Alternative Views of History for New Futures

Presenters:  Dr Marcus Bussey, Associate Professor Justin Hewitson, and  Linda Baker

Historian John Tosh has noted that “History is an inventory of alternatives” (2002, p. 35) whilst historian Jörn Rüsen observes that “history is the mirror of past actuality into which the present peers in order to learn something about its future” (2004, p. 67). Both insights speak to an emerging sense that history, currently understood, is breaking free from traditional narratives of the past that maintain dominant power relations. Sarkar brings to this discussion the recognition that from a Neohumanist perspective history also “increases human beings’ arena of spiritual awareness and thus renders the intellect more subtle” (1988). This session brings four different approaches to bear on this emergent field in which history becomes a vehicle for new stories that will seed new futures for planet and humanity.


Charles Paprocki (unavailable)

Charles Paprocki is the co-author of a five volume history of western civilization called The Untold Story of Western Civilization. The history is part of a trilogy called History, Ideology and Revolution. He has been a political and community activist his entire life. During this time he has spent many years working with troubled teenagers, prison inmates, welfare recipients, and migrant workers in the human services system. He also owned a graphics and advertising agency in New York City where he combined his skill and knowledge to create social marketing campaigns. He was one of the core leaders to create the Universal PreK program in New York State and the local food movement in Illinois. His last work was to manage an organic farm in southern Illinois. He has consulted with international NGOs on management strategies and participated in the Earth Summit in Brazil and the Social Summit in Denmark. He is now retired and living in Carbondale, Illinois. He is a volunteer with the Carbondale Spring Food Autonomy project.

Marcus Bussey

Dr Marcus Bussey is Deputy Head, School of Social Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. He is a founding member of The Sustainability Research Centre. As a cultural theorist, historian and futurist he works on cultural processes that energise social transformation. He uses futures thinking and embodied workshops to challenge the dominant beliefs and assumptions that constrain human responses to rapid cultural, social, environmental and technological change. He is currently focused on the role of anticipatory aesthetics as a process-oriented approach to understanding and accessing human transformative potential.

Marcus has co-authored with Professor Richard Slaughter Futures Thinking for Social Foresight (2005). He has also co-edited two books with Sohail Inayatullah and Ivana Milojević – Neohumanist Educational Futures (2006) and Alternative Educational Futures (2008). In addition, he has edited Tantric Women Tell their Stories (2007) and Dynamics of Dissent: Theorising Movements for Inclusive Futures (Palgrave forthcoming) with Meera Chakravorty and John Clammer. Marcus has held fellowships at Nanyang Technical University, Singapore and Tamkang University, Taiwan. He is currently Program Leader in Futures Studies at his university. Marcus is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Futures Studies, Foresight, and On the Horizons. His new book of poetry (as social theory) The Next Big Thing! (Studera Press) is being released in early March.

For more information on Marcus:

Justin Hewitson

Justin M. Hewitson is an Associate Professor in the Education Center for Humanities and Social Sciences at National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan and a long-term practitioner of Tantra and Tai Chi Chuan. He teaches comparative literature and philosophy that follows his interest in Indo-Sino-Western thought. Published works include essays covering Husserl’s Phenomenology and P.R. Sarkar’s Tantra (Comparative and Continental Philosophy), American Transcendentalism and Romanticism (Wenshan Review), Indian spirituality and mediating suffering in Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost (Comparative Literature and Culture). He has two forthcoming book chapters: one deals with the history of Śiva Tantra, the other deconstructs happiness in the Peterson-Žižek debate vis-à-vis Christianity and Tantra. A journal article analyzing the origins of Idealism that integrates P.R. Sarkar’s Tantric ontology with a new translation of the Ṛg Veda’s “Creation Hymn” is currently under review. Justin is presently working on several other essays related to Sarkar: “Sarkar and Sartre: An Ethics of Nothingness”; “Subjectivity in Translating the Ṛg Veda”; “The Objects and Objective of Meditation: Buddhism versus Tantra,” and “Lao Zi was a Tantric: Tantra in Daoism.” He remains convinced that someday he will write less and meditate more.

Linda Baker

Linda Baker is a certified K-8 teacher and holds an M.S. in counseling with K-12 certification. She worked as a teacher and school counselor for grades pre-K through 8 in a public magnet school in New Haven, Connecticut for 33 years. Linda was not only a classroom instructor but a specialty teacher in Science and Social Studies in the middle school grades for ten years. She developed the school’s counseling program, served as a school counselor and supervised counseling and Yale University Dwight Hall interns for over two decades.

Trained in numerous innovative curricula and educational programs, Linda has consulted in a range of areas. Career highlights include training, consulting, online curriculum writing and articles for Neohumanist Education; writing and publishing a curriculum for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute; PIMMS (Project to Increase Mastery in Math and Science education) Fellow; consultant and founder of Amistad Academy (Achievement First); AVID school coordinator and Student Support Facilitator with an emphasis on ECL (Emotional Well-Being, Creativity and Learning).

Linda completed five years of facilitator training with the New England Institute of Systemic Constellations and additional training with the ECL Foundation. For three years she was a catalyst for ECL by bringing the systemic lens and ECL practices to staff, students, counselors, school leaders and parents at Conte West Hills Magnet School in New Haven. In addition, she led ECL workshops at other schools and conferences.

In September 2017 Linda started Supporting Systems LLC . Her practice provides ECL and neohumanist education workshops, training, consulting and on-site services to schools, conferences and other organizations. Linda has presented and trained in the United States, Europe and Asia.