Deathworlds are places on planet earth that can no longer sustain life. These are increasing rapidly. We experience remnants of Deathworlds within our Lifeworlds (for example traumatic echoes of war, genocide, oppression). Many practices and policies, directly or indirectly, are "Deathworld-Making." They undermine Lifeworlds contributing to community decline, illnesses, climate change, and species extinction. This book highlights the ways in which writing about and sharing meaningful experiences may lead to social and environmental justice practices, decreasing Deathworld-Making. Phenomenology is a method which reveals the connection between personal suffering and the suffering of the planet earth and all its creatures. Sharing can lead to collaborative relationships among strangers for social and environmental justice across barriers of culture, politics, and language.
"Deathworlds into Lifeworlds wakes people up to how current economic and social forces are destroying life and communities on our planet, as I have mapped in my work. The chapters by scholars around the world in this powerful book testify to the pervasive consequences of the proliferation of Deathworld-making and ways that collaboration across cultures can help move us forward."
-Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought.
"Recognizing the inseparability of experience, consciousness, environment and problematics in rebalancing life systems, this book offers solutions from around the world."
-Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs, author of Sitting Bull's Words for A World in Crises, et al.
"This unique book brings together 78 participants from 11 countries to reveal the ways in which phenomenology - the study of consciousness and phenomena - can lead to profound personal and social transformation. Such transformation is especially powerful when "Deathworlds" - physical or cultural places that no longer sustain life - are transformed into "lifeworlds" through collaborative sharing, even when (or, perhaps, especially when) the sharing is among strangers across different cultures. The contributors share a truly wide range of human experiences, from the death of a child to ecological destruction, in offering ways to affirm life in the face of what may seem to be hopeless death-affirming challenges."
-Richard P. Appelbaum, Ph.D., is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus and former MacArthur Foundation Chair in Global and International Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also a founding Professor at Fielding Graduate University, where he heads the doctoral concentration in Sustainability Leadership.
"Deathworlds is a love letter for the planet-our home. By documenting places that no longer sustain life, the authors collectively pull back the curtain on these places, rendering them meaningful by connecting what ails us with what ails the world."
-Katrina S. Rogers, Ph.D., conservation activist and author
"Deathworlds to Lifeworlds represents collaboration among Fielding Graduate University, the University of Lodz (Poland), and the University of the Virgin Islands. Students and faculty from these universities participated in seminars on transformative phenomenology and developed rich phenomenologically based narratives of their experiences or others'. These phenomenological protocol narratives creatively modify and integrate with everyday experience the conceptual frameworks of Husserl, Schutz, Heidegger, Habermas, and others. The diverse protocol authors demonstrate how phenomenological reflection is transformative first by revealing how Deathworlds, which lead to physical, mental, social, or ecological decline, imperil invaluable lifeworlds. Deathworlds appear on lifeworld fringes, such as extra-urban trash landfills, where unnoticed impoverished workers labor to the destruction of their own health. Poignant protocol-narratives highlight the plight and noble struggle of homeless people, the mother of a dying 19-year-old son, persons inclined to suicide, overwhelmed first responders, alcoholics who through inspiration achieve sobriety, unravelled We-Relationships, those suffering from and overcoming addiction or misogynist stereotypes or excessive pressures, veterans distraught after combat, a military mother, those in liminal situations, and oppressed indigenous peoples who still make available their liberating spirituality. Transformative phenomenology exemplifies that generous responsiveness to the ethical summons to solidarity to which Levinas's Other invites us."
-Michael Barber, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, St. Louis University. He has authored seven books and more than 80 articles in the general area of phenomenology and the social world. He is editor of Schutzian Research, an annual interdisciplinary journal.
"This book helps us notice the Deathworlds that surround us and advocates for their de-naturalization. Its central claim is that the ten virtues of the transformative phenomenologist allow us to do so by changing ourselves and the worlds we live in.
In this light, the book is an outstanding presentation of the international movement known as "transformative phenomenology." It makes groundbreaking contributions to a tradition in which some of the authors are considered the main referents. Also, it offers an innovative understanding of Alfred Schutz's philosophy of the Lifeworld and a fruitful application of Van Manen's method of written protocols."
-Carlos Belvedere, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires"
"Moving beyond the social phenomenology carved out by Alfred Schutz, this impressive volume of action-based experiential research displays the efficacy of applying phenomenological protocols to explore Deathworlds, the tacit side of the foundational conception of Lifeworlds. Over twenty-one chapters, plus an epilogue, readers are transported by the train of Transformative Phenomenology, created during what's been called the Silver Age of Phenomenology (1996 - present) at the Fielding Graduate University. An international amalgam of students and faculty from universities in Poland, the United States, the Virigin Islands, Canada, and socio-cultural locations throughout the world harnessed their collective energy to advance the practical call of phenomenology as a pathway to meaning-making through rich descriptions of lived experience. Topics include dwelling with strangers, dealing with trash, walking with the homeless, death of a young person, overcoming colonialism, precognition, environmental destruction, and so much more. The research collection enhances what counts as phenomenological inquiry, while remaining respectful of Edmund Husserl's philosophical roots."
-David Rehorick, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of New Brunswick (Canada) & Professor Emeritus, Fielding Graduate University (U.S.A.), Vancouver, British Columbia.