Further Reflections are instructor-led, multi-session virtual courses held on Zoom for small discussion groups. Often following a Critical Minds program, Further Reflections allow students to explore various topics on a deeper level. The content of this series and Critical Minds is to provide information and an opportunity for dialogue on topics that may be of interest to the humanist community. Speakers are engaged for their knowledge and expertise on the topics covered in both series. The speakers’ views are not necessarily aligned with the AHA, its members, or the humanist community. Find upcoming Further Reflections courses here.
Previous Further Reflections Courses are:
Alain Locke’s Imagination: Developing an Eye for being Black, Queer & Free Beyond Sight (3-part series) taught by Jé Hooper.
Alain Locke, an African American philosopher and artistic connoisseur, better known as the ‘Dean of the Harlem Renaissance’ who made the declaration that “art was the key to Black Liberation”–a reimagining of total freedom. Subsequently, there is no critical approach to freedom, unless we first examine the complexities of human ingenuity and its agency to live-out its full autonomy. The ability to observe the imagination as an impetus that informs human worth, knowing and being, is an act of cultural security that Locke invested years researching and preserving with the Black cultural experience. In juxtaposition to our theistic counterparts who assert ‘just live by faith’, it is the humanist ability to offer critical imagination beyond faith to ensure the betterment of curating a culture of care.
A More In-depth Look at Human Brain Evolution (3-part series) taught by Mark Reimers
Our human mind has evolved from an ape mind over the past six million years. How have our brains and genes changed to bring this about? We are very similar to apes in some ways, in which scientists previously thought humans stood out, but quite different in other ways, such as our capacity for engagement with other people. This course will present genetic, anatomical, behavioral evidence bearing on the changes to the brain that supported the emergence of the human mind.
When We Almost Got It Right – Societies that Worked (4-part series) taught by Mark Reimers
As we hear distressing news from around the world, we may benefit from reminding ourselves of times and places when human beings did come close to building a workable and just society for everyone. These were not idealistic communes or religious movements, but well-organized societies that managed to achieve social justice far beyond what was typical of their ages. These episodes have largely been forgotten or erased from history by conquering empires that have defined history; many of them are known only through detailed archaeological studies.
Humanist Community Music Therapy (8 sessions) taught by Dorian Wallace
Community music is a foundational way to connect with others. Music transcends time and is present in all communities throughout the world. Given this universal nature of music, music therapy is uniquely able to reach individuals across all backgrounds and ages. No previous musical knowledge is required in order for an individual or group to be able to participate. Through creative experiences with music, one can connect with what cannot easily be expressed verbally and strengthen a sense of self.
Mindfulness Meditation (10-day course) taught by Dorian Wallace
This 10-day meditation course was a syncretic, non-theistic approach to mindfulness-seeking awareness of the inner nature of life, focusing on three aspects of existence: impermanence, suffering, and non-self. Mindfulness is an effective tool that all people, regardless of background or circumstances, can access and hone. Through a more examined life, one can address a deeper understanding of the essence of living through communion with oneself and others in time, space, incarnation, and consciousness.