Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Conversation About our Kick-Off Event

I'd like to share with you all a brief Q&A that Theme Semester recently had with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette about our kick-off event, Danny Bryck's one-man show "No Room for Wishing" which will performed on September 12, 2013. This conversation appeared in "College Town" in the Sunday, September 2 edition. The full article is linked at the bottom of this post.

Q What is the goal of "Doing Right in a Complex World" — to get people thinking and talking? Is there a definition of right?
A "One of the things we are exploring this semester with 'Doing Right in a Complex World' is the difference between 'right' and 'good.'" Mr. O'Connell also provided the mission statement for the semester: "With an interest in the ethical dilemmas at the center of contemporary society, 'Doing Right in a Complex World' will explore the ways in which we interact with the world around us, as well as investigate our decision-making processes and the choices we make in deciding when and how we act."

Q Why start with "No Room for Wishing?"
A "Occupy Boston has an inherent connection to both the Occupy New York Movement and the Arab Spring. Danny Bryck's 'No Room for Wishing' offers us an exciting opportunity to open with a performance event that raises a lot of questions around a very complicated issue without offering easy or short-sighted solutions to those questions. The very nature of the performance offers a dialogue for and with the audience. That it is based on the testimonies of real people further expands this dialogue for our community at Worcester State University, as well as the greater Worcester community. Bryck's performance also allows Theme Semester to partner directly with departments in creating interdisciplinary programming for our students that allows them to see and experience how different areas connect in unexpected ways. Bringing this performance to campus has involved faculty from Visual and Performing Arts, as well as Physical and Earth Sciences."

Q The title of the play takes its name from the song "Dewey Square" by Ruby Rose Fox. The Occupy movement was often characterized as having good intentions, but no clear goals.  Do you think this is what Fox is alluding to in her lyrics from Dewey Square? "But I hear the boys the boys and girls are coming up, up, up from the underground … You can find 'em there, they're all fired up in Dewey Square … you can call them what you want, you can call them what you need, you can call them what you want but there's no room for wishing in revolution."
A "I think I might defer to Danny on that one, but perhaps. Also, I think the final lyric relates to the 'Doing Right' portion of our theme. We are as interested in 'right' as we are in the implicit action of 'doing.'

Tickets are $7 for students, $10 for seniors and $14 for general admission. For reservations, call (508) 929-8843. Tickets may also be purchased at the Fuller Theatre Box Office on the day of the event.  

http://www.telegram.com/article/20130901/NEWS/309019949/0/SEARCH

Friday, August 9, 2013

Twitter Hashtags for Fall 2013: #WSUdoright and #complexworld

This fall, "Doing Right in a Complex World" will be debuting two new hashtags in order to track the conversations that we have and share via twitter and other online social media outlets. The first two that we will be using and that we encourage you to use are:
  • #WSUdoright - Drawing on the active tense of "doing right," and the implicit discussion of taking action, this hashtag will be used in association with stories, articles, debates, events (on and offcampus), etc. that focus on both taking action and the pros and cons of inaction
  • #complexworld - Picking up on the second half of our theme, this hashtag will be used in association with the tweeting of important stories, articles, debates, events, etc. that represent the complexity of our contemporary world and the complex legacies of the past.
It is our aim to offer semi-regular reviews of what is being shared with respect to both of these #hashtags.

Everything that Worcester State University's Theme Semester shares on Twitter (@WSUTheme) is intended to start a conversation. We therefore will be tweeting stories from a variety of viewpoints, news sources, and backgrounds.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Doing Right in a Complex World Announces Our 2013 Kick-off Event

Worcester State University's Theme Semester is pleased to announce our kickoff event for the fall semester. We invite you to join us as we begin our semester long conversation about our theme, "Doing Right in a Complex World."

September 12, 2013 - The Fuller Theatre, 2:30pm
Doing Right in a Complex World Kick-off Event with Danny Bryck's No Room for Wishing
  • "No Room for Wishing is a one-man doucmentary play about how big picture politics effect our every day lives, and what happens when people come together to try to force change."
  • No Room For Wishing Trailer
  • For more information, please visit: http://dannybryck.com/noroomforwishing
Stay tuned as we continue to announce our planned activities, events, and co-sponsored programming initiatives for the fall semester. Updates will continue to be posted in the weeks before the semester begins on September 4.

You can also follow us on Twitter @WSUTheme.


If you have any questions about how to partner with Theme Semester, please contact Sam O'Connell, Theme Semester Director, at samuel<dot>oconnell<at>worcester<dot>edu or 508-929-8254.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Doing Right in a Complex World: Mission Statement


Worcester State University's Theme Semester Committee is pleased to present the mission statement for our next theme semester for Fall 2013: "Doing Right in Complex World." This theme is purposefully expansive in order to allow for as many departments, disciplines, and offices to get involved and connect with this campus-wide conversation across curricular and co-curricular opportunities.

Dominant news stories on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), the roles of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange or the hacker cooperative Anonymous in political discourse, and changing definitions of civil liberties all raise ethical questions that overlap and ignore clear disciplinary boundaries. With an interest in the ethical dilemmas at the center of contemporary society, "Doing Right in a Complex World" will explore the ways in which we interact with the world around us as well as investigate our decision making processes and the choices we make in deciding when and how we act. These complex processes require deep multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. Thus, this theme will engage students, faculty, administrators, staff, and the larger community of our world to engage and debate important questions. The questions the committee is interested in addressing include the following:

   What is the difference between 'right' and 'good'?
   How do we decide who or what is 'right'?
   How do we define and understand our world and our role in it?
   What causes us to take action?
   What factors do we consider before taking action?
   How do cultural and historical contexts affect notions of right and good?

These big-picture questions can help guide conversations on ethics, community, identity, and more. We invite you all to join us as we explore the answers to these questions.