Developing a Progressive Narrative
As many may already know, science fiction and speculative fiction in general can investigate and articulate the state of our nation and/or world in very direct but also metaphorical ways. We have talked about Star Trek, for instance, on Equal Time and how Gene Roddenberry was able to discuss humanism and naturalism via the small and large screen. And there have been many novels and short stories since at least the late 19th Century which have done the same.
Victoria N Alexander and Adrienne Maree Brown are two authors who have relatively new speculative fiction books out. Victoria, who has a PhD in English and philosophy of science, is also a novelist and the founder of Dactyl, a foundation that fosters dialogue between artists and scientists. She is the author of several novels including the topic of today’s discussion, Locus Amoenus. The novel brings Shakespeare into the post-9/11 world we currently experience and sows an emotionally powerful geopolitical drama.
Adrienne Maree Brown is an author, a life/love work coach, a singer (including wedding singer), events facilitator and a scholar on the late Science Fiction novelist Octavia Butler. In Octavia’s Brood, Adrienne has co-edited a collection of both speculative and science fiction stories founded on the spirit and creativity of the late author.
Education in Crises?
With nationwide battles between the State and the Teacher’s Union on how we teach our children, the only voices heard seem to be conservative and centrist. There doesn’t seem to be anyone representing the children, themselves. But progressive voices do exist, and we will speak with two of them concerning the current crises in American education.
Kate Burch is Principal of Harvest Collegiate High School which was her master’s thesis at Teacher’s College Columbia University. She graduated from Harvard with high honors in history and literature. She taught at an alternative school, Humanities Prep, for many years. In 2007 she spent a year in Ghana on a Fulbright from Yale and developed lessons about Africa to bring back to the classroom.
Alfie Kohn is an American author and lecturer who has explored a number of topics in education, parenting, and human behavior. He is considered a leading figure in progressive education and has also offered critiques of many traditional aspects of parenting, managing, and American society more generally, drawing in each case from social science research. Kohn’s challenges to widely accepted theories and practices have made him a controversial figure, particularly with conservatives and those who defend the specific practices he calls into question, such as the use of competition, incentive programs, conventional discipline, standardized testing, grades, homework, and traditional schooling.
Beyond The Echo Chamber! How Networked Media Promotes Progressive Messages (and Why Humanists Should Build One)
Host Michael O’Neil interviews Jessica Clark and Tracy Van Slyke, authors of “Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media.” They will discuss how, in less than a decade, a new breed of networked progressive media—from Brave New Films to Talking Points Memo to Feministing and beyond—have informed and engaged millions. But the networked media model can work for any group, from Teabaggers to…dare we say it…Humanists!