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Faculty News

What They Did This Summer: CIIS Faculty Got Busy

After a prolific and productive summer, CIIS faculty are back in the classroom and ready to share new work and experiences

September 6, 2018

Alka Arora, Women's Spirituality, Philosophy, and Religion

Arora's chapter, "Re-Enchanting Feminism: Challenging Religious and Secular Patriarchies," included in Postsecular Feminisms: Religion and Gender in Transnational Context (Bloomsbury), was published in July.

She traveled to Seattle to help facilitate "We Too: People of Color Healing the Gender Wound," a workshop hosted by Gender Equity and Reconciliation International. Arora is open to talking with any students who may be interested in learning more about this work. 

Allan "Leslie" Combs, Consciousness Studies, Transformative Studies

In June, Combs organized the "Conference on Consciousness" at CIIS with the help of doctoral students Steven Mitchell and Debbi Flickinger.

Combs taught an online summer course at CIIS: Archetypes, Movies, and Reality.

He also completed two book chapters, both currently in press: 

  • "States of consciousness and self organization" is included in Nonlinear Psychology: Why Chaos Is Good for You (Oxford University Press). 
  • "A fractal topology of transcendent experience," written with CIIS PhD graduate Sally Wilcox, will be published in the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.

Combs was interviewed on consciousness during anesthesia for the online journal LiveScience in July; in August, Combs presented a paper, "Creativity, Chaos, and Nonlinear Psychology in Mind and Life," at the American Psychological Association Conference in San Francisco.

Finally, Combs was invited to be the keynote speaker at the California Institute for Human Science's "Subtle Energy Conference" in September. 

Daniel Deslauriers, Transformative Studies

Deslauriers offered a series of workshops on dreams, held in Guangzhou, China. He credits Luna Ren, manager of CIIS China Projects, for connecting him to the Jungian-oriented organization and its director in Guangzhou.

Deslauriers has recently been asked to collaborate with China Projects, and to present a keynote address and workshop at the first "Psychology and Body" conference, to be held at Zhejiang University in Guangzhou, in late September. More than 1,000 people are expected at the conference, including educators, therapists, and doctors from the leading universities and hospitals in China. 

Deslauriers wishes to thank Lixin Huang, Vice President for China Projects & Central Operations, and President Emerita Judie Wexler for these opportunities.

Glen Hartelius, Chair, Integral and Transpersonal Psychology PhD program

Hartelius was invited to present at a conference sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the premier academic organization for study in the fields of philosophy and social sciences. Hartelius spoke at a symposium at the conference organized by Professor Sun Shijin, chair of psychology and director of the Psychology Research Center at Fudan University. Hartelius' presentation focused on the development of new scientific methods for measuring subtle aspects of experience associated with consciousness. His current research, conducted with neuroscientists Drs. Christopher Tyler and Lora Likova, and generously funded by the Meihong Xu and Bill Melton Foundation, measures how brain waves change as participants move through different attentional states. The relationship between CIIS scholars and institutions such as Fudan University promises to be mutually enriching, with great potential for contributing to whole-person approaches on both sides of the Pacific.

Andrej Grubacic, Chair, Anthropology and Social Change

In June, Grubacic gave two public lectures at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Yugoslav self-managed socialism. In August, he was a keynote speaker at the fourth annual conference of the World Ecology Research Network in Helsinki, Finland.

Don Hanlon Johnson, Somatic Psychology

Johnson's collection Diverse Bodies, Diverse Practices: Toward an Inclusive Somatics will be published in September by North Atlantic Press. The book features chapters by graduates (and soon to be graduates) of the Somatics program, including Roger Kuhn, Alyssa Zelaya, Jules Pashall, Nick Walker, tayla ealom, Stephanie Francis, Antoinette Reyes, Haruhiko Murakawa, Muriel Jamille Vinson, and Kurt Wagner.

Meg Jordan, Chair, Integrative Health Studies

Jordon worked at Meharry, a historically black medical college in Nashville, Tennessee, participating in a groundbreaking program developed by Ruth Wolever, PhD, from Vanderbilt University. Several faculty members from around the United States were asked to introduce health coaching to first-year medical students. The students were taught foundational competencies and health coaching as they began their medical school journey to help them learn how to establish trust and rapport with their clinical patients.

Mara Lynn Keller, Philosophy, Religion, and Women's Spirituality

Keller's chapter, "The Myriad Faces, Marvelous Powers, and Theology of Greek Goddesses," was included in Goddesses in Myth, History and Culture (Mago Books). She was interviewed for the website Foremothers of Women's Spirituality and Their Living Wisdom for Today.

She will be a panelist speaking on "Holistic and Participatory Thought" for the "1968 Revisited" conference, sponsored by the East-West and Philosophy and Religion departments at CIIS, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of California Institute of Integral Studies, September 28-30.

Keller is helping to prepare for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Women's Spirituality program; she will also be a moderator and panelist for the Women's Visionary Arts and Culture panel, speaking on "Women's Visionary Film." The conference, "Women Rising! New Visions for a Post-Patriarchal World," will be held at CIIS October 12-14.

Keller is enthusiastic about becoming a committee member of the Parliament of the World's Religions Women's Task Force in cooperation with the American Academy of Religion Women's Caucus, for the "1000 Women in Religion Project," which will add biographies about women in religion to Wikipedia. (Wikipedia has acknowledged that only 17 percent of its website is about women.) She is an invited speaker for "The Inaugural Women's Assembly Major Speakers Legacy Session" for the Parliament of the World's Religions, to be held in Toronto, Canada, November 1-5, 2018.

Elizabeth Markle, Chair, Community Mental Health

Markle's organization, Open Source Wellness, and her work with the Hayward Wellness Center were highlighted on the Alameda Health Systems website. Find out more about Open Source Wellness in this three-minute video.

Robert McDermott, CIIS President Emeritus, Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

With his colleague Debashish Banerji, McDermott visited the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville in India for two weeks in July and August. In 1972, McDermott edited an issue of International Philosophical Quarterly on Sri Aurobindo, and in 1974 he published The Essential Aurobindo. While in Auroville this time, he and Debashish presented on the relationship between CIIS and Auroville. They also conducted research for the book they are coauthoring, Sri Aurobindo and Modern Thought. In Spring 2019, they will teach a course with the same title.

McDermott is also coauthoring a book with Transformative Inquiry doctoral students Cheryl Lynch and Jessica Spring, titled Varieties of Sophianic Experience. He will continue with these writing projects while on sabbatical during the Fall semester.

Alfonso Montuori, Transformative Studies

Montuori gave talks on creativity and transdisciplinarity at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland; the Sapienza University of Rome; and the "Settimana della Ricerca" (Research Week) conference at Università Federico II in Naples, Italy. This past spring and summer, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Sapienza University of Rome, in the Department of Personality and Clinical Psychology, where he researched the relationship between authoritarianism and creativity.

Montuori's recent publications include:

  • (In Press). Introduction. A. Heath-Carpentier (Ed.), Confornting complexity: Essays by Edgar Morin. Albany: SUNY Press.
  • "Authoritarianism and Creativity: Else Frenkel-Brunswik and the Authoritarian Personality," in The Creativity Reader
  • "Creating Social Creativity: Integrative transdisciplinarity and the epistemology of complexity," in Palgrave Handbook of Social Creativity Research

Jyoti Rao, Integral Counseling Psychology

In August, Rao presented at the American Psychological Association annual convention, which was held in San Francisco. She was the senior supervisor in a live supervision panel demonstrating psychodynamic approaches to the supervisory relationship.

Sergio Rodriguez-Castillo, Integral Counseling Psychology

Rodriguez-Castillo gave a public lecture in Monterrey, Mexico, titled "How to Be an Adult in Relationships." He also spent time at Huautla de Jimenez, Oaxaca, continuing his ongoing research and apprenticeship of shamanic healing practice and sacred mushrooms within the Mazatec tradition.

In August, Rodriguez-Castillo was interviewed by Univision on the topic of childhood sexual abuse and how parents can talk to their children about it (both to prevent it and if they suspect abuse).

Rachael Vaughan, Integral Counseling Psychology Weekend Program

Vaughan presented a paper at the International Association for Jungian Studies' "Indeterminate States: trans-cultural; trans-racial; trans-gender" conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The paper presented work with white clients that illustrates how culturally related trauma can easily be missed by a therapist who assumes that the white client's mainstream identity tells the whole story. White identity is frequently seen as non-cultural and non-ethnic, especially in the U.S. The paper explored how non-visible areas of complex, intersectional, inter- and trans-cultural identity can be foregrounded, worked with, and valued as essential threads in the weave of identity.

Nicolle Zapien, Dean, School of Professional Psychology and Health

Zapian put the final touches on a book she cowrote with a colleague and friend Susi Ferrarello, titled Ethical Experience: A Phenomenology. The book will be published by Bloomsbury in October.

She also wrote an article with Doug Braun-Harvey detailing how her research on infidelity can be used to inform and support his clinical work for the partners of men in treatment for out-of-control sexual behavior. The article will be submitted to the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy this fall.

Zapian spent time working to sharpen CIIS policies to support professional clinical programs, responding to faculty and student and staff needs and gearing up for some exciting events next year. One of these will showcase collaborative clinical case consultation models, and another will provide a forum for conversations between our clinical faculty, venture capitalists, and mental health startups, designed to provide them with critical feedback.

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