Program for 2004
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Theme for 2004
Universal Welfare

The Institute of World Culture has chosen Universal Welfare to be the guiding theme for its 2004 program. There is an ancient heritage to the idea expressed in the classical Sanskrit term, Sarvodaya, literally translated as universal uplift. Large as the aim of universal welfare might seem, it is an idea rooted in the reality of contemporary life and experienced as global interdependence. That the quality and progress of our lives depends upon a universal chain of cause and effect is indisputable. The question and choice confronting mankind today is how wisely and ethically the chain is constructed, so that weak links do not break into fragments of discord, violence and social injustice. Only a commitment to universal welfare, which includes attention to the welfare of each and all, can transform the reality of global interdependence from a nightmare to a healthy foundation for a world civilization of the future. Universal welfare may be conceived on many levels, spiritual, intellectual, ethical, social and in relation to the environment. Practical action that attempts to apply an understanding of universal welfare, however tentative, provides a pathway to global citizenship.

Mahatma Gandhi pioneered in a contemporary articulation and practive of Sarvodaya. His Constructive Program was based on a fundamental principle that the physical, economic and spiritual resources of a society should be used for the "uplift" of its members. The task required the guidance of conscience and the imaginative appeal to others to join in cooperative experiments for social change. Gandhi's genius as a social reformer lay in his intutitive ability to fuse timeless principles with evolving strategies applied in a vast array of activities.

To explicate and pursue its aims, as voiced in the Declaration of Interdependence, the Institute invites members and interested participants to give serious thought to the meaning of Universal Welfare and to its practical application. Fruitful discussion within and outside of the formal programs of the Institute can contribute to the current "conversation" about global needs and the possibilities for constructive, ethical action. Creative thought about the welfare of each and all should awaken human potential, strengthen a conviction of universal fellowship and promote appreciation of diverse cultures. Thereby the Institute seeks to discover a paradigm for world culture.

Plato and Gandhi on Universal Welfare

January 17, 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speakers: Dr. Philip Grant, Oxnard College, Robert Moore and Dr. James Tepfer, Oxnard College
Chair: Joseph Miller
This exploration into the philosophical perspectives of Plato and Mahatma Gandhi will focus on the Institute of World Culture’s 2004 theme of Universal Welfare. How does each of these seminal thinkers conceive of universal good and explain the possibility of ethical action to promote the welfare of mankind? What pathways to social justice offer relevant remedies to the contemporary conditions aggravated by globalization? Contributions from those who have participated in the Institute's study group on Plato's Republic as well as all seminar participants will give a diverse synthesis to the afternoon's dialogue.
Click here for seminar paper

Explorations of a Humanist, Jorge Luis Borges
February 28, 2004
2:00 – 4:30 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speakers: Dr. Suzanne Jill Levine and Dr. Jorge Luis Castillo, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, UC Santa Barbara
Chair: Dr. Judy Saltzman
A literary journey into the poetry and stories of this 20th century Argentine writer reveals the humanistic perspective of one of Latin America’s foremost visionaries. Discover how Borges used imagination and mythology to suggest the hidden potential of the human soul, the possibility of self-transcending experience and the struggle for meaningful relationships in the modern world. Learn how ficciones becomes another word for reality in the world of Jorge Luis Borges.

Global Perspectives on Women's Welfare
March 27, 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speakers: Dr. Jane Bayes, Political Science Department, California State University at Northridge, and
Franchesca Cleyet, Department of English, Santa Barbara City College
Chair: Dr. Carolyn Dorrance
Professor Bayes, director of the Institute of Gender, Globalization and Democratization at CSUN and author of Globalization, Gender and Democratization and Globalization, Gender and Religion: The Politics of Women's Rights in Catholic and Muslim Contexts, will document the impact of globalization, particularly in the developing societies of Asia and Africa, and explore how women have engaged in practical action to improve the welfare of their families and communities. Click here for outline of seminar presentation
Professor Cleyet will present the personal stories, aspirations and challenges of three women authors who directly experienced the impact of globalization in Africa and Asia. Readings from the novel The Joys of Motherhood by the Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta and from When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head of Botswana will suggest the tensions between traditional and modern values felt by women in societies swept by change.

Symbolism and Mysticism in the Arts of Indonesia
April 17, 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speaker: Richard North, Director of the Santa Barbara-based Indonesian music ensemble Gamelan Sinar Surya
Chair: Robert Moore
The cultural and artistic legacy of the Southeast Asian Renaissance, which parallels the more well-known European Renaissance, will be explored through a slide lecture presenting the dynamic and colorful arts of Indonesia. A collision of cultures and religious traditions in Indonesia produced an explosion in the arts, including textiles, music, painting, architecture and puppet theatre.

Institute of Reverential Ecology
Hidden Connections: An Intergenerational Forum on Science, Spirituality and Sustainable Living
May 7–9, 2004
Zaca Lake, California (30 miles north of Santa Barbara)
Conference presented by the Institute of Reverential Ecology (IRE). Co-sponsored by the Institute of World Culture. Speakers include: Satish Kumar, Nandini Iyer, Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva and others.
Presenteded by the Institute of Reverential Ecology, this intergenerational conference explores the interdependence of scientific knowledge, spiritual discovery and practical action to promote a sustainable life style. The integration of man's spiritual, mental and moral capacities are linked to the development of sustainable communities on a global scale. Paradigms of a healthy environment will be proposed in relation to principles of human and social justice.

Challenges of Peacebuilding
May 15 , 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speaker: William Saa, West African Network for Peacebuilding
Chair: Danson Kiplagat
The Institute welcomes William Saa, West African peacebuilder, who will share his insights and experiences in peacebuilding with participants of this seminar. As a peace activist for more than 20 years, Mr. Saa faced the challenges of transforming extreme conditions of social disorder into pathways for healthy, non-violent communities.
For more information, see

21st Century Science: String Theory,
Genetics, Nanoscience and Supercomputing

June 12, 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speakers: Russ Lewin and Kim Miller
Discover the fundamental ideas and current research defining the science of the future. Topics include the following:
string theory which may resolve inconsistencies in quantum mechanics and general relativity and suggest a "theory of everything";
genetic research into the nature of DNA and the capacity to manipulate the genetic code;
nanoscience, the study and development of materials, devices and systems through the control of matter at the atomic level;
supercomputing, the architecture and application on both the global and individual levels. A live demostration will be included.
Mars 2004, recent discoveries on Mars and Mars Rover technology and how we did it.

Founders’ Day Talk:
The Quaker Vision of Universal Welfare

June 26, 2004
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speakers: Jeannine Herron and members of the Society of Friends
Chair: Dr. Carolyn Dorrance
The history and influential principles of the Society of Friends movement in American history will be elucidated by life-long students and practitioners of Quaker ideas. Discover why Quakers have been at the forefront of movements for peace and justice. Lessons gleaned from the Quaker experience of social activism will be applied to contemporary challenges to improve the quality of life universally.

Film and Discussion:
IWC July Film Series
Join us every Saturday in July for an interersting film and discussion
Show Times: 7:00 PM.
1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA

July 10: The Last Wave
Peter Weir’s 1977 mystery based on Australian aboriginal taboos
and views of prophecy.

July 17: Siddhartha
Conrad Rooks’ film version of Herman Hesse’s novel. A provocative portrayal
of the spiritual quest within the rich imagery of Ancient India..

July 24: Quartet
Four short studies by Somerset Maugham of the ironic peculiarities of human nature. They will leave you wondering.

July 31: Arabian Nights
A charming 1999 rendition of "A Thousand and One Nights."


Cosmicizing Sound

August 21, 2004
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speaker: Dr. Luigi Antonio Irlandini
Chair: Joseph Miller
The creative act of making music will be explored as a re-enactment of cosmic creation. Hear how a piece of music might be understood as a universe of sound; that is, a cosmos. To cosmicize sound is to both organize and consecrate sound; thereby, listening becomes an artistic and sacred experience.

The Values of Vegetarianism

September 18, 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Presenters: Ingrid Head and Josh Carpenter
Why is vegetarianism valuable? What facts, figures and theories of interdependence do practitioners of vegetarianism offer to the current debate over the wise and just use of the earth's resources? Is vegetarianism a source of health and welfare? What environmental goals are promoted by vegetarianism? Join in this investigation of the principles and practice of vegetarianism and veganism.

Dramatic Recitation:
Radical Patriotism: Universality in Walt Whitman
October 16, 2004, 7:30 –9:00 pm
October 17, 2004, 2:00 – 3:30 pm          
Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library
40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, California
Actors: Joseph Miller, Peter John Duda, Maria De La Vega Delgado, James Colbert
The word 'patriot' literally means 'of one's father'. It is deeply bound up with the concepts of collective identity, heritage, and loyalty. This dramatic recitation will feature selections from Whitman's poetry and prose that convey the poet's inclusive, yet transcendent, patriotism. Four local players bring the great American bard to life in this original work, edited from Whitman’s own words in poetry and prose. This semi-staged multimedia-enhanced recitation traces the poet’s early life, literary awakening, Civil War service, and impressions of Lincoln. Come, hear a passionate, perspicacious and rad call to democracy, as relevant today as it was 150 years ago.

The Architecture of Tibet: Palace, Temple, Farmhouse
November 20, 2004
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Speaker:  Kirk Gradin, Architect
The indigenous “mud” architecture of Tibet is both inherited and unique and has produced and protected monumental treasures which now border on extinction. Since 1949, over two-thirds of Tibet’s temples and monasteries have been looted and/or destroyed. What is known of these treasures prior to Chinese occupation and what can still be garnered from the remains? How is the architecture of Tibet linked to Tibetan Buddhism and its ancient, deeply devotional and rigorously educated culture that has remained untainted by so-called modern civilization for over 2,000 years? Join us for an introductory, multimedia exploration of the canon, symbolism and craft of the sacred arts in the Land of Snows.

Reception and Open House
December 11, 2004
7:00 – 10:00 pm
Concord House, 1407 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, California
Host: Renée Tillotson
Members and invited guests gather for a holiday reception with storytelling, singing, and seasonal cheer.