Course Listings

Interdisciplinary Studies

IDS 353 Inner Life of Activism (4)

Students in this course will investigate current and historical intersections between political activism and the inner life, learn from what resources sustain activist and civic leaders in the world, and reflect on their own engagement with the issues and movements they care about. How do we transform systems and stay grounded? How does systemic inequity affect health? How can we cultivate resources for mental/spiritual well-being and maintain our own health when working for more equity? The course utilizes an approach from the discipline of Contemplative Studies called “critical first-person learning,” in which students try out a variety of contemplative/spiritual practices and then critically reflect on them. Specific topics to be examined include: cultivating joy and flourishing in the face of darkness and loss; storytelling and wellness practices that cultivate resiliency, compassion, and courage; contemplative practices as aids to speaking truth to power; the promise and pitfalls of empathy; and care for self and community in response to intergenerational trauma and systemic oppression. Course materials will include readings, podcasts, poetry, film, and art.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: World Engagement: CV
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Petersen Boring

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