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Tradition and Transformation
Tribal: Reservation-Based/Community- Determined
Turning Eastward: Explorations in East/West Psychology

Tradition and Transformation

Fall and Winter quarters

Major areas of study include:
literary interpretation, mythology, Shakespearean studies, the Bible as literature, the psychology and sociology of change, literary theory, art history and introduction to film studies.
Class Standing:
Juniors or seniors; transfer students welcome.
Prerequisites:
Eight credits in literature or equivalent experience.

Tradition and transformation are contrary impulses in art, social life and individual experience. People struggle with the status of marriage, how to interpret sacred texts and whether to preserve or develop land. Writers and artists make their work through an ongoing dynamic interaction between pattern, tradition and stability on the one hand and metamorphosis, adaptation and surprise on the other. This program explores this tension, integrating work in literary interpretation and literary theory (with a special focus on Shakespeare), mythology, the Bible as literature, the psychology and sociology of change, art history and film studies.

Aristotle claimed the ability to make metaphor was the essential power of the poet, and saw it as a way of revealing how things were like each other. He also thought there were only a few plots—boy gets girl, boy loses girl, hero dies, hero comes home to tell his story—and that art displayed unchanging patterns in human nature and in human life. At its farthest pole, this impulse reaches toward canceling time and change—maintaining tradition, continuity, pattern and stability in life, ritual and art.

In the early 20th century, the Surrealists and Picasso also claimed making metaphor was the essential power of the poet, but in their hands a bicycle seat and handlebars suddenly turned into a bull’s head and the beautiful went from the Venus de Milo to “the chance encounter on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.” They saw art as an act of astonishing transformation, a way of creating something dramatically new and unexpected from what seemed permanent and unchangeable. At its farthest pole, this impulse says “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” It yearns for radical freedom—miracles, astonishment, permanent revolution.

Yet their innovations are now enshrined in art history textbooks with labels like “Analytic Cubism” and “Synthetic Cubism;” Picasso’s paintings can be found on thousands of dorm room walls. As Kafka notes in one of his parables: “Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes part of the ceremony.” Societies find ways to convert revolutionary upheavals into traditions.

In this program, we’ll read, write about and discuss a lot of serious and sometimes difficult literature, accompanied by some work with reading aloud, art history and literary theory. (There’ll also be a weekly film, followed by careful discussion,) We’ll study how writers and artists have paid homage to and dramatically adapted a few stories (including the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice). We’ll explore ways in which texts can be transformed or stabilized by approaches to interpreting them, including studying some portions of the Bible and historical struggles over differing views about how to understand it and other sacred texts. (Treating the Bible “as literature,” as college classes usually do, we’ll also explore ways we treat literary texts “as Bibles,” deifying artists and endowing their works with the moral, ritual and spiritual significance of quasi-sacred texts.) Shakespeare’s works have certainly been preserved, transformed and worshipped, and we’ll spend more time on what interpreters, performers and other artists have made of them during the past four hundred years than on anything else.

Although this program centers on interpreting literary texts and art, we’ll be paying some attention to the dynamics of tradition and transformation in psychology and society, including looking at how they’re expressed in some cases—perhaps the controversy over gay marriage, an argument about whether to preserve some piece of nature, or the struggle between tradition and modernization in the Islamic world.

Total:
16 credits each quarter.
Enrollment:
50
Schedule:
Class Schedule
Special Expenses:
$50 for theater and museum tickets.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, and for any career focused on producing, resisting, or helping people cope with change.
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Tribal: Reservation-Based/Community-Determined

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty:
Michelle Aguilar-Wells, Standing Bear Jenkins, Tracey Hosselkus
Major areas of study include:
U.S. and Tribal governments, international relations, public policy and administration, law, planning, history, economics, education, quantitative literacy, critical thinking, technology and writing.
Class Standing:
Juniors or seniors.
Prerequisites:
Students must live, work or have social and/or economic ties to one of the following reservation sites: Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Port Gamble, Quinault or Skokomish.
Faculty Signature:
Students must complete and submit an intake form and make an appointment for an interview. Intake forms are available in the Admissions Office, (360) 867-6170. For more information contact Michelle Aguilar-Wells, aguilarm@evergreen.edu or by message at (360) 867-6286. Applications received by May 17, 2006, will be given priority. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.

The theme for the year is governance in a global economy . Students will examine the role of Tribal government in the world as they enter the global economy. This program will focus on intergovernmental relations, international governmental relations, as well as the role of the United Nations and tribal participation.

Students will study tribal entry into the global marketplace and review administrative roles within governmental function, as well as learn the techniques for long range planning and economic development. A historical view will be presented to provide a foundation for understanding tribal governance and the multinational relationships that exist. In addition, students will study intertribal and intratribal relationships, and the impact they have in functioning in the global sense.

Total:
12 or 16 credits each quarter.
Enrollment:
75
Special Expenses:
Travel expenses to the Evergreen campus four times each quarter.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in human services, Tribal and other government, community development, non profit organizations, cultural studies and K-12 education.

Program updates:

07.28.2006:
Allen Standing Bear Jenkins and Tracey Hosselkus have joined the faculty of this program.
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Turning Eastward: Explorations in East/West Psychology

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty:
Ryo Imamura
Major areas of study include:
personality theory, abnormal psychology, Jungian psychology, ethics in psychotherapy, Buddhist Studies, Asian psychology, socially engaged Buddhism, Chinese spiritual paths, transpersonal psychology and studies in death and dying.
Class Standing:
Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.
Prerequisites:
Proficiency in college-level expository writing.

Western psychology has so far failed to provide us with a satisfactory understanding of the full range of human experience. It has largely overlooked the core of human understanding—our everyday mind, our immediate awareness of being with all of its felt complexity and sensitive attunement to the vast network of interconnectedness with the universe around us. Instead, Western psychology has chosen to analyze the mind as though it were an object independent of the analyzer, consisting of hypothetical structures and mechanisms that cannot be directly experienced. Western psychology’s neglect of the living mind—both in its everyday dynamics and its larger possibilities—has led to a tremendous upsurge of interest in the ancient wisdom of the East, particularly Buddhism, which does not divorce the study of psychology from the concern with wisdom and human liberation.

In direct contrast, Eastern psychology shuns any impersonal attempt to objectify human life from the viewpoint of an external observer, instead studying consciousness as a living reality which shapes individual and collective perception and action. The primary tool for directly exploring the mind is meditation or mindfulness, an experiential process in which one becomes an attentive participant-observer in the unfolding of moment-to-moment consciousness.

Learning mainly from lectures, readings, videos, workshops, seminar discussions, individual and group research projects, and field trips, we will take a critical look at the basic assumptions and tenets of the major currents in traditional Western psychology, the concept of mental illness, and the distinctions drawn between normal and abnormal thought and behavior. We will then investigate the Eastern study of the mind that has developed within spiritual traditions, particularly within the Buddhist tradition. In doing so, we will take special care to avoid the common pitfall of most Western interpretations of Eastern thought—the attempt to fit Eastern ideas and practices into unexamined Western assumptions and traditional intellectual categories. Finally, we will address the encounter between Eastern and Western psychology as possibly having important future ramifications for the human sciences, potentially leading to new perspectives on the whole range of human experience and life concerns.

Total:
16 credits each quarter.
Enrollment:
25
Schedule:
Class Schedule
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in psychology, counseling, social work, education, Asian studies and religious studies.
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Last Updated: March 19, 2008


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