I just found out yesterday that there is a conference (in Omaha, NE, nonetheless) about both Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed …and that it’s taking place this May. And there are three workshops that are with Augusto Boal and his son, Julian. And one of the workshops is on legislative theater, one of the methods that I am most interested in when it comes to participatory planning and design situations.
If there were ever a conference that I should go to, it’s this one. It’s unlikely I’m going to get the chance again to get such concentrated study in a topic that I have little knowledge about, and that is difficult to pick up and experience on my own (since, by definition, it’s community focused). Of course funding is always a question, but at least there is a call for proposals that might be pertinent…but not much time to construct something, however.
Can I also say how awesome the MIT Press Bookstore in Cambridge is? I went there today, while I was on campus meeting with a friend, to do my usual aimless browsing in their stacks of gorgeous volumes and tomes. But what I especially love about the store, coming from a graduate student, is the hurt and sale book section, where fairly recent titles are available for half off or more. And I was able to snag a copy of The Deliberative Practitioner (once I had reminded myself of the title by going to the full-price urban planning section) for only $12. Part of me feels bad getting a book for this cheap since I will (probably) one day be writing books like this, but it’s really hard to justify some of the costs for academic books on a meager stipend. I really think there is something to providing lots of your work for free in an open manner (and this includes books), especially when the work is funded by taxpayers in the first place. Not that in the future I wouldn’t want to provide a book for sale as well; I just think there should be multiple ways of getting at the work, and at varying price points. A la Radiohead.
But this might just be the idealistic talk of a young’n at work.