Adjunct Faculty

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Margaret Anderson is the acting director of the Hutchins Dialogue Center ((HDC), designed as an institutional home for dialogue at Sonoma State University. Through the HDC, facilitation of dialogue, design of curriculum, and training for faculty, staff and students can occur across all sectors and in many academic and community contexts.

Margaret has taught for fourteen years in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State and in the past five years in the Freshman Year Experience Program. She has also organized activities in coordination with the Associated Students for pre- and post-dialogue discussions around complex issues and topics such as race, gender, politics, and sexuality via extracurricular events, lectures, films and workshops. In addition to her work as director of HDC and as a lecturer, she has served as the director of the Touchstones Discussion Group project and has trained over 1200 teachers in the Avid program to implement weekly dialogue seminars in public schools. Margaret has facilitated discussions in a variety of settings, including prisons, schools, and businesses and she has engaged in numerous community and intergenerational dialogues.

One of Margaret's recent projects was on the topic of suicide with speaker and survivor Kevin Heines. Students and community members participated in exploring the complex subject with honesty and maturity. In her work, Margaret has witnessed how engaging in a model of dialogue can greatly improve human relationships and learning; allowing people with differing values and perspectives to find common ground by furthering their understanding of themselves and others.

I’ve been teaching on and off in Hutchins since 1988, and have enjoyed it greatly. In between, I taught in the SSU Philosophy Department, worked as Coordinator of Liberal Studies at Saint Mary’s College, and served as Chair of Liberal Arts at John F. Kennedy University.

Here in Hutchins, I’ve taught almost every part of the curriculum, or maybe I should say it’s been taught to me! Over the years, students and colleagues have exposed me to countless new ideas and provoked all kinds of new insights.

As a result, I was able to write a book, Creativity and Beyond: Cultures, Values, and Change (SUNY Press, 2000), and create Leonardo Live!, a one-man show of the life of Leonardo da Vinci, which I performed around the country for ten years. Presently, I’m writing a novel dealing with immigration and generational change.

Much earlier, I received degrees from Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Yale, and University of Cologne. I was co-founder and co-editor of Global Digest International News Services. I’ve numerous scholarly and news articles, as well as a book on Marx and America – Das Amerikabild von Karl Marx (Bonn, Germany: Bouvier, 1982). And for most of my life, I’ve been involved in an array of community organizations.

So what do I do for fun? Almost everything! I am very fortunate to have a loving family, great friends, and a roof over my head. I enjoy hiking, tennis, reading, writing, food, art, music, camping, travel, and of course, "long walks on the beach at sunset."

But teaching is my great love, and Hutchins has been a wonderful environment for this. Some of the courses I’ve taught here the last several years are:
Bodies in Interdisciplinary Perspective
Lying
Religious Quest
The Child in Question
We Hold These Truths
Self-Discovery Through Encounters with the Other
Technology, Values, and Society
The Renaissance

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