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    Microcosms of Hope: Celebrating Student Scholars

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    Microcosms of Hope: Celebrating Student Scholars

    The essays in this Fall 2008 (VI, 4) issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge entitled “Microcosms of Hope: Celebrating Student Scholars,” received awards in The Kingston-Mann Student Achievement Awards for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship. Written by undergraduate students who address deeply urgent and important issues, each essay possesses a clear, distinctive voice. The authors do not turn away from difficult questions and do not waffle, even when they are dealing with questions and data that are ambiguous or contradictory. Although faculty may be accustomed to academic articles rife with qualifiers, indirect points, jargon, and a limited concern for relevance, the essays included here are the works of engaged researchers. They frequently include a call to action, sometimes persuasive for its subtle, measured tone. In this issue, students invite us to consider some traditional merits of scholarly work that have been lost, such as clear and jargon-free writing. They also point the way to new kinds of merit, such as using previously neglected information sources, paying attention to silenced or marginalized voices and questions, and raising issues of social justice.

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    Thich Nhat Hanh’s Sociological Imagination: Essays and Commentaries on Engaged Buddhism

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    Thich Nhat Hanh’s Sociological Imagination: Essays and Commentaries on Engaged Buddhism

    This Summer 2008 (VI, 3) issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge is dedicated to an exploration of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Engaged Buddhist philosophy and spiritual theory and practice from a sociological and social scientific vantage point, to highlight the significance his teaching bears for the development of a self-reflective, globally humanist, and environmentally concerned, sociological imagination. Included are several talks, letters, and a poem, by Thich Nhat Hanh on the meaning and practice of Engaged Buddhism—in regard to issues ranging from war and conflict, the environment, food industry and consumption, and history of Engaged Buddhism. Other articles put his views in social science and sociological contexts, specifically exploring the overlapping landscapes of Engaged Buddhism with Pragmatism, Deep Ecology, sociological imagination, and ideological analysis. Other contributions are illustrative of the ways in which Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings have engaged contexts such as: international conflict; the classroom; urban policing; traumatized populations; economic theory; environmental crisis; and family loss and trauma. A critical commentary by a participant’s experience of attending one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s retreats in 2005 is also included, followed by a response from a representative of the Plum Village community in France.

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    Sociological Imaginations from the Classroom Plus A Symposium on the Sociology of Science Perspectives on the Malfunctions of Science and Peer Reviewing

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    Sociological Imaginations from the Classroom Plus A Symposium on the Sociology of Science Perspectives on the Malfunctions of Science and Peer Reviewing

    This Spring 2008 (VI, 2) issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge includes two symposium papers by Klaus Fischer and Lutz Bornmann who shed significant light on why the taken-for-granted structures of science and peer reviewing have been and need to be problematized in favor of more liberatory scientific and peer reviewing practices more conducive to advancing the sociological imagination. The student papers included make serious efforts at developing their theoretically informed sociological imagination of gender, race, ethnicity, learning, adolescence and work. The volume also includes papers by faculty who self-reflectively explore their own life and pedagogical strategies for the cultivation of sociological imaginations regardless of the disciplinary field in which they do research and teach. Two joint student-faculty papers and essays also imaginatively and innovatively explore their own or what seem at first to be “strangers’” lives in order to develop a more empathetic and pedagogically healing sociological imaginations for their authors and subjects. The journal edito’s call in his note for sociological re-imaginations of science and peer reviewing draws on the relevance of both the symposium and other student and faculty papers in the volume to one another in terms of fostering in theory and practice liberating peer reviewing strategies in academic publishing.

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    Teaching Transformations

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    Teaching Transformations

    This Winter 2008 (VI, 1) issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge reflects the diversity and richness of presentations at the 2008 Annual Conference on Teaching for Transformation organized by the Center for the Improvement of Teaching at UMass Boston. Representing faculty across different disciplines, these essays reflect these teachers’ creative and thoughtful pedagogical approaches, their focus on challenging and engaging learners, and their commitment to both excellence and inclusion. The title chosen for this volume, “Teaching Transformation,” highlights a two-fold interest and commitment that the organizers and participants in the annual conference have commonly shared. One is to advance teaching as a venue for transformative pedagogical and social practices that empower students, faculty, and communities in favor of a deeper respect for diversity, inclusion, and justice. However, by choosing the title the editors also emphasize that to meet the first goal, it is also necessary to see teaching and one’s habits of teaching as fluid and dynamic, and not static and established, habitus. To advance transformative teaching (and learning), it is necessary to continually transform our teaching and pedagogical approaches creatively and help one another to do the same.

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