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Saybrook Alumnus Bob Hieronimus, PhD is Part of Panel of Artists on Race, Religion, Social Justice and Inspiration

02/26/2010
Dr. Bob Hieronimus in New York as part of Panel of Artists on Race, Religion, Social Justice and Inspiration Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 6 to 8pm New York City On Thursday, February 25th from 6-8 PM you are invited to join Faith Ringgoold and Dr. Bob Hieronimus and several other artists and writers for "An Evening with Faith Ringgold and Friends: Artists and Writers Discuss Race, Religion...

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Alumni Messenger

An Interesting Book Signing for SF Bay Area Alumni

02/26/2010
A newly arrived 65 year old blues man will be reading from his book -The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol: Medicine Teachings for Modern Times BOOK SIGNING EVENT AT BOOK PASSAGE MONDAY APRIL 19 AT 7PM 51 TAMAL VISTA BLVD. CORTE MADERA, CA 415-927-09960. Each book is a seed that uplifts awareness about how to show up in a good medicine way during this time of the Great Turning. YOU CAN BUY A...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumnus Stefan Kasian, PhD '06 and Executive Faculty Member Stan Krippner Co-author Book Chapter

02/26/2010
A chapter that Saybrook Execurive Faculty Member Stanley Krippner and Alumnus Stefan Kasian have co-authored, "Cross-cultural perspectives on euthanasia" has been published by the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (SAC)in the new book, So What? Now What? The Anthropology of Consciousness Responds to a World In Crisis. This book is in 23 academic libraries worldwide! It will soon be...

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Alumna Marie Fonrose, PhD '03 Leaves for Haiti on Feb. 19

02/26/2010
A note from Marie: I want to thank everyone at Saybrook as well as friends who donated to the Saybrook Alumni Association to support my trip to Haiti. As you know, I have been waiting patiently to go to Haiti and help the earthquake victims with the healing process. I signed up with so many organizations that I lost count. However, Promise for Haiti (Healthcare, education, & clean water...

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Alumni Messenger

The Berlin School of Mind and Brain Invites Applications

02/09/2010
VISITING SCHOLAR AND STUDENT PROGRAM: BERLIN SCHOOL OF MIND AND BRAIN > > Application deadline: 1st May 2010. > Enquiries: admissions@mind-and-brain.de > Web: http://www.mind-and-brain.de/overview/visitors > > The Berlin School of Mind and Brain invites applications for visiting > scholars and students. > > The Berlin School of Mind and Brain is an international...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumna Rivka Bertisch Meir, Ph.D. '05 Publishes New Book

02/09/2010
Alumna Rivka Bertisch Meir, Ph.D. '05 Publishes Stop Beliefs That Stop Your Life This book describes a new technique of self-transformation that can substantially change your life in a short period of time by demonstrating the importance of fixed beliefs in determining Life Patterns that cause us to repeat the same destructive behaviors over and over again. When beliefs are modified, there is an...

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University

Mental Illness is the new colonialism

02/09/2010

In the early 1990s, Dr. Sing Lee began to see mental illnesses behave the way they’re not supposed to.

 A practicing psychiatrist and researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Lee was studying anorexia in China – where it displayed virtually none of the symptoms of the disease in the West.  His patients didn’t diet, or fear becoming fat:  instead, they said their stomachs felt constantly bloated.

 Then, in 1994, an anorexic teenage girl collapsed and died on a Hong Kong street.  The death caught big media attention, and the Chinese language newspapers and TV covered it.  They went to western experts to describe the illness, and naturally those experts quoted from the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, now in its fourth edition):  they said anorexia involves deliberate dieting and fear of obesity. 

 Almost immediately, people around Hong Kong began exhibiting those symptoms – symptoms that had never before existed in a Chinese country – instead of the symptoms of anorexia that Dr. Lee had previously seen.  Those symptoms had been indigenous to the culture, but not as well known – and almost overnight they disappeared to be replaced by the same “mental illness” made famous by American teenagers and celebrities.

 By the late 1990s, three in ten women in Hong Kong reported symptoms of an American style eating disorder.

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University

From health care to the environment, fixing complicated problems isn't impossible in America ... yet

02/09/2010

Citizens of all 50 states are reeling from the budget cuts caused by the financial crisis.  Our nation’s fiscal nightmare is literally breaking state governments.

Or is it the other way around?

In a penetrating article for Governing Magazine, author Rob Gurwitt puts forward evidence that we have it exactly backwards.  A budget crisis isn’t wrecking state governments;  state governments are so broken that it’s creating a perpetual budget crisis.
 
“The realization has started to dawn — and not just in the hardest-hit places — that fundamental assumptions about how state government operates need rewiring,” he writes.  “The little budget tricks that states have tended to rely on in order to keep the electorate happy have mostly run their course.”

But we don’t need mazagine articles to tell us that govenments, from state to federal, are having trouble turning the ship of state around. 

But is that even doable?  Some say no:  a recent Wall street Journal article said the reason President Obama’s attempt to reform health care is failing is that you literally can’t reform health care:  at 16% of the economy, it’s too big.  Can’t be done.  Government is simply too large to transform.  End of story. 

Gary Metcalf disagrees.  It can be done, and thre’s even reason to hope. 

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University

A totalitarian regime's enemy number 1: Human Science

02/09/2010

As Iranian civil society reels from the impact of illegitimate elections, the Chronicle of Higher Education noticed a fascinating, if disturbing, trend:  a disproportionate number of dissidents put on public trial have been students of the human sciences … and they have been forced to denounce their field.

“The number of social scientists in Iranian prisons has multiplied,” the Chronicle says (where the Iranians use the European term “Human Sciences,” the Chronicle prefers the Americanized – and more limited – “Social Sciences”).  Meanwhile, members of the regime’s senior leadership, including the “supreme ruler” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have publicly called for human science to be discussed only among trained elites … or not taught at all … lest ordinary people be encouraged to doubt the legitimacy of the theocratic government. 

The Chronicle quotes from the forced confession of Saeed Hajjarian, a leading advocate for reform and a political scientist by training:  “Theories of the human sciences contain ideological weapons that can be converted into strategies and tactics and mustered against the country’s official ideology.”

At Saybrook University, the only university in America to offer graduate degrees in Human Science, the response has been “absolutely right.”

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University

Shaping the University's response to the crisis in Haiti, students led the way

02/09/2010

 On February 2, Saybrook Interim President Bob Schmitt issued a statement expressing Saybrook’s solidarity with the people of Haiti and describing the steps that members of our community are taking to address their suffering. 

 At many institutions statements like these are drafted only at the highest levels, with the people they purport to represent not finding out about them until long after the fact.  In this case, however, the statement was conceived of by students, and a diverse spectrum of the community was instrumental in its development.

 The Haiti earthquake took place on January 12, just as students and faculty were beginning to travel to the Residential Conference of the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies.  The idea of issuing a statement about  earthquake was first brought forward not in the boardroom, but in a classroom, by Janine Ray, a PhD student in Human Science with a concentration in Social Transformation.  She walked into the January 2010 Residential Conference intensive on Global Citizen Activism, Theory, and Research (co-sponsored by the Social Transformation Concentration and the Human Science degree program), knowing that she couldn’t pretend the earthquake hadn’t happened.

 “It turns out we were all feeling that way,” Ray says.  “We’re the Social Transformation concentration:  we all thought we should be doing something.”

 So the participants in the session began to ask themselves:  what realistically could be done? 

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