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What I Forgot…And Why I Remembered: A Journey to Environmental Awareness and Activism Through Purposeful Memoir

May 13 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Join Jennifer Browdy, Ph.D., as she shares scenes from her lyrical, hard-hitting memoir, which sets one American woman’s journey against the larger landscape of the past 50 years of political upheaval, global climate change and the recovery of our primary connection to the Earth. In telling the story of a generation who “forgot” how important the health of our planet is to our personal health and sense of well-being, Jennifer Browdy details her own years of being entranced, both personally and professionally, in patterns of denial and avoidance. Honestly interrogating the challenge of getting privileged Americans to wake up and confront the urgent and uncomfortable realities of our time, she calls on readers to begin the process of transformation at the intersection of the personal, political and planetary.

elemental-journey-cover-new-sm-copyJennifer has also published a writer’s guide, The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion. As part of this special Sandisfield Arts Center event, she will lead a short exercise in the art and craft of purposeful memoir, inviting participants to embark on their own journey to see how they arrived at the present moment, and how an understanding of the past can fuel activism on behalf of ourselves, our communities and society, and our beloved Mother Earth.

This special presentation at the Sandisfield Arts Center is a benefit for the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (B.E.A.T.) News and its program No Fracked Gas in Mass, headed by Rosemary Wessel, Jane Winn and Bruce Winn. For more than ten years, the BEAT News has been the region’s pre-eminent environmental watchdog, advocacy, and stewardship organization. No Fracked Gas in Mass has taken the lead in western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut in raising awareness about the negative environmental impacts and proposed regional gas pipelines and rallying opposition.

JB3 smallJennifer Browdy, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the field of purposeful memoir and a leading voice for global social and environmental justice. A professor of comparative literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, she teaches and lectures widely on the necessity of aligning the personal and political in the journey to planetary stability. She is the founding director of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, dedicated to cultivating the voices and visions of women of all ages in the Berkshire region. In addition to numerous academic publications and articles for Common Dreams, Kosmos Journal, Yes! Magazine, Berkshire Magazine and The Berkshire Edge, Jennifer has edited three anthologies: Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean (new edition forthcoming in 2017 from Beacon Press); African Women Writing Resistance: Contemporary Voices (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010); and Writing Fire: Celebrating the Power of Women’s Words (Green Fire Press, 2015). Her blog, Transition Times, offers a personal take on issues of social and environmental justice; it has received more than 150,000 visitors from all over the world since its inception in 2011.

Praise for What I Forgot…And Why I Remembered

What-I-Forgot-Cover-draft-NEW-sm copy“Jennifer Browdy has chosen to write what she calls a “purposeful memoir….”Her choice can inspire us all to see how our lives have been hijacked or distracted from what we most deeply desire, and how we can reclaim our lives for the sake of life on Earth.”

Joanna Macy, author of Coming Back to Life and Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy

“She documents the process of waking up to the world around us and she demonstrates how vibrant and rewarding an engaged life can be.” 

Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture


May 13
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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Sandisfield Arts Center
5 Hammertown Road
Sandisfield, MA United States
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