Category Archives: Alice Brand

Conference Call May 4

Hi, everyone!

We resume our calls tomorrow with a very exciting reunion: the first time the three founders of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning of the National Council of Teachers of English (the sponsoring organization of the conference) have been in vocal touch for over a decade. Dick Graves, Alice Brand, and Charlie Suhor (the last of whom many of you have gotten to know through these calls) will talk about how this organization came to be and the place it has served in the lives of many over the years. I hope you’ll come to see that we have served as a kind of mobile, professional ashram, a vehicle and sacred space for wisdom much like those of the traditions we studied in Armstrong’s The Great Transformation. I hope we can get a great number of you on the call.

The procedure is simply to dial 218-936-6666, follow the prompts, and then enter the code 9936250#. The call will last about 90 minutes, if we can contain the enthusiasm to that!

Next week will feature conference participant Tom Gage, who is an Islamist as well as a teacher of teachers of English, along with Yetkin Yildirim of the Gulen Foundation which works, as I understand it, to advance spiritual, nonviolent education in the Islamic world. We may have other speakers as well to participate in this cosmopolitan conversation about the substantial large-scale forces already working in the world to bring about wholesale educational transformation toward wisdom.

We’ll also try to reschedule the call with Svi Shapiro, if he’s better by now.
I thought the last call before the conference, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, should be given over simply to a conversation among the conference participants as to their responses to these calls as a whole and their hopes for the upcoming conference. I hope you can think about taking a little time out of your holiday weekend for that.

Yours,
Bruce

Upcoming Conference Calls

UPCOMING CALLS

We now have a schedule for the calls for the next six weeks after Easter. March 30 and April 6, we will finish the Armstrong. I’ll copy and send a few passages out and we’ll read and discuss them over the phone.

On April 13, featured conference speaker Michael Nagler, founder of the UC Berkeley Peace Studies Program and award winning author, will be talking to us. You might want to prepare by reading his The Search for a Nonviolent Future and/or Our Spiritual Crisis: Recovering Human Wisdom in a Time of Violence.

Following that, on April 20, will be featured speaker Robert Inchausti, who will talk about Thomas Merton, perhaps the most important American figure in the reclaiming of the wisdom tradition we’ve been exploring in Jaspers and Armstrong. For that you might want to read Merton’s classic The Seven Story Mountain or Inchausti’s great book on Merton, Thomas Merton’s American Prophecy.

Our last five calls will turn from exploring the wisdom tradition in general to issues in education, and our speakers will be people who are unable to attend the conference. On April 27, we will hear from Svi Shapiro, education columnist for Tikkun Magazine and its Network of Spiritual Progressives, the education wing of which has several members coming to our conference. Svi’s most recent book is Losing Heart: The Moral and Spiritual Miseducation of America’s Children.

On May 4, the three founders of AEPL–Dick Graves, Alice Brand, and Charlie Suhor–will all join in conversation for the first time in many years, to talk about the founding of this organization and how it helped to answer the yearnings for a deeper understanding of education in the field of English, and helped to form a deeper kind of professional community than is commonly available.