Thursday, November 1, 2007

Recovering Empathy

I'm an anthropologist currently serving as the University of Northern Colorado's Robert O. Schulze Chair in Interdisciplinary studies. Every three or four years, enough interest accrues from an endowment to permit hiring a person to serve as Schulze Chair for one year. I feel a bit like one of the mythological Corn Kings, who, in this case, are elected to catalyze thought and action (instead of fertilizing the Goddess) and then sacrificed at the harvest. Carpe Diem!

I created this narrated slide-show based on the Schulze Chair inaugural lecture I delivered last September. It's about 23 minutes long (vs. the 1.25 hours it took for me to deliver the lecture in person!) and lays the groundwork for my work on empathy in education.

In a nutshell, I focus on the emotional fall-out from 9/11 and subsequent events to make the point that, for our communities to survive and prosper, we need to recover empathy. One way to accomplish this is to create opportunities for college students to gain knowledge, experience, and empathy through academic projects that are based in the communities that surround and support the "Ivory Towers" of Universities and colleges.

A text transcript of the Recovering Empathy video is also available.

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