Hearing America Singing: Multi-Vocal Cultures in America
American culture has never been monolithic. We have always been a nation of immigrants, and American voices have always sung in varied registers. The age of Obama has not moved us "beyond race" but rather to a place where -- if our Kenyan-Kansas African-American President raised in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and in Asia is at the center of who we are as Americans -- then it is time to think about the possibilities of a more nuanced civic conversation about race and culture. Alexander discusses the rich and surprising overlaps in American cultures from varied traditions, all of which comprise the American tradition, in sometimes divergent, exciting conversation.
Shifting the Paradigm: Creativity and Motivating Leadership
We all get stuck in ruts in our lives, whether the creative challenge be writing a poem, designing a new widget, motivating a workforce, or simply attending to the daily demands of the work that we do. What are some modes of creative thinking that can help us do what artists do for us: see the world anew and consider problems afresh? Artists show us that there is always another way to see or describe a situation, always more than one angle on a problem. How might the artists way of approaching the creative process be helpful to us in non-artistic workplaces? As perhaps the first chair of an academic department who is also an acclaimed artist, Elizabeth Alexander offers a unique perspective on these issues and speaks about jump-starting the creative process, in individual work and in work communities.