Bachelor of Arts, English Literature and French
George Washington University
Master of Arts, Comparative Ethnic Studies
(Meso American Indigenous Culture and Philosophy)
San Francisco State University
Graduate study in Adult Education and Literacy
San Francisco State University
Graduate study in bi cultural adult education
I have also been recipient of 5 NEH seminar grants:
The Library of Congress;
University of Virginia (History of the West African Slave Trade)
Harvard University (16th century philosophy and Maps);
Yale (Bakhtin and the Bible)
Summer intensive in the culture of Oaxaca;
Maya seminar in Guatemala.
Two summers I was funded by UNESCO to work in the library at St Martial in Port au Prince Haiti in their collection of 10,000 books on the history of slavery. This library was mostly decimated in the earthquake.
I am interested in ancient and contemporary cultural production of the Americas and the Caribbean. I am just as interested in the social history and cultural philosophies of early modern Europe, because at that moment the two worlds became inexorably intertwined. Because Western influence has spread globally through science, religion and technology, and because peripheral cultural systems have also changed the West, I am interested in these phenomena as well. One of the best examples of this is hip hop.
I am convinced that the margins of our culture move the middle and because of this,the study of marginalized people, as they see themselves, is the most profitable way to see the assets and difficulties inherent in a given cultural system.
The best education is the one that leaves us with more questions than answers. An education which serves no purpose other than to relate and consume data won't give us any tools to help us get through the day. If we keep examining the bigger picture we can see why we need to keep assessing how we came to be in this place in our lives.
One of the wonderful things that I learned from Rigoberta Menchu, a Maya who won the Nobel Prize for Peace, is that we don't need to be scholars or academics to do solid intellectual work.
Let's have a moment of silence for the brothas who died in Black on Black violence...Nas
---- In my last word, I turn to the outside of myself and surrender myself to the mercy of the other. MM Bakhtin
---- I dare say, after the life I have lived, that there is nothing quixotic or romantic in wanting to change the world. It is possible.
It is the age-old vocation of all humanity. I cant think of a better life than one dedicated to passion, to dreams, to the stubbornness that defies chaos and disillusionment. Our world, filled with possibilities, is and will be the result of the efforts offered up by us, its inhabitants. Just as life was a consequence of trial and error, the social organization that brings us the full realization of our potential as a species will issue from the ebb and flow of struggles we jointly undertake across the globe.
The future is a construct that is shaped in the present, and that is why to be responsible in the present is the only way of taking serious responsibility for the future. What is important is not the fulfillment of all ones dreams but the stubborn determination to continue dreaming.
Gioconda Belli in The Country under my Skin, a memoir of Love and War
Street Art San Francico: Muralismo chapter on St Peter's Church
- Reclamation of Silences and Intratextual Narrative History, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 5:3 (Winter 2004), The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- The Lived Horizon of My Being: The Substantiation of the Self and the Discourse of Resistance in the Life and Work of Rigoberta Menchú, Victor Montejo and M.M. Bakhtin, Special Studies No. 29, Tempe, AZ: ASU Center for Latin American Studies Press, Arizona State University, 1996.
I have had numerous awards for curriculum development. I was the first recipient of the Carlson Award from SRJC