|Wise Elder David Oates|
|Written by Website Adminstrator Adminstrator|
|Saturday, 30 May 2009 12:44|
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David Oates writes about nature and urban life from
His previous books include City Limits: Walking Portland's Boundary (Oregon State 2006), and Paradise Wild: Reimagining American Nature (Oregon State 2003). In 1989 he published what Daniel Philippon has called one of the first books of ecocriticism Earth Rising: Ecological Belief in an Age of Science. His essays have appeared in many periodicals, including Orion (forthcoming),
David is excited to attend the MRCSE workshop as a wise elder. He offers the following questions to stir our thinking:
1. Real story – myths that move us – often turn on paradox, surprise, irony. Always a twist. How is our story about nature, or about nature-and-culture, more than mere propaganda or morality tale?
2. What literal, real-world example(s) embody "the story" we want to tell?
3. The reality of nature includes exactly as much death as life. How does death figure in what we want to convey to students, fellow citizens, responders to global crisis? Should death be kept out – as too scary for junior-highers or too difficult for the general public or (etc)?
David sees the value of the MRCSE Collaborative is in our ability to seek and discover "the story" that carriers us through the next 100 years:
As a writer and educator, I am looking for the way to convey the story of our moment. As a historian of environmentalism, I know that "the story" that carried the nature-movement for its first hundred years was the one Muir defined: Nature is an eden which we have lost, of which we must preserve a few remnants. This story has been exhausted.
So I want to know: What is the story that takes its place – the story that will give heart for the next hundred years, that will motivate righteous, joyous, difficult action in the face of a warming planet and thousands of dying species? I hope to enjoy a gathering of sincere and knowledgable enviro's – knocking sparks from each other, seeking, trying, discovering.
For me this is "the big question" that overarches the many detailed techniques, lesson plans, approaches, movements, etc that we will be learning about from each other.
To learn more about David and read some of his recent work, explore the following links:
"What we love will save us" From the October 16, 2006 issue of High Country News
Exert: We are all, too much of the time, captives of the wreck and the mistake. Can’t take our eyes off it, can’t stop thinking about it, can’t stop picking that scab. We slide into our merely negative identity — defined by what we refuse...
"Imagine" From the April 16, 2007 issue of High Country News
Exert: I’m convinced that what teachers are doing, at the level that counts, is not merely delivering knowledge or skills. Secretly, beneath the much-insisted details of biology or poli-sci or poetry, we are awakening the imagination. That big world...Imagination is a matter of life and death. It’s not just a liberal-arts nicety. If we move forward in our lives (or fail to) it is mostly according to what we can envision. It’s true for individuals. It’s true for nations, too.
"Six Good Places" From the October 29, 2007 issue of High Country News
In this story David ranges from the Sierra Nevada to Aix-en-Provence as he considers the particular qualities that make a place worth living in.
David was also recently featured in the documentary film "Portland: Quest for a Livable City" -- the third installment of the Making Sense of Place documentary film and educational outreach project launched by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The first film,
The focus of the Making Sense of Place film series is growth and change in large metropolitan areas, through the eyes and voices of residents. As such, the films reflect not just an in-depth portrayal of specific cities, but much larger issues about how we live and how we grow, that have been largely missing in the national conversation: metropolitan growth in the context of environmental concerns, population and demographic trends, equity and race. By mid century, the
The Making Sense of Place films have already served as a catalyst for community dialogue and educational activities, in
|Last Updated on Friday, 16 July 2010 17:06|