higher education (2)

The quote, "need to restore fearlessness to higher education" is a refreshing call, one that I cannot ever recall hearing in North America or the Western hemisphere for that matter. It comes from President of the Campus Contact (network) of 1100 colleges and universities both in the USA and Internationally. It is one of the largest such coalitions of promotion of higher education in the world. The President who said these words in a blog in 2016 is Dr. Andrew Seligsohn.

Seligsohn, talks of interviewing casually many in higher education today. "More than anything I hear fear." He writes of all the kinds of fears he hears people concerned about as priority in their campus lives, from students to top administrators. "Everyone is afraid," he wrote. And then continues with words that are gold to my ears: 

"... nothing is more destructive of the mission of higher education than fear....We need to restore fearlessness to higher education....We need to talk to each other [across our differences and conflicts and ideologies] about what would help us regain the fearlessness that makes higher education great." 

I highly recommend the rest of this article... 

FYI, as a resource (annotated bibliography), I have compiled most all of my publications since the mid-1990s on Education, Fear and Fearlessness in Tech Paper 77.doc, free for your download, and may this be used in educational institutions as well, because in the end we need to better understanding fear and fearlessness... not merely talk about them as words... as if we already knew everything there is to know about them. 



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R. M. Fisher: Concerned About the State of 'Fear' Studies -2018

Hi Folks, I am offering my latest technical paper here on the FM ning. It is one that is crucial to all my work in fearology, fearanalysis, philosophy of fearism, etc. The conceptualization of 'fear' (with ' marks) is not an insignificant gesture to distinguish it from the contextual discourses on fear that fill the mind and libraries of humanity. So rare few in my experience have acknowledged the postmodern and integral meta-contextual framing for 'fear' and thus are always attempting to reduce my work into their context of fear. 

'Fear' Studies, 12 Years Later: Progress and Barriers

                                              - R. Michael Fisher,[1] Ph.D.

                                                 ©2018  Technical Paper No. 74


Fear became an evocative object/subject of the author beginning in late 1989. The massive and mediated (post-9/11) assertion of Terror(ism) into humanity’s experience and thought has spurred the author’s work to the point in 2006 of publishing “Invoking ‘Fear’ Studies” in the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Much has changed dramatically in the world and in the interest, across disciplines and in the populist communities, in regard to how to negotiate a relationship with fear(ism) and terror(ism). This article is the next-generation ‘Fear Studies’ invocation for curriculum theorizing in a postmodern and post-traumatic era. The purpose is to validate the growing significance and complexity of the Fear Problem and the many authors who contribute to better understanding it and undermining it.


[Author’s note: This article was turned down by the so-called progressive Journal of Curriculum Theorizing by the one reviewer and the editor because it did not, in their view engage the ‘canon’ of work that exists in the field regarding emotions, etc. And, my whole argument is that my work is not within the context of emotions, it is rather a meta-context beyond that reductionism, and so all their advice to me to integrate other literature on emotion was totally not what this article is about. As the one reviewer wrote, “while the author’s work is quite valuable, I feel that he leaned a bit too much on his own ideas without the complication of those ideas across fields in general or within curriculum studies in specific.” Clearly, the reviewer and editor wanted a totally different kind of article and couldn’t stand my own work as ‘leading-edge’ re: ‘fear’ (not as mere emotion). This is a sad statement on the conformist, clique-like conservativism that has invaded even the progressive wings of educational curriculum in the last 12 years. I now would add this very response of JCT as one more “barrier” to the progress of ‘Fear’ Studies in the future!][2]



[1] Fisher is co-founder of In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989- ) and Research Institute (1991- ). He is also founder of the Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education (http://csiie.org) and is Department Head at CSIIE of Integral & 'Fear' Studies. He is an independent scholar, public intellectual and pedagogue, author, consultant, researcher, coach, artist and Principal of his own company (http://loveandfearsolutions.com). Currently, he is developing The Fearology Institute to teach courses. He can be reached at: r.michaelfisher52@gmail.com

[2] Personal communication, Rob Helfenbein, Mar. 9/18.

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