The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture
Contemplative & Community-Connected Learning and Doing
Since 2018 each fall semester at Middlebury College the New Perennials team has offered the course, The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture in the Environmental Studies Program. The course is part philosophy, ecology, and communications & linguistics, and the design asks students to consider a variety of ideas through texts in many forms - from podcasts to readings to film - to explore multiple ways of knowing. The primary experiment of the course is to challenge the current ontologies (or worldviews) to consider what new ontologies can look like when we think holistically in systems where interdependence and reciprocity combined with planetary and human health are central to a new worldview.
The course is taught as an emergent conversation to explore new ways of knowing through unlearning and re-learning, and includes a Community-Connected Learning module that gathers 12 to 13 practitioners into partnerships with students to explore what it is to be perennial in and between five spheres: Sacred Practices, Healing Arts, Creative Arts, Food/Ag Systems, and Education. These practitioners and their communities remain connected to New Perennials through the Champlain Valley Network.
Below are links to syllabi from each of the three semesters The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture has been taught as well as other tools including the Inter-Learning Activity Assignment and the Community-Connected Learning Work Plan. Please visit newperennialspublishing.org for additional classroom resources.
Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture Syllabi:
Other Tools used in the classroom:
Inter-Learning Activity - 2020
Community-Connected Learning Work Plan - 2020