2013 National Conference Opening Keynote by Oren Lyons and Nancy Cantor
In this transcription of the opening keynote conversation from IA's 2013 national conference, outgoing Syracuse University President and Chancellor, Nancy Cantor, and Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, discuss their shared sense of optimism and hope in the face of a planet seemingly on the brink. Moderated by Dudley Cocke, Artistic Director of Roadside Theater/Appalshop.
Keynote Responses by Jamie Haft and Cecilia M. Orphan
In an unscripted conversation at Imagining America’s 2013 national conference, Chief Oren Lyons and Chancellor Nancy Cantor spoke about the role of education and art in advancing social equity and about our collective responsibility for the natural environment. Jamie Haft and Cecilia Orphan, age 28 and 30 respectively, continue the custom of having next-generation thinkers respond to the annual conference keynote. From her undergraduate experience in a professional performing arts training program, Haft writes about the interplay of culture and identity, and how certain knowledge is privileged at the expense of other ways of knowing. As a doctoral student, Orphan challenges the dominant assumption that academic prestige and quality are synonymous. While recognizing the opportunity to learn certain foundational ideas and ways of thinking and discovering in formal education, both call for higher education to open itself to new ways of seeing and knowing in order to realize more fully the public, democratic, and civic purposes of colleges and universities.
Call and Response: IA's Conference Experiment by Arlene Goldbard
At its 2013 national conference, "A Call to Action," Imagining America experimented with a new approach to fostering engagement and capturing individual and collective actions advancing the democratic purposes of higher education. Throughout the three-day event, a core team tracked reports on generative themes, issues, and action opportunities provided by volunteer listener-reporters and session presenters. The core team designed participatory Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening plenaries to reflect this knowledge back to participants and engage them in dialogue about it.
Quoting from primary material and interviews with core team members and observers, the essay weaves together descriptions of the process with discussions of its impact, challenges, and potential adaptation to future gatherings in which action is a goal.