In an earlier version of this lifetime, I was an English Major on a Ph.D. track. I left academia due to a traumatic brain injury that temporarily left me unable to read, or to remember print I somehow managed to clear, or to tolerate fluorescent lights in classrooms. On a soul level, though, all was in perfect order, as I felt academia so bereft of the magic and enchantment I imagined it could foster. I’m so happy to learn of this much needed movement to re-enchant the academy. Thanks, Becca!
Some delightful gems here:
“One cannot make enchantment happen, one can only cultivate the conditions that allow for its occurrence.”
“… the need to address patriarchy both inside and outside the academy, without shaming men who want to be allies, and without recreating an essentialist gender binary.”
“Ritual. If we are to revive enchantment we need ritual, but it must be ritual that is meaningful for who we are now. Perhaps for many we are in a time between rituals, seeking the meaning that will enchant.”
Canterbury: I couldn’t have imagined a better place to hold a conference titled Re-Enchanting the Academy. Although cars run on the narrow streets and the ninety-degree angles of contemporary buildings can be found throughout the city, one can feel the Chaucerian age palpably. Cobblestones, thatched roofs, white walls between dark wooden beams that seem to bow out at the middle, as if the centuries are weighing on the building like a elderly man carries a potbelly. Canals and bridges, gardens and stone walls, crawling ivy touched by the crimson blush of early autumn—the air seemed to tingle with enchantment, but an old, slow enchantment, one that has settled deep into the stones along with the overgrown moss.
I came in to Canterbury after a non-stop flight from San Francisco to London…
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