Monthly Archives: April 2008

April 20 Conference Call–Thomas Merton

Larry Inchausti will be leading our call Sunday, April 20, on Thomas Merton and other assorted matters. If you’re not famliar with Merton, he was a major influence on Parker Palmer. An aspiring literary critic, trained at Columbia by Mark van Doren and others, he chose instead to lead a monastic life that led to a different kind of literary career, as the author of what is probably the most powerful oeuvre of wisdom literature of the last century. He is our great contemporary precursor. Do join us, ESPECIALLY if you are unfamiliar with him!

To enter the call, simply dial 218-936-6666 and follow the prompts. Our code is 9936250#.


Sunday Conference Calls–April 13, 20, & 27

Hi all,

Next week’s call will be moderated by Conference Co-Chair Stan Scott and will feature conference speaker Michael Nagler. I just got and read Michael’s recent book Our Spiritual Crisis: Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence, and must say there is a remarkable confluence between it and the thinking of this conference, from the use of the phrase “the wisdom tradition” (which I learned comes from Huston Smith) to the emphasis on “the sacred individual whose depth connects with the reality of all others” as the ultimate means to uproot the violence in today’s world. Michael can also talk with us about his work with Educators for Nonviolence. I will be joining the call late, as it overlaps with a conference session I’ll be attending in Boston. It will take place at the usual time of 9pm Eastern, 6 Pacific, Sunday the 13th. The call-in info is just below this message.
The following week’s call will be in the at noon Eastern, 9AM Pacific on the 20th, so folks can celebrate the second night of Passover in the evening. It will feature Robert Larry Inchausti, and will focus on the life and thought of Thomas Merton, which were seminal in provoking a revival of spiritual thinking in the last century, being particularly influential for the thought of Parker Palmer and others. If you can, read Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain and/or Larry’s Thomas Merton’s American Prophecy.
The call on the 27th will feature Tikkun Magazine education writer Svi Shapiro. You can access Svi’s many articles over the years for just $10 at Or get his recent, powerful book Losing Heart: The Moral and Spiritual Miseducation of America’s Children. It will take place at the usual time of 9pm Eastern.
Just today, I asked for more rooms at Mount Madonna Center. We have only a few left at this writing. Please send in outstanding registrations as soon as possible, so we can accommodate you! (There will definitely be space offsite, but down a small mountain.)
We are also getting in quite a number of terrific proposals. To accommodate them, we will most likely need to begin the conference on Thursday morning and end on Sunday evening. If you can arrive early and/or stay late, notify Louise Smith to reserve space for you for Wednesday and/or Sunday night. There will be no additional registration fees, other than what we are charged by Mount Madonna for the additional nights.
Stan and I will be putting the program together at the end of the month. Please send any additional proposals by the 20th, so we can consider them!
Looking forward to attaching names and voices to faces very soon!


Welcome to the AEPL Blog

Welcome to the AEPL blog! Stan Scott and Irene Papoulis have been co-chairs for over a year now, and we will be sending periodic blog posts. Please feel free to leave comments on anything we say, and/or on anything on your mind having to do with AEPL matters.

In case you don’t know us yet, we will introduce ourselves. Stan is a native of California now living in Portland, Maine. He has taught writing, literature, and philosophy, at UCBerkeley, UCLA, LA Valley College, the University of Illinois, Chicago, and the University of Maine, Presque Isle. He’s the author of Frontiers of Consciousness, published in the 90s by Fordham University Press, and has published some of his work in JAEPL (the AEPL Journal) in recent times. He is currently a student at Bangor Theological Seminary in Portland, with a focus on biblical literature and theology. He is a meditator, interested in world religions and spiritual traditions, and is involved with several writing projects in this area. He’s also co-director with Bruce Novak of the 2008 AEPL conference, titled “Reclaiming the Wisdom Tradition for Education” to be held this year in Monterey, California.

Irene teaches writing at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Her first contact with AEPL was through the AEPL Journal many years ago, when they published an article she wrote on Spirituality and Composition. She also participated in AEPL workshops at CCCC, like the one on Felt Sense with Sondra Perl and Eugene Gendlin, and then joined the board when she served as the organizer for AEPL’s 2007 annual summer conference, which focused that year on The Emotional Lives of Teachers and was held in Estes Park, Colorado. Her particular interest is in emotions and other psychological issues in the teaching of writing, and she has been very happy to discover people in AEPL who share her concern with the inner lives of students.

We just got home from the CCCC meeting in New Orleans, where AEPL sponsored a wonderful all-day Wednesday workshop on Reflection as Rhetorical Art. And we’re very much looking forward to our summer conference at Mount Madonna!

April 6 Conference Call–Axial Age

Hi all!

Back for a few days. My schedule tomorrow is very tight, so we are having the call a little earlier. We’ll be talking about the last three chapters of Armstrong, particularly the final one on the import of the Axial Age for today. Other topics that I think may be of interest are the conflict between spirituality and orthodoxy and the special importance of choosing wise leaders that are themes throughout these final chapters.

To enter the call, simply dial 218-936-6666 and follow the prompts. Our code is 9936250#.

Talk to you tomorrow!