Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Multiversity Conference report

A few weekends ago (March 31 & April 1) for the second year the library co-sponsored the CIIS Multiversity Conference, a symposium of student research.

These 16 presentations spanned an impressive range of topics, approaches, and presentation formats -- and, just as impressively, made fascinating connections between disciplines and ways of understanding. (For example, the first two presentations sparked discussion of interrelationships between philosophical theory and social activism in times of war - on the face of it, two very different domains!) Equally impressive was the range of academic 'products' presented: some were designed as conference papers or proposals but others were interactive workshops, participatory dialogues, visual presentations (slides, videos), or lecture/performances.

In short, they were:

Priya Bhogaonker and Jennifer Mullen, both Clinical Psychology doctoral students.
Immigration, Adjustment, and Acculturation: Working with Immigrant Clients. (Comparing the presenters' experience working with Southeast Asian and Latino (especially Dominican) first- and second-generation immigrants, with discussion of how to develop culturally-congruent psychotherapy treatment strategies for these and other immigrant populations.)

Maria Cristina Borges and Doug Seckinger, both Somatic Psychology MA students.
Mindful Activism: Deepening Connection with Homeless Clients through Embodied Awareness. (Report on their experiences as psychotherapy interns with the San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team.)

Judson Davis, East-West Psychology doctoral student.
Ancient Image, Modern Mind. (Video documentary on the persistence - and diminishment - of mythic archetpes in modern imagery.)

Sahar Driver, Social and Cultural Anthropology doctoral student.
Responsibility and Alliance: Encounters in Iran, and War as Immanent. (Report on experiences with a Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation to Iran in May 2006, with comments on acting as peace makers while our current goverment is commited to waging war in the Middle East.)

Charles I. Flores, East-West Psychology doctoral candidate.
Integral Psychotherapy and its Application in the California Drug Court. (Describes the application of Integral Psychology to participants in the Richmond (CA) juvenile court diversion program, in very direct, practical, and non-traditional ways.)

Noa Kram, Social and Cultural Anthropology doctoral student.
Research as Alliance Building: the Struggles of the Negev Bedouin for Land Rights. (Describes her academic research into the history of Arab Bedouin concepts of land rights and land use, and her activist work to build alliances with this indigenous community to gain civil and cultural rights, in the context of their contemporary marginalization and Jew-Arab conflict within Israeli society.)

Susan Leksander, Integral Counseling Psychology MA student.
Animal Assisted Therapy: Healing Interactions between Animals and People. (Gives an overview of animal-assisted therapy, with particulars of her experience as a Farm Intern at Green Chimneys Services for Children, facilitating therapeutic encounters between clients and animals.)

Gregory Mengel, Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness doctoral candidate.
Epistemology in an Evolving Universe. (Incorporates contemporary biological and environmental ideas into our concept of cognition and our understanding of the process of understanding itself.)

Robert Mullen, Asian and Comparative Studies MA student.
Faith in the Face of Demonization: How Queers Remain Faithful in the Face of Ecumenical Intolerance. (Presents the results of research study on faithful within LGBT communities in the SF Bay Area, and their affiliations with religions, sects, or spiritualities that vilify or accept or embrace their sexuality.)

Elizabeth McAnally and Sam Mickey, both Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness doctoral students. Cosmology at the Intersection of Religion and Ecology. (A dialogue on how various religions / spiritual traditions are responding to the current ecological crisis, in theory and in practice.)

Victoria Michal Neshama, Women's Spirituality MA Student.
Authentic Expression in Education. (A demonstration/lecture/perfomance of a method for encouraging academic communication in authentic ways.)

Sergio Rodriguez Castillo, Integral Counseling Psychology MA student.
ADAM Remembers: MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy and the Recollection of Traumatic Repressed Memories. (A discussion of the problematic nature of working with repressed memories, of the nature of memory of trauma, and of MDMA/Ecstasy's possible uses in researching these memories or accessing them in therapeutic contexts.)

Daniel P. Reuben, Jr., Asian and Comparative Students recent doctoral graduate.
To Meditate or Medicate? That is the Question. (Examines concepts of insanity in Hindu medical traditions and in Buddhist theology, with respect to current controversies about the usefulness or danger associated with both meditation and medication in individuals who suffer from metnal illness.)

Eric Shaw, Asian and Comparative Studies doctoral student.
Information, Images and Ideas: a Multimedia History of American's Pop Yoga. (Traces the interrelationships between the rise of yoga as it is popularly known in the U.S. and in India, the Trasncendentalists, Theosophists, and New Age movements in the U.S., and neo-Hindu movements (especially the bhadralok intellectual movement) and emerging nationalism in India.)

Kerstin Sjoquist, Interdisciplinary Studies BA student.
Spiralling Through the Unknown Reality: Using Intuitive Inquiry to Inspire a Community Resource Project. (Explores Rosemarie Anderson's techniques of Intuitve Inquiry to delve into a selected channelled text, as a means of both investigating qualitative research and to lead to specific practical outcomes.)

White People Working Against Racism Group (represented by Meg Van Buren, Drama Therapy MA student, Grace Shaloub, and Sarah Deragon, Social and Cultural Anthropology MA student).
Becoming Activist Allies to People of Color. (Interactive workshop on forming alliances to address and redress white privilege.)

The full program (with abstracts and author bios) is available in the CIIS Library.


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