speaking about movies professionally for more than two decades. His book Movies Are Prayers was published in 2017.

Larsen’s career began in the mainstream newspaper business, where he started out as a beat reporter for a weekly community newspaper and went on to become the film critic for a daily, Chicago-area paper. In 2011, he joined the Christian media landscape as editor of Think Christian, which helps culturally engaged believers reflect faithfully on movies, music, television, video games, and more. Larsen joined the long-running Filmspotting podcast in 2012. Produced weekly and aired on WBEZ in Chicago, the show features reviews, interviews, and Top 5 lists, and was launched in the early days of iTunes in 2005.

A veteran of the Sundance, Toronto, and Chicago International Film Festivals, Larsen has given talks on film and faith at various Christian colleges. He also led the “Ebert Interruptus’ - a multi-day, scene-by-scene analysis of a single film, a tradition established by Roger Ebert - at the University of Colorado’s Conference on World Affairs. Larsen lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two daughters.

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The Rev. Dr. Eric Law, DD

"Holy Currency Exchange: Stories, Songs, Actions, and Vision of Sustainable Ministries"

Location: Pigott 202

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

The Rev. Dr. Eric Law, DD The Rev. Dr. Eric Law, DD Book Cover

Through storytelling, songs, and creative activities, Rev. Dr. Eric Law inspires church leaders to be creative stewards of their gifts (currencies) of time, place, gracious leadership, relationship, truth, wellness, and money, "flowing" them to transform their neighborhood communities and, in exchange, transforming themselves and their church community into agents of grace and the spirituality of abundance.

Author Biography

The Rev. Dr. Eric Law is the founder and executive director of the Kaleidoscope Institute, which provides resources to equip church leaders to create sustainable churches and communities. He is the author of nine books, including Holy Currencies (2013), Holy Currency Exchange (2016), The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb (1993 - also available in Spanish), Finding Intimacy in a World of Fear (2007), and Inclusion: Making Room for Grace (2000).

Law has been a consultant and trainer for over 25 years, working with the Roman Catholic, Episcopal, United Methodist, Presbyterian, American Baptist, United Church of Christ, and Lutheran Churches in the United States, Canada, Asia, Australia, and Europe. He is an Episcopal priest, a composer of church music, a photographer, and a playwright. He writes a weekly blog called The Sustainist: Spirituality for Sustainable Communities in a Networked World.

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Jeremy Lent, MBA

"Patterns of Meaning: Tracing How Different Conceptions of the Universe Have Shaped History"

Location: Pigott 101

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Jeremy Lent, MBA Jeremy Lent, MBA Book Cover

Jeremy Lent’s book The Patterning Instinct (2017) investigates how different cultures have made sense of the universe and how their underlying values have shaped history. Here, he shows how structural elements of Western dualistic thought have led to a crisis of sustainability where civilization’s survival is at stake. Lent traces an alternative holistic conception of the universe from hunter-gatherer times through early civilizations in Egypt, India, and China, and demonstrates its re-emergence in modern systems theory - offering the potential for a new global consciousness based on an underlying sense of connectedness.

Author Biography

Jeremy Lent is an author whose writings investigate the patterns of thought that have led our civilization to its current crisis of sustainability. He is founder of the non-profit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview, both scientifically rigorous and intrinsically meaningful, that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the earth.

Born in London, England, Lent received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He pursued a career in business, eventually founding an Internet startup and taking it public. Beginning around 2005, Lent began an inquiry into the various constructions of meaning formed by cultures around the world and throughout history. His award-winning novel, Requiem of the Human Soul, was published in 2009. His most recent work, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, traces the deep historical foundations of our modern worldview. The book identifies the root metaphors that cultures have used to infuse the universe with meaning, revealing how humanity’s unique patterning instinct has bestowed on us the benefits of civilization - and has also brought it potentially to the brink of collapse. The Patterning Instinct argues that our current crisis of unsustainability is not an inevitable result of human nature, but is culturally driven: a product of particular mental patterns that could conceivably be reshaped.

Lent holds regular community workshops to explore these topics through contemplative and embodied practices in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Sue Magrath, MC

"Meaning in the Aftermath of Sexual Abuse"

Location: Pigott 102

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness

Description of Presentation

Sue Magrath, MC Sue Magrath, MC Book Cover

In this workshop, Sue Magrath, author of Healing the Ravaged Soul: Tending the Spiritual Wounds of Child Sexual Abuse (2016), will lead an interactive discussion of the many barriers to faith, spirituality, and meaning that face survivors of child sexual abuse. Through experiential practices and the reading of book excerpts, participants will discover possible ways through which survivors might resolve spiritual wounds and find a faith that heals and gives meaning to their lives.

Author Biography

Sue Magrath is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and retired mental health counselor. She received her Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University in 1996 and practiced psychotherapy in Phoenix, Arizona for fourteen years, primarily as a pastoral counselor. It was through her work with many therapy clients who had suffered sexual abuse during childhood that she became aware of the deep spiritual wounds of survivors. Their struggles and doubts gave birth to her book, Healing the Ravaged Soul.

Magrath attended the Upper Room’s two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation as well as Source at the Center, a training program for spiritual directors in Orange, California. Both of these programs were foundational in giving her the ability to navigate the thorny theological issues that are at the heart of her book.

Magrath is active in the United Methodist church, where she serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry with a particular focus on clergy wellness. In addition to her book, she has published articles in Alive Now, a devotional magazine, and Presence, the journal of Spiritual Directors International. In her free time, Magrath enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, hiking in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, kayaking, reading, and writing. She keeps herself centered in faith through contemplative prayer.

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Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, MDiv

“Trouble the Water: Disrupting Empire, Cultivating Beloved Community”

Location: Pigott 201

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, MDiv Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, MDiv Book Cover

As a national organizer of spiritual leaders, Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews fashioned the Theology of Resistance model to equip multi-faith leaders and teams organizing for racial and economic justice in local communities. Trouble the Water (2017) is shaped by a multitude of voices that make it unique among resources for individuals and congregations working toward racial justice. At a time in our country and in our world when expressions of interpersonal prejudice and structural racism are validated and even valorized, this is a resource addressing the pressing concerns of our current era.

Author Biography

Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews is an ordained minister and a leading pastor in the multi-faith movement for justice. He brings more than 30 years of ministry leadership experience - as a senior pastor, grassroots leader, psalmist, and community organizer - to his work as the Director of Clergy Organizing for PICO National Network. Prior to his work with PICO, Mathews was the senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in downtown San Jose, California. Since 2014, his ministry has centered on the Theology of Resistance. Developed in the aftermath of the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Theology of Resistance is a prophetic, multi-faith discourse and is intended to ignite conversations and spark faith leaders to fight injustice and dehumanization.

Mathews is the founding organizer and co-convener of the Racial Justice & Multiculturalism Community of the Alliance of Baptists and the co-editor of Trouble the Water, a resource on racial justice and multiculturalism for congregations. He is also an inaugural member of the Auburn Senior Fellows cohort. Founded by Auburn Seminary, the program equips, networks, and gives a platform to top faith leaders on the frontlines for justice.

A native of Compton, California, Mathews earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences and Communications from the University of Southern California and a Master of Divinity degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Union.

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D.L. Mayfield

"Downward Mobility: How to Not Assimilate Into the American Dream to Save Your Soul"

Location: Pigott 100

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

D.L. Mayfield D.L. Mayfield Book Cover

How do the values of success, upward mobility, individuality, and safety fit into the life of someone who is trying to love their neighbor as themselves? How has the myth of the American Dream failed to address both systemic inequality and our personal responsibility to care and be in community with one another? D.L. Mayfield will talk about the choices she has made in order to gain proximity to the realities of the world and to live a life with her neighbors - both global and local - in mind.

Author Biography

D.L. Mayfield is an essayist, activist, and author of Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith (2016). Her essays have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and been an honorable mention in the Best American Essay 2016 collection. Mayfield likes to write about refugees, evangelical Christianity, gentrification, and downward mobility. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family. Mayfield’s writing has appeared in a variety of places, including McSweeneys, Vox, Christianity Today, and Sojourners. She is a co-founder of the Refugee and Immigrant Hospitality Organization (RIHO).

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May McCarthy

"The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance and Freedom"

Location: Pigott 202

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness

Description of Presentation

May McCarthy May McCarthy Book Cover

Like Gates, Oprah, and Einstein, learn to use your intuition to achieve greater levels of wealth, happiness and freedom. In The Path to Wealth, entrepreneur, investor, and author May McCarthy will help you to partner with an all- knowing, universal power that can guide you to achieving greater financial abundance and independence. McCarthy has used the seven spiritual steps she describes in her book to grow six successful companies to as large as $100 million annually. Learn how to use these simple spiritual principles to create the life that you desire.

Author Biography

Since 1982, May McCarthy has co-founded and grown six profitable companies, including four multimillion-dollar technology companies. She’s also worked for Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson and Boeing. McCarthy is an angel investor, advisor to dozens of small and medium-sized companies, and is on the boards of business, philanthropic, arts, and education organizations, including the Innovation Entrepreneurship Center at Seattle University. She is a guest university lecturer and professional speaker who shares spiritual success principles with audiences of universities, associations, spiritual organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. McCarthy travels the world on purpose: to elevate prosperity and freedom for all.

McCarthy's work has been published in Fast Company, INC, The CEO Magazine, and many other publications. She has appeared on dozens of local, national, and international radio and television programs. She is the author of the best-selling book The Path to Wealth (2015), and is releasing her second book, The Gratitude Formula, in 2018 through Hierophant Publishing.

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Devin E. Naar, PhD

“Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Modern Mediterranean World”

Location: Pigott 101

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Devin E. Naar, PhD Devin E. Naar, PhD Book Cover

The story of Jews, Christians, and Muslims is often presented as one of conflict and contention. By drawing on new archival research in six languages, Devin E. Naar uncovers the little known story of how Sephardic Jews, Greek Orthodox Christians, and Muslim Turks established a shared sense of belonging to the city of Salonica (Thessaloniki) within the context of the Ottoman Empire. What factors contributed to, and ultimately undermined, their sense of being part of a shared world?

Author Biography

Devin E. Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor in Sephardic Studies and Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at the University of Washington (UW). A Fulbright scholar to Greece, he received his PhD from Stanford University. His new book, Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece, won a 2016 National Jewish Book Award and the 2017 Keeley Prize for Best Book in Modern Greek Studies. Naar directs the UW’s new Sephardic Studies program and teaches courses on Jews, Christians, and Muslims; the Holocaust; Jewish history; Sephardic culture; migration; and empires and nationalism.

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Brenda Peterson

"The Spirit and Return of the Wild Wolf"

Location: Pigott 102

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Nature and Environment

Description of Presentation

Brenda Peterson Brenda Peterson  Book Cover

Acclaimed author Brenda Peterson’s first spiritual encounter with wolves was in the Navajo lands that led her to devote two decades of writing about the return of the wild wolf - from their reintroduction to Yellowstone, to their aerial hunting in Alaska, to the return of El Lobo to the Southwest. Wolf Nation (2017) tells the spiritual, symbolic, scientific, and inspiring story of wolf recovery. Peterson makes the eloquent, powerful case that without wolves, not only will our whole ecology unravel, but we’ll lose much of our national soul.

Author Biography

Through her work as a novelist and nature writer, Brenda Peterson’s curiosity about and respect for nature radiates through her 20 books, which range from her first memoir, Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals (2001), chosen as a Best Spiritual Book of 2001, to three novels, one of which, Duck and Cover (1991), was chosen by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year. Her second memoir, a dark comedy of family and faith, I Want To Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth (2010), was selected by The Christian Science Monitor among the Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books and chosen by independent bookstores as an Indie Next and a Great Read.

Peterson’s non-fiction has appeared in numerous national newspapers, journals, and magazines, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Utne Reader. Oprah.com featured her book Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir (2014). Peterson’s novels include Animal Heart (2004) and The Drowning World (2012). Her forthcoming books for children in 2017 and 2018 are Wild Orca and Lobo: A Wolf Family Returns Home. Her recent best-selling photo-essay book is Wolf Haven: Sanctuary and the Future of Wolves in North America (2016).

Peterson’s newest book, Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of the Wild Wolf, is widely welcomed by reviewers, including Manhattan Book Review: “Gripping and wonderfully lucid . . . both an entrancing and necessary read.”

Photo Credit: Grant Hindsley

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Rev. Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, PhD

“The Slow Work of God: Reaching Out to the ‘Nones’”

Location: Pigott 305

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics

Description of Presentation

Rev. Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, PhD Rev. Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, PhD Book Cover

Unlike us, God is endlessly patient, God's work is slow but sure. How can pastoral ministers reach out to the "Nones," those religiously unaffiliated young adults who are not just unfamiliar with the biblical stories and basic beliefs of the Christian tradition, but have little sense for the mystery of the divine? Jesuit Father Thomas Rausch, long concerned with making the faith more intelligible to adults, will talk about two of his books, Catholicism in the Third Millennium (2003), on Catholic faith and life, and the more meditative The Slow Work of God (2017).

Author Biography

Jesuit Father Thomas P. Rausch, T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has been described by Catherine Clifford of St. Paul's University, Ottawa, as "one of American Catholicism's finest writers." He has written or edited 23 books. Rausch’s books have been recognized by the Catholic Press Association six times, and some have been translated into at least nine languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian. He has lectured frequently in China.

At Loyola Marymount, Rausch has served as director of campus ministry, rector of the Jesuit community, and chair of the Department of Theological Studies. Long involved in ecumenical work, in 1983-84 he was appointed by the Secretariat for Christian Unity as Catholic Tutor to the Ecumenical Institute, the World Council of Churches Study Center at Bossey, Switzerland. Rausch was a member of the U.S. Catholic/Southern Baptist Conversation 1994-2001, one of the signatories of the Richard John Neuhaus/Charles Colson Evangelicals and Catholics Together 1997 document, "The Gift of Salvation," and appointed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to the Roman Catholic/World Evangelical Alliance Consultation (2001-2002).

Rausch presently serves on the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue: U.S. (2009-), and co-chairs the Los Angeles Catholic-Evangelical Committee and the Theological Commission for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. From 2010 to 2015, he was a member of a secretariat that advised Jesuit Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolas on ecumenical and interreligious relations.

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Jeanette Rodriguez, PhD

“A Clan Mother's Call: Reconstructing the Cultural Memory of the Haudenosaunee”

Location: Pigott 202

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

Jeanette Rodriguez, PhD Jeanette Rodriguez, PhD Book Cover

With a focus on woman as culture carrier and transmitter, Jeanette Rodriguez will explore the power of narrative, voice, and memory in rebuilding Nation. Much of (the Clan Mother's) Iakoiane Tewakierahkwa's knowledge and work is directed toward young women. Given the disturbing preponderance of violence directed toward Native women, revitalizing long-standing community knowledge that heals and reclaims the authority of Native women is critical work that needs to be done in Indigenous communities.

Author Biography

Jeanette Rodriguez is a professor at Seattle University and teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, the Women and Gender Studies program, and the graduate School of Theology and Ministry. She is the author of several books and articles concentrated in the areas of U.S. Hispanic theology, theologies of liberation, cultural memory, and women’s religious experience. Rodriguez’s works include Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment Among Mexican American Women (1994), Stories We Live (1996), Cultural Memory: Resistance, Faith and Identity (co-authored with anthropologist Dr. Ted Fortier - 2007), and A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology (co-edited with Dr. Maria Pilar Aquino and Dr. Daisy Machado - 2002).

Rodriguez has served on the boards of the Academy of Hispanic Theologians in the United States and the National Catholic Reporter, and as vice chair of Pax Christi USA. She holds a PhD in religion and the personality sciences from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.

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Elizabeth Rosner

"How Do We Heal the Wounds of History? Understanding and Addressing Intergenerational Trauma"

Location: Sullivan Ct C6

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Elizabeth Rosner Elizabeth Rosner Book Cover

In her newest book, Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory (2017), internationally acclaimed author Elizabeth Rosner takes on the complex subject of war's long aftermath. The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Rosner interweaves personal narrative with extensive research, in order to provide an over-arching look at the multi-generational consequences of genocide and atrocities worldwide. Incorporating scientific evidence for epigenetics, she examines interconnections among descendants of Holocaust victims, survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees, and African Americans shadowed by the legacy of slavery and lynching - offering insights into the urgent need for meaningful, shared dialogue about our collective task of healing.

Author Biography

Elizabeth Rosner is a best-selling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley, California. Her first book of non-fiction, Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, was published in September 2017.

Rosner's previous books have won her international recognition. Her third novel, Electric City (2014), was named among the best books of the year by National Public Radio. Her poetry collection, Gravity, was also published in 2014. The Speed of Light, Rosner's acclaimed debut novel in 2001, was translated into nine languages. Shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Femina, the book won several literary prizes in both the U.S. and Europe, including the Prix France Bleu Gironde, the Great Lakes Colleges Award for New Fiction, and Hadassah Magazine's Ribalow Prize, judged by Elie Wiesel. Blue Nude, her second novel, was selected as one of the best books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosner’s essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Elle, The Forward, and several anthologies; her poems have been published by Poetry Magazine, Catamaran, Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review, and many other journals.

Rosner travels widely to lead intensive writing workshops, to lecture on contemporary literature, and to visit with book groups. Her book reviews appear frequently in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Photo Credit: Judy Dater

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Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou

“The Task of the Artist in the Time of Monsters”

Location: Pigott 103

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Arts, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou Book Cover

From the fine arts museums to foot stomping juke joints, artists have long played a key role in the movement for social justice. Critically acclaimed musician and activist Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou believes that artists will play a critical role in healing the acrimony that beset much of our national dialogue. His own music builds upon movement music by the SNCC Freedom Singers, The Staple Singers, and the blues tradition. By accessing the life work of cultural geniuses such as Albert Camus, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Rosetta Tharpe, Sekou unearths the ways in which artists have provided the balm for wounded social justice warriors.

Author Biography

Raised in the rural Arkansas Delta, Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou is third generation ordained elder in the Church of God in Christ (Pentecostal). He is a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Education and Research Institute. With the Deep Abiding Love Project, Sekou has trained over 5,000 activists in militant nonviolent civil disobedience throughout the United States. During the Ferguson Uprising, he was arrested four times and faced over a year in prison. Sekou spent six weeks supporting local organizers in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the lead up to the "Unite the Right" rally.

Sekou is the author of two collections of essays, Urbansouls (2017) and Gods, Gays, and Guns (2017). Through Chalice Press, his forthcoming titles include: The Task of the Artist in the Time of Monsters (January 2018), This is Not Your Daddy's Civil Rights Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (March 2018), and A Liberation Theology of Ferguson (August 2018).

Sekou is a full-time musician. In 2016, Sekou and the Holy Ghost released the critically acclaimed album The Revolution Has Come. AFROPUNK celebrates the album’s “deep bone-marrow-level conviction.” The single “We Comin'” was named the new anthem for the modern Civil Rights movement by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In May 2017, Sekou released his debut solo album, “In Times Like These,” produced by the six-time Grammy nominated North Mississippi Allstars. The sonic landscape of Sekou's music is a unique combination of North Mississippi Hill Country music, Arkansas Delta Blues, Memphis Soul, 1960s protest music, and Pentecostal steel guitar.

Photo credit: Heather Wilson

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Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD, LMFT

"Sex, God, and the Conservative Church – How the Religious Right and Moral Majority Increased America’s Sexual Shame and Diminished Capacity for Intimacy"

Location: Sullivan 110

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD, LMFT Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD, LMFT Book Cover

Sexual shame is a silent killer of all forms of human intimacy, and Tina Schermer Sellers is the national expert. In her acclaimed 2017 book, Sex, God, and the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy, Sellers exposes how the western conservative church in collusion with consumer driven culture, politics, and the economy has infiltrated our core ability to attach to our partners, and instruct our children. She reveals the cost of the mind/body split, and resurrects sex positive ancient mystic wisdom ignored in the founding and continuation of our spiritual heritage and culture. Herein lies a foundational truth confirming our human desire for connection and pleasure.

Author Biography

Tina Schermer Sellers has had a distinguished career as an associate professor in the School of Psychology, Family and Community at Seattle Pacific University where she is a family therapist, medical family therapist, sex therapist, researcher, speaker, author, and thought leader. She also founded the Northwest Institute on Intimacy, whose mission is to provide training in sex therapy and spiritual intimacy for psychotherapists and to provide a solid referral source for physicians, community leaders, and the public. Sellers’s relentless passion for couples and families to know sexual and spiritual abundance, health and healing have won her several awards and requests for radio, TV, and podcast interviews.

Sellers's community-built website, www.ThankGodForSex.org (TGFS), is internationally acclaimed. Inspired by the ItGetsBetter.org Project, TGFS brings video stories of people who are healing from religious sexual shame. Sellers’s new book, Sex, God, and the Conservative Church, reveals the profound impact of sexual shame, and the liberation that comes from healing this form of abuse.

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Sarah Sentilles, ThD

"I Don't Even Know You: Otherness, Ethics, and Art"

Location: Vachon Gallery

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding

Description of Presentation

Sarah Sentilles, ThD Sarah Sentilles, ThD Book Cover

What if being confronted by someone utterly different from you - someone you are opposed to, confused by, scared of, someone you can’t understand - was the urgent signal that there was a life in need of your protection? What if “otherness” was the foundation for ethical action? Focusing on photography’s historical and ongoing role in constructing “others,” Sarah Sentilles will explore how art and theology offer resources for resisting the forms of observation, capture, and certainty encouraged by drones and other machines of war, and she will propose an ethics capable of seeing difference as divine.

Author Biography

Sarah Sentilles is a writer, critical theorist, scholar of religion, and author of many books, including Breaking Up with God: A Love Story (2011). Her most recent book, Draw Your Weapons, was published by Random House in July 2017. Sentilles earned a bachelor's degree at Yale University and master's and doctoral degrees at Harvard University, where she wrote her dissertation on the torture photographs taken at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Ms. Magazine, and Religion Dispatches, among other publications.

At the core of Sentilles’s scholarship, writing, and activism is a commitment to investigating the roles language, images, and practices play in oppression, violence, social transformation, and justice movements. She has taught at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland State University, California State University Channel Islands, and Willamette University, where she was the Mark and Melody Teppola Presidential Distinguished Visiting Professor. She now lives in Idaho's Wood River Valley.

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Phyllis Shacter

"Expanding End of Life Choices" (with Trudy James)

Location: Pigott 103

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness

Description of Presentation

Phyllis Shacter Phyllis Shacter Book Cover

Two dynamic women - one an author, one a film producer, both well acquainted with death and dying - will share stories, experiences, and resources to encourage and support each of us in preparing well for a good ending. Their knowledge, humor, and experiential wisdom will inspire and empower you to go deeper into this timely topic.

Author Biography

Phyllis Shacter is an advocate for expanding end-of-life choices and dying well, with a focus on the little-known option of VSED (voluntarily stopping eating and drinking). This legal choice allows people with degenerative disease to opt for a gentle, elective death by VSED versus years of living with pain and virtually no quality of life. By sharing her courageous and heart-warming personal story, Shacter offers insight into the range of emotional and practical considerations that need to be addressed to create a life-affirming death by VSED.

Shacter is the author of Choosing to Die (2017), a memoir and thorough guidebook about her husband’s gentle, elective death from VSED after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her website, www.phyllisshacter.com, is the authoritative site on VSED and her TEDx Talk “Not Here by Choice” is on its home page. Shacter is interviewed often and is a frequent speaker at conferences and on podcasts. She helped organize the first national conference on VSED, held at Seattle University in 2016. She has been a teacher, business consultant, life coach, and public speaker.

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Nisi Shawl

"Everyone Has Ancestors: Rooted Understanding of Afro-Diasporic Religions"

Location: Sullivan 109

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding

Description of Presentation

Nisi Shawl Nisi Shawl Book Cover

Award-winning speculative fiction author Nisi Shawl will delve into the spiritual practices at the heart of her many moving tales. Using examples from her own work ranging from the feline spies of her debut novel, Everfair (2016), to the hard-headed market woman bargaining with the King of Death in Tiptree honoree “The Beads of Ku,” and adding guided audience participation in singing ancestor praise songs and constructing a simple altar, this celebrated teacher will help participants tap into the roots of their ancestral knowledge and, thus, into more personal connections with the divine.

Author Biography

Nisi Shawl wrote the 2016 Nebula finalist and Tiptree Honor novel Everfair, an alternate history in which the Congo overthrows King Leopold II’s genocidal regime, as well as the 2008 Tiptree Award-winning short story collection Filter House. In 2005, Shawl co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, often now considered the standard text on diverse character representation in the imaginative genres, and the basis of her years of online and in-person classes of the same name. Shawl is a founder of the inclusivity-focused Carl Brandon Society and has served on the board of directors of the Clarion West Writers Workshop for 19 years.

Shawl’s dozens of acclaimed stories have appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Asimov’s Science Fiction magazines, among many other publications. Most recently, her “Everfair-adjacent” story “Vulcanization” was selected as one of 20 offered in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy (2016). Shawl has edited and co-edited several fiction and non-fiction anthologies, such as Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany (2015) and Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler (2013), both finalists for the Locus Award. A long-time practitioner of the West African-based religious tradition known as Ifa, Shawl deems her spirituality crucial both to her creative process and to her output, and is glad to share what she knows of it with others.

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SJ Sindu, PhD

“Faithless Fiction: Writing About Religion from an Atheist Perspective”

Location: Pigott 109

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Women's Studies

Description of Presentation

SJ Sindu, PhD SJ Sindu, PhD Book Cover

What does it mean to write about religion and faith when you’re an atheist? What kinds of ethical and philosophical questions arise when you create characters who have a different religion or spirituality than you do? SJ Sindu will talk about her Hindu upbringing, her current atheist perspective, and the process of researching and writing her two novels and numerous short stories, all of which take on Hinduism and fundamentalism in various ways. She will also read small sections from her first novel, which explores homophobia in current Hindu culture, and her second novel, Blue-Skinned Gods, which focuses on a fictional Hindu cult in India.

Author Biography

SJ Sindu was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Massachusetts. She is the author of the novel Marriage of a Thousand Lies (2017) and the hybrid fiction and non-fiction chapbook I Once Met You But You Were Dead (2016). Sindu holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in Tampa, Florida, and teaches at Ringling College of Art & Design.

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Norman H. Stamper, PhD

“Policing in the Age of Trump”

Location: Pigott 200

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Norman H. Stamper, PhD Norman H. Stamper, PhD Book Cover

Norm Stamper’s celebrated new book, To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police - an encore to his highly-acclaimed first book, Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing (2006) - was published in 2016, just months before Donald J. Trump was elected president. Along with many other criminal justice experts, he is deeply concerned about current efforts to dismantle nascent social justice and police reforms. Stamper will offer his plan to advance progressive steps in law enforcement reform.

Author Biography

Norm Stamper was a police officer for 34 years - the first 28 in San Diego, California, the last six (1994-2000) as Seattle’s Chief of Police. He has published numerous articles and op-eds in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, Cato Unbound, The Seattle Times, and many others. Stamper has been a frequent guest or commentator on many national TV and radio shows, such as The Colbert Report, The O’Reilly Factor, Democracy Now, and virtually all cable news outlets and NPR programs. He has been featured in several documentaries, including Soaked in Bleach, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, and Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey.

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Toni Tipton-Martin

"Break Every Chain: The Jemima Code Reveals the Servant's Heart Behind the Stereotype"

Location: Sullivan Ct C5

Time: Session 2: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Themes: Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, History

Description of Presentation

Toni Tipton-Martin Toni Tipton-Martin Book Cover

Cookbooks are one way women assert their individuality, develop their minds, and structure their lives, but culinary history has been cruel to African American cooks. In this session, we’ll put on the aprons of this country’s great cooks and explore the small body of rare cookbooks that found their way into print between 1800 and the civil rights era, looking beyond plantation mammy stereotypes, ingredient lists, and instructions to reveal culinary competencies and core values not often associated with black cooks - revealing a role model who can teach us more than just the recipe for great pancakes.

Author Biography

Toni Tipton-Martin is a culinary journalist, author, and community activist who has dedicated her career to building a healthier community. She is the author of the James Beard Award-winning The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (2015), a book that celebrates the important legacy of African American cooks and their cookbooks. She also is the winner of the 2015 Art of Eating Prize and the recipient of the 2015 Certificate of Outstanding Contribution to Publishing from the Black Caucus of the Library Association.

Tipton-Martin founded a 501c3 non-profit organization that promotes the connection between cultural heritage, food, and health. She has appeared as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning's annual holiday show, on the Cooking Channel, and in the 35th Annual 2016 Aetna African American History Calendar. First Lady Michelle Obama invited Tipton-Martin to the White House - twice.

Tipton-Martin was the first African American food editor of a major daily newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the nutrition writer for the Los Angeles Times, and a contributing editor to Heart & Soul magazine. She supports the food industry through service on several professional boards as a member of the James Beard Awards Committee and as a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and Foodways Texas. She also is on the Advisory Board for Oldways’ African Heritage Diet Pyramid.

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Cynthia Trenshaw, MthS

"Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society's Invisible People"

Location: Pigott 101

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Arts, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Cynthia Trenshaw, MthS Cynthia Trenshaw, MthS Book Cover

In a spell-binding ten-minute performance piece, Cynthia Trenshaw will guide her audience through encounters with those who inhabit the margins of our culture - people she met while serving as a massage therapist on the streets, under viaducts, and in homeless shelters of San Francisco's Tenderloin District; and while working as a nationally-certified hospital chaplain in a trauma center and a psychiatric hospital. Trenshaw will field audience questions following the performance, then read selections from her book Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society's Invisible People (2015).

Author Biography

Cynthia Trenshaw earned national certification as a hospital chaplain and as a massage therapist, and Washington state certifications as a professional guardian, as a guardian ad litem, and as a nurse aide-registered. She has served as a midwife to the dying, and a massage therapist to homeless people on the streets of large cities. Her master’s degree in theology is from Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.                                    

Trenshaw's first non-fiction book is Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society's Invisible People. Her poetry has been published in a variety of literary journals over the past decade, and her completed full-length manuscript of poems is searching for a publisher in 2018. She now lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, where she regularly posts essays and commentaries from her website, CynthiaTrenshaw.com.

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Samrat Upadhyay

"Monkeys, Gods, and Ganja: Spiritual Tripping to Nepal"

Location: Pigott 200

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Arts, Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding

Description of Presentation

Samrat Upadhyay Samrat Upadhyay Book Cover

Spirituality forms an interesting bridge between tradition and modernity in Nepal, which opened its door to the world only about 70 years ago. In award-winning novels and stories, Samrat Upadhyay has long depicted the struggles of ordinary Nepalis caught between tradition and modernity. Now, he takes us on a journey into the heart of spiritual Nepal. Through intimate revelations and fictional vignettes, he shows us how humanity finds balance between calamities and comfort, between war and peace, between private, intimate lives and the public, exposed ones in this beautiful country.

Author Biography

Samrat Upadhyay is the first Nepali-born fiction writer to be published in the United States. His debut short story collection, Arresting God in Kathmandu, was the winner of the 2001 Whiting Writers’ Award and his second short story collection, The Royal Ghosts, won the 2007 Asian American Literary Award. His first novel, The Guru of Love (2003), was a New York Times Notable Book while his second novel, Buddha’s Orphans, was longlisted for the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

Upadhyay’s 2014 novel, The City Son, was longlisted for the PEN Open Book award. His latest story collection, Mad Country (2017), has been called “brilliant, daring, and memorable” by The New York Times and given a starred review by Kirkus Reviews. Upadhyay has written for The New York Times and has appeared on BBC Radio and National Public Radio. He is the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University, where he teaches in its MFA program.

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Heather R. White, MDiv, PhD

"The Surprising Short History of Today's Traditional Morality - Rethinking America's Religious and Sexual Past"

Location: Pigott 201

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness, Social Justice

Description of Presentation

Heather R. White, MDiv, PhD Heather R. White, MDiv, PhD Book Cover

We often hear of religion and sex as opposing forces of history, with the progress of sexual rights pitted against the resistance of religious tradition. Historians in the fields of religious studies and sexuality studies, however, are re-examining this relationship. Their research shows that the story of tradition versus progress doesn't accurately describe how both religion and sex have changed over time. Heather White will offer a lively and unexpected inquiry into the past. The search for the origins of today's traditional morality reveals a modern - and surprising short - history.

Author Biography

Heather R. White is an historian of American religions and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion and Queer Studies at the University of Puget Sound. She is the author and co-editor of two recent books on the history of religion and sexuality.

Reforming Sodom: Protestants and the Rise of Gay Rights (2015) challenges the secular framing of LGBT history to show the significant influence of liberal Protestants in the early struggle for gay liberation. Devotions and Desires: Histories of Sexuality and Religion in the Twentieth Century United States (2018), co-edited with Gillian Frank and Bethany Moreton, gathers new and groundbreaking scholarship on the intertwined histories of religion and sexuality. The book features fascinating case studies that showcase the plurality of religious investments in changing understandings and practices of sexuality.

White has given invited lectures on these topics at Yale University, the Birkbeck Institutes at the University of London, Columbia University, the Toronto School of Theology, and many others. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD in religion from Princeton University.

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Paul Woodruff, PhD

"Reverence in Leadership"

Location: Pigott 100

Time: Session 1: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Themes: Religion, Faith and Ethics, Spirituality and Wellness, History

Description of Presentation

Paul Woodruff, PhD Paul Woodruff, PhD  Book Cover

Hubris is the sin that most often rides on people in authority. The virtue that prevents hubris and counteracts it is reverence. Drawing on the wisdom of ancient Greece and ancient China, Paul Woodruff will show what reverence is and why it is essential to leadership. Great leaders never fall into the trap of thinking they have god-like powers or perfect knowledge. They know they are human. They feel that knowledge deeply. From reverence springs compassion. Leaders are responsible for the compassion of those who follow them.

Author Biography

Paul Woodruff is a philosopher and classicist with broad interests in our legacy from the ancient Greeks, especially the climate of ideas that made possible the first steps in the evolution of democracy. He has degrees from Princeton and Oxford universities and has taught at the University of Texas since 1973, where he is currently Darrell K. Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society.

Woodruff’s original publications include Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (2001, 2d edition, enlarged, 2014), on which he was interviewed by Bill Moyers in 2003. His book The Ajax Dilemma (2011) shows how important leadership is to justice. His most recent book project, called The Garden of Leaders, urges colleges and universities to take more seriously their mission of educating future leaders, and especially to consider how to help young students cultivate virtues such as reverence.

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Rabbi Elana Zaiman

"How Do We Connect with the People We Love in These Disconnected Times?"

Location: Sullivan 110

Time: Session 3: 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Themes: Spirituality and Wellness, Arts

Description of Presentation

Rabbi Elana Zaiman Rabbi Elana Zaiman Book Cover

Is the daily barrage of negative news and energy unsettling? Is it creating unexpected friction, distancing you from family, friends, and community? What you’re feeling is real. You’re not alone. The good news: These turbulent times are inviting us to authentically confront and question our long-held beliefs and values, and to ask if they’re still working for us. Can we live in a world of love, support, and connection? Rabbi Elana Zaiman will inspire you with simple and relevant tools to reconnect with yourself and the people who matter to you.

Author Biography

Rabbi Elana Zaiman, the first woman rabbi from a family spanning six generations of rabbis, has spent her life bringing people together. Her rabbinic career includes the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle, and Congregation Beth Israel in Vancouver, BC. Zaiman travels throughout the U.S. and Canada as a scholar-in-residence, keynote speaker, and workshop facilitator. She’s the chaplain at The Summit at First Hill, a retirement community in Seattle, a certified Wise Aging instructor (The Institute for Jewish Spirituality), adjunct faculty in Harborview Hospital’s clinical pastoral education program, and the ethics and spirituality columnist for LivFun, a publication for Leisure Care retirement facilities in ten states.

Zaiman volunteers as a co-partner in the Seattle Limbe Sewing Circle, which brings together Jews, Muslims, and Christians to create feminine hygiene kits for girls in Cameroon, Africa. She is a writer of essays, articles, and non-fiction. Her new book, The Forever Letter (2017), has received high praise from Parker Palmer (Let Your Life Speak), Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Michael Josephson (Josephson Institute of Ethics), Rabbi Rachel Cowan (Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit), and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman (The Gottman Institute).

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