Anette Ejsing will give the presentation, “Sacramental Being: An Anthropology of Meaning,” at the Oxbridge 2008: C.S. Lewis Summer Institute, "The Self and the Search for Meaning," August, 2008, at University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Abstract: Human beings pursue the meaningful life through rational knowledge of reality, and through communal relationships with the world, with others, and with God. Although our shared experience is that relationships are more deeply fulfilling than rational knowledge, we tend to value knowledge over communion. Sadly, this creates a deep sense of alienation and loneliness. Attempting to solve this problem, common sense and popular thought suggest that we reverse the tendency that causes it: we must value communion over knowledge. This, however, will only intensify the problem by ostracizing our rational capacity and create a sense of self-estrangement. A better solution is, as Anette Ejsing suggests, to emphasize rational knowledge as something that must presuppose communal relationships. She therefore proposes an anthropology where individuality is what manifests when we first acquire rational knowledge of reality, and thereby are enabled to find fulfillment through communal relationships with the world, with others, and with God. In support of such an anthropology, Anette Ejsing invites us to revisit John Zizioulas’ description of “being as communion” and Kallistos Ware’s description of the human being as a “eucharistic animal.” Finally, she concludes that we find meaning when we first pursue the knowledge of truth, and then find fulfillment through sacramental communion with the objects of our knowledge: the world, each other, and God.
Margaret Farrar’s book Building the Body Politic: Power and Urban Space in Washington, D.C. has been published by University of Illinois Press. A description of the book can be found here.
Esteban Loustaunau presented a paper entitled, “Una Casa de Puertas Abiertas: A Cultural Politics Approach to Community Organizations Serving Latinos” at the Nuestra América in the U.S.? A U.S. Latino/a Studies Conference. The conference took place at the University of Kansas on February 8-9, 2008. Esteban’s presentation was based on his on-going ethnographic research project on the impact that Casa Guanajuato Mexican Cultural Center has had in the empowerment of Latino/a immigrants in the Quad Cities. The project is been funded by grant from the Faculty Research Fund. He would like to thank Jane Simonsen for inviting him to this conference, which was co-sponsored by the Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA) of which Jane is an officer.Michael Zemek presented his paper "A Study on the Preparation of Illinois Music Educators to Serve as Cooperating Teachers" at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference in Peoria on February 1. This paper is part of his ongoing research on the selection and preparation of inservice teachers to mentor preservice teacher candidates and participate in undergraduate teacher education programs. He will be presenting his research at the National Music Educators Convention in April. In addition, Michael was invited to write an article for the Illinois Music Educators Journal describing our senior inquiry model at Augustana and to develop offerings on the topic of research in undergraduate music education for next year's conference sessions offered to music teacher educators throughout Illinois.