After most of the campus had departed for winter holidays, a group of dedicated storytelling scholars had one more item on their agenda: the “Quantum Storytelling Conference” on December 16-18, 2011. Fifteen storytelling scholars, 9 from out of state and 6 from NMSU, enjoyed the exceptional decor and warm hospitality of Lundeen’s Inn of the Arts. Soaring ceilings, original art, holiday decorations, and the cozy fireplace of the Inn’s great room created the perfect setting for lofty ideas with down-to-earth applications.
Heart-of-Care NMSU Management Department professor Dr. David Boje inspired, organized, and hosted the conference. Departmental colleague and wife Dr. Grace Ann Rosile was Conference Coordinator. The conference offered cutting-edge storytelling research, quantum physics theories, and Martin Heidegger’s ontological inquiry concepts. Boje combined these ideas to locate the organization’s often-overlooked “heart-of-care” towards people and the environment.
Participants took these esoteric theories from storytelling, physics, and philosophy, and applied them to practical and important research questions. Each topic (see partial list below) was presented and discussed by the whole group. Innkeeper Jerry Lundeen, an architect by training, asked to sit in on most sessions and participated in the conversations. Everyone was very flattered–someone outside our field thought our sessions were interesting! This is the highest praise for an academic group!
The event also had a somber side. One scholar cancelled due to her sister’s death the week before. Another had been hospitalized. Ivy Durant was a Georgia woman who was an exceptionally talented writer and a warm and caring person. We were surprised to hear of her hospitalization from family members, then shocked to learn that she died the week after the conference. Rosile and Boje participated in a group-phone-call prayer service and tribute to her memory.
The conference ended with talk of having an annual event. Any future sessions are sure to be intense and enriching. They will also be forever touched by our memories of our friend and colleague Ivy Durant.
Partial List of Topics
- Reducing womens’ recidivism rates by pairing them with successful post-prison peer mentors.
- How miners communicate about the hazards of mining accidents.
- Different storytelling forms and the conceptualization of “ethics” in American Indian tribes.
- Fractals and how humans influence outcomes in turbulent socioeconomic environments.
- Authenticity and spirituality in African-American male leaders’ decision-making processes.
- “Ontological life counseling” to increase on-line students’ success, especially military personnel.
- Linking sustainability goals with NMSU’s core mission through heart and Heidegger’s “care.”
Full proceedings of abstracts and/or papers are posted at www.peaceaware.com/quantum
See conference agenda/info at Quantum Storytelling: Ontological Inquiry Research Conference