Future Mind

3 credits

Can catastrophic thinking hold the key to true happiness? This question and more will be explored in this studio informed seminar that proposes a practical transdisciplinary research and artistic methodology for a troubling digital age of information over-saturation and despair.

Employing a nomadic, tangential, and rhizomatic methodology for investigation and making, we will draw upon ancient wisdom teachings; critical and cultural studies; and emergent neuroscience findings related to embodied mindfulness to uncover theoretical and evidence based models aimed at decreasing suffering for self and, in turn, other. We will investigate mindfulness in theory and practice; analyze deconstructionist, feminist, and scholarly texts; read medical and public health journals; and watch films and videos. Examining the incomprehensibility of the singular, social, and environmental crises we face, we will examine whether deeply held ideological self-identification is the root cause for much of our shared dis-ease.

Students will be encouraged to make brave connections across disciplines through written, oral, and artistic creation in order to foster critical thinking that occupies the in-between spaces of ambivalence and uneasiness so they may cultivate new arts-integrated toolsets for change. Running headfirst into the big issues facing our time, together we will question whether confronting suffering directly offers possibilities for transcendence here and now.

In short, this course encourages getting lost as a way to get found and asks, 'what kind of future-mindedness is necessary to succeed in our troubling times?'