Jennie Wakefield, MA, RSME (she/her) is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at Clemson University, where she teaches Composition and Rhetoric, and Humanities courses, most recently on the role of dance and body in cultures. Jennie is an associate teacher of Tamalpa Institute and its Life/Art Process, an intermodal arts process that uses movement, imagination, and artistic processes to explore and deepen relationship to psychological life, social issues, and creativity. She is also a contra dance caller and views this accessible communal dance form as real-time experience of dance’s archetypal role as community glue and ritual. Jennie is a graduate of the Haden Institute’s Dream Work Training Program and has returned to Haden trainings to facilitate workshops in embodiment and to call Saturday night contra dances. She also facilitates dream groups at the summer conference.
The quantitative methods many general education students have learned, the hoops jumped through to get into college, are the same ones that many educated in industrialized countries have absorbed – “I think, therefore I am.” Mind trumps body. Yet, we long for the symbolic awareness that attention to psycho-spiritual life, intentional play, and embodied sensory experience can bring. Jennie’s background in movement-based expressive arts and Jungian dreamwork and her challenge and pleasure in working with college students, is positioning the kinesthetic and sensory alongside language. She has found that in weighing qualitative experience equally with quantitative product, we confront the effects of life’s binary oppositions, which threaten relationships between, individuals, groups, humans and nature.