Monday, November 8, 2021

Regenerative Teaching for Oracular Futures - A Recent Proposal on Oracular Poems of Intersectional Climate Justice Futures: Ecotopia v Zombie Apocalypse

 Source: Deep Blutopia, San Diego 2121, Alan Marshall (Link)

I recently drafted this proposal for a 2022 International Poetic Inquiry conference. It relates to inviting people into playing a multi-day collaborative writing game I created called "Ecotopia Versus Zombie Apocalypse" (Game Guidelines here:


Starting with a couple of motivating quotes by Kagawa and Selby (2009) and Haraway (2017):

“Wherever it takes place, climate change education needs to be a social and holistic process… Looming rampant climate change calls for flexible learning and emergent curriculum approaches that embed climate change learning and action within community contexts…. The threat is also too urgent to any longer continue with epistemologically under-dimensioned learning confined to rational, linear, classificatory, and mechanistic ways of knowing and seeking to effect change. Employed exclusively, even predominantly, such ways of knowing are tantamount to applying disease as remedy. There is a need for the complementary and recursive use of artistic, embodied, experiential, symbolic, spiritual, and relational learning, especially in the vital task of reconnecting learners to the earth while enabling them to discover their (connected) identity and realize their full potentials.”  

(2009, pp. 242-243, Fumiyo Kagawa & David Selby, “Climate Change Education: A Critical Agenda for Interesting Times”)

“We relate, know, think, world, and tell stories through and with other stories, worlds, knowledges, thinkings, and yearnings. So do all the critters of Terra, in all our bumptious diversity and category-breaking compositions and decompositions. Words for this might be materialism, evolution, ecology, sympoiesis, history, situated knowledges, animism, and science art activisms, complete with the contaminations and infections conjured by each of these terms. Critters are at stake in each other in every mixing and turning of the terran compost pile. We are compost, not posthuman; we inhabit the humusities, not the humanities. Philosophically and materially, I am a compostist, not a posthumanist. Beings – human and not – become with each other, compose and decompose each other, in every scale and register of time and stuff in sympoietic tangling, in earthly worlding and unworlding. All of us must become more ontologically inventive and sensible within the bumptious holobiome that earth turns out to be, whether called Gaia or a Thousand Other Names.” (Donna Haraway, 2017, p. M45)

Polychordal exuberance and post-apocalyptic incantation presage the way AnzaldĂșan queer-magical nepantlera poets (Anzaldua) cross the borderlands of transtemporal and transpatial climate justice to forge fresh futures. Macy (2020) asks, what might the future beings 200 years from now know about our contemporary acts of courage and bravery that help bring about their survivance? In the vicinity of Tsing’s monsters of the Anthropocene (2017) and Harawayian compostist future fictioning in the Cthulucene (2016), I explore the accounts incubated in graduate classrooms beyond the “zombie” wars, with intersectional ecofeminist, ecopsychological, climate justice, and queer ecological lenses. Using poetic inquiry methods, I share poems and intercepts from the struggles of the emergent future. Layering texts co-created with mythic beings, earth dwellers, and zombies, crafted by graduate students in intersectional ecofeminisms and sustainability innovation: fresh possibilities arise. How can we bust beyond binaries and imagine our way into the emergent unknown, leveraging patterns from biocultural and nature-based regeneration as templates for fresh possibilities? And how can the fruits of these fresh disjunctures and ethical rearrangements invite us into futures worth inhabiting? Listen, listen - a la Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ “Evidence” (2015) and M Archive: After the End of the World (2018) -  to the voices of the future beings, breathing their blessings, offering their encouragements and clarifications. Can poetry and creative writing direct a kind of distributive justice? At the quickening sensefield matrix, the intersectional juncture, the ecotonal deltaflux, tuned to sensitive sensing through poetic entrainment, we time travel and inmerge to greater wholeness. 


Partial References

Ambrose, Don. “Utopian Visions: Promise and Pitfalls in the Global Awareness of the Gifted.” Roeper Review, 30:52-60, 2008. doi: 10.1080/02783190701836460

Bigelow, Bill, and Tim Swinehart, Editors. A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools, 2014. 

Canty, Jeanine. “Seeing Clearly Through Cracked Lenses.” In Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices. Edited by Author, 23-44. New York: Routledge, 2017. 

Davies, Kate. Intrinsic Hope: Living Courageously in Troubled Times. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2018.

Gardiner, Stephen Mark. A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. “Evidence.” In Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. Edited by Walidah Marisha and adrienne maree brown, 34-41. Oakland: AK Press, 2015. 

Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. M Archive: After the End of the World. Durham: Duke University Press, 2018.

Haraway, Donna. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

Haraway, Donna. “Symbiogenesis, Sympoiesis, and Art Science Activisms for Staying with the Trouble.” In Arts of living on a damaged planet: Monsters of the Anthropocene. Edited by Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt (Eds.), pp. M25-M50. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Hauk, Marna. “Ecotopia Versus Zombie Apocalypse: A Collaborative Writing Game: Game Guidelines.” Portland: Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies, 2018. Retrieved from

Hauk, Marna. “‘Resilient Patterns Within a Vaster Web of Knowing’ – Hope, Agentic Sustainabilities, and Regenerative Integration in Educational Encounters.” (Manuscript in revision). Portland: Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies, 2020. 

Hauk, Marna. “Ecotopia versus Zombie Apocalypse: Existential and Emotional Regeneration Through Collaborative Writing and Imagination.” Climate Justice Existential Toolkit. Edited by Jennifer Atkinson & Sarah J. Ray. In revision. 

Holmes, Christina. “Theorizing Ecofeminist Intersectionalities and Their Implications for Feminist Teachers.” In Mapping Gendered Ecologies: Engaging with and Beyond Ecowomanism and Ecofeminism. Edited by K. Melchor Quick Hall & Gwyn Kirk, 61-76. Lanham Maryland: Lexington Books, 2021.

Judson, G. “Re-imagining sustainability education: Emotional and imaginative engagement in learning.” Sustainability Frontiers, 205-220. Opladen: Barbara Budrich, 2015.

Kagawa, Fumiyo, and David Selby. “Climate Change Education: A Critical Agenda for Interesting Times.” In Education and Climate Change: Living and Learning in Interesting Times. Edited by David Selby and Fumiyo Kagawa, 241-243. Florence, Kentucky: Routledge, 2009.     

Krall, Florence. Ecotone: Wayfaring on the Margins. Albany: SUNY, 1994.

Leetch, Mandy. The​ ​Prophetesses​ ​at​ ​Play: Collaborative​ ​Storytelling,​ ​Mythic​ ​Justice,​ ​and​ ​Visioning​ ​Regenerative​ ​Futures [Conference Paper]. Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, 2018. 

Macy, Joanna, and Christopher Johnstone. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re In with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power (Rev. ed.). Novato, CA: New World Library, 2020. 

Macy, Joanna, and Molly Young Brown. Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects (Rev. ed.). Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2014.

Olsen, Andrea. Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2020. 

Sameshima, Pauline, Alexandra Fidyk, Kedrick James, and Carl Leggo. (Editors). Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place. Wilmington, Delaware: Vernon Press, 2017. 

Selby, David, and Fumiyo Kagawa. “Drawing Threads Together: Transformative Agenda for Sustainability Education. In Sustainability Frontiers: Critical and Transformative Voices from the Borderlands of Sustainability Volume edited by the article authors, 277-280. Toronto: Barbara Budrich Publishers, 2015.

Sobel, David. “Climate Change Meets Ecophobia.” Connect, 2007(Nov/Dec), 14-21. 

Tsing, Anna, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt (Editors.).  Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Monsters of the Anthropocene. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

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