Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Down to Earth Women Searching for Eco-sustainability: An Arts-based Co-operative Inquiry
by May, Virginia, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2011, 330; 3457730
Abstract (Summary)

Seven women tell their story of participating in an art-based co-operative inquiry. Through extensive questioning, deep reflection, and various art-making practices, we challenged our existing beliefs about ecological sustainability, engaged in transformative practices, and contemplated our roles as active agents for positive change.

Through co-creating an open studio environment, we were able to engage in critical self-inquiry, practice heightened aesthetic awareness, and take action in response to complex evidence received from the human and more-than-human world. We define aesthetic knowledge as a congruent form of knowing not limited to the arts but understood as a full knowing and expression of the human experience. The inquiry is grounded in a participatory framework that emphasizes multiple ways of knowing, collective responsibility, and locally useful purposes. This dissertation outlines principles that support a worldview we call a generative inquiry paradigm. We propose that artistic practices grounded in direct experience of the natural world generate a metaphorical language that supports the development of an ecological sense of self and the flourishing of life on this planet.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Simons, Shoshana
Commitee: Herman, Lisa, Seeley, Chris, Simons, Shoshana
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Humanities with a concentration in Transformative Learning and Change
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 72/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Fine arts, Womens studies, Sustainability
Keywords: Aesthetic response, Arts-based, Co-operative inquiry, Participatory, Transformative learning, Women
Publication Number: 3457730
ISBN: 978-1-124-68642-4
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