Beyond Victimhood: Liberating the Past, Encountering the Present


Contemplative Practice Fellowships


Women's Studies


This course develops an understanding of the force of the past alongside an awareness of the availability of choice in, and responsibility to, the present. It enables students to encounter, via literary texts, the traumatic lived experience of social injustice—economic, racial, sexual, ethnic. The texts explore varying stages of encountering social injustice: suffering and victimhood; resentment and retaliation; the refusal to remain victimized; and working through the shadow. Additional readings in depth psychology and varied contemplative practices train students to relate to the more profound philosophical questions being posed by the texts. Avoiding the pitfalls of chauvinistic and dualistic thinking, the course sustains a contemplative inquiry into identity, facilitating greater freedom from the limitations of past conditioning.