Let me put my decades of teaching experience to work for you!
For more than 30 years, I have been teaching literature, writing and media arts at the college level, focusing on purposeful memoirs by women worldwide that align the personal, political and planetary. In my communications and leadership classes, students work on writing and public speaking for social and environmental justice, and I am also involved with strategic communications for the environmental movement, with a special interest in spiritual ecology as a means of engaging the public in climate activism.
In addition to publishing many articles and book chapters, I published three anthologies of women’s writing from Latin America & the Caribbean, Africa and North America. See my Books page for more information on these titles, as well as my award-winning memoir and writer’s guide to purposeful memoir.
I have presented at many colleges and conferences, including Princeton University, Tufts University, the Modern Language Association, the National Women’s Studies Association, the African Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association, the American Comparative Literature Association and many more.
I am Professor and Head of the Languages & Literature Division at Bard College/Simon’s Rock, where I have taught since 1995. I also taught for nine years in the Project Renaissance interdisciplinary humanities program at the University at Albany, State University of New York (2002 – 2011). From 1988 – 1991 I taught as a graduate assistant at New York University, where in 1994 I earned my PhD in Comparative Literature, with a dissertation on ethnic autobiographies of the Americas.
Feel the love in my extensive community organizing & teaching experience
My memoir workshops, both in-person and online, are the latest offering in my longstanding commitment to bring my education and training out of the ivory tower and into the community.
After years of directing an annual conference in honor of International Women’s Day at Bard College/Simon’s Rock (2002 – 2014), in 2009 I founded the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, an annual month-long community celebration of women writers in the Berkshire (MA) region, which I directed for seven years, organizing hundreds of events featuring well-known writers such as Dani Shapiro, Ruth Reichl, Mary Pope Osborne, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and many others, as well as emerging writers of all ages.
I also founded and directed the writing-intensive Butterfly Leadership Program for teen girls (2014-2016). My interest in women’s leadership continues in my teaching and organizing of the Bard Women & Leadership Summit (2017 – present), as well as in my ongoing community memoir workshops for people of all ages and many walks of life.
Environmental activism: working for a thriving future for us all
My memoir describes how, after being a “nature girl” as a child, I was socialized away from my connection with the natural world, and then regained it when I woke up to the climate crisis in 2011. Since then, in addition to leading many writing workshops in “aligning the personal, political and planetary,” I have given many invited talks on how to navigate climate change, including a 3-hour pre-conference workshop at the 2015 conference of the American Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment (ASLE) in Moscow, Idaho.
In 2019, I co-founded the South Berkshire Climate Change & Consciousness Hub in collaboration with the Climate Change & Consciousness Conference at Findhorn, Scotland (CCC19). Coordinating with other local organizations, the Hub has hosted several screenings from the conference, including Bill McKibben, Charles Eisenstein, Pat McCabe and Joanna Macy, as well as a Deep Adaptation Dialogue exploring the work of Jem Bendell, and a Work That Reconnects Workshop with Aravinda Ananda, who was trained as a facilitator by Joanna Macy. I also serve on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for a Viable Future, and participate in the global Now What?! network, working towards resilience on the local and global levels.
I regularly put my communications expertise to work for the environmental movement in various ways, including editing the online magazine Fired Up! Creative Expression for Challenging Times, and my longtime commitment to my Transition Times blog, with the tagline “Writing to Right the World.”
In 2014 I co-founded Green Fire Press, and in 2018 I was proud to publish Nature, Culture & the Sacred, by Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons (winner of a Gold and Silver Nautilus Award, 2019) as well as Wisdom Lessons by Ojibwe Great-Grandmother Mary Lyons.
A focus on what matters most
In everything I do, whether teaching a class, editing a manuscript or organizing an event, I offer myself in service to the higher good and strive to live and work with integrity.
In 2019, I offered purposeful memoir workshops at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Bioneers Conference, the Transformative Language Arts Network Power of Words Conference, the WriteAngles Conference at Mt. Holyoke College, Bascom Lodge at Mt. Greylock State Reservation, the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, and many more venues.
These are challenging times to navigate, on the personal, political and planetary levels. As I say in my memoir workshops, let’s salute the positive and transmute the negative, as we work together to create the thriving we want to live into.