"The development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit in general requires still another kind of freedom, which may be characterized as inward freedom. It is this freedom of spirit which consists in the independence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudices as well as from un-philosophical routinizing and habit in general. This inward freedom is an infrequent gift of nature and a worthy objective for the individual...schools may favor such freedom by encouraging independent thought. Only if outward and inner freedom are constantly and consciously pursued is there a possibility of spiritual development and perfection and thus of improving man's outward and inner life."
Albert Einstein, 1954
Emergent Studies Instituteis a new non-profit educational institution whose mission is to provide students, clients, communities, and world with quality training in life-sustaining practices –- to bring the wisdom of the past into the present and forge new interdisciplinary connections between modern technology and global research.
Emergent Studies Institute
Our training and research programs focus primarily on Spirituality, Healing, Parapsychology, Global Sustainability, Urban Permaculture, Community Partnerships, Community Service (In-Touch Programs) and Indigenous Studies. All of our programs include single courses, certifications programs, intensives, webinars, and seminars combining theory and hands-on practice in specific areas of investigation. All programs and classes are taught online using a software platform called OpenClass.
Beginning January 2015 I'll be teaching a free pilot course with limited enrollment of three students: BMH101 Human-Animal Studies: The Sociology of Animals and Society. This will be a 4-week pilot course, followed by a full 12-week tuition credit course offered in Fall, 2015. Students of the free January pilot course will be required to offer comprehensive feedback on the structure, format, course materials, and online environment.
Course Description: For thousands of years, animals of all kinds have figured prominently in both the material foundations and the ideological underpinnings of human societies. This course explores the spaces that animals occupy in human social and cultural worlds and the interactions humans have with them. Central to this course will be an exploration of the ways in which animal lives intersect with human societies.
Much of human society is structured through interactions with non-human animals or through interactions with other humans about animals. Yet, until very recently sociology has largely ignored these types of interaction. Their presence however becomes difficult to ignore when we consider the magnitude of animal representations, symbols, stories and their actual physical presence in human societies and cultures.
This course is designed to bring into the realm of sociological inquiry the relationships that exist between humans and other animals. A major focus will be on the social construction of animals in American culture and the way in which these social meanings are used to perpetuate hierarchical human/human relationships such as racism, sexism, and class privilege. Animal/human interaction in several major social institutions will be studied. We will also examine how different human groups construct a range of identities for themselves and for others through animals. Finally, we will examine several of the major philosophical positions about human social policy regarding the future of animal/human relations. What are the ethical, ecological and societal consequences of continuing our current patterns into the 21st century?