Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘enclaves

The City & The City & The College

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Lee Skallerup Bessette talks The City & the City at College Ready Writing. I’ve mentioned before on Twitter how much I like teaching this book in my science fiction courses (as I’ll be doing this semester in just a week or so). I find that students key into the central seeing/unseeing trope immediately, especially in materially and psychically divided cities like Durham (where I used to teach) or Milwaukee (where I teach now). Students here know they live in an enclave; they know there’s a second city all around them that they aren’t a part of and that isn’t a part of them, with very clear territories and boundaries and no-man’s-lands that are an implicit part of their instruction from freshman orientation on. They recognize immediately that they’ve been taught and are being taught to unsee that other city’s life.


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We’ll eventually be doing a full writeup for our Indy article on energy issues in the Triangle and North Carolina, but for now let me say that Earthaven Ecovillage near Asheville is easily one of the more interesting and inspiring places I’ve visited in six years in North Carolina. Nearly fifteen years old, and one of the largest communities of its kind in America, the project serves as a model for sustainable living and alternative, off-the-grid mode(s) of life.

I’m not going to lie to you: I was thinking about Mars the whole time we were there.

I’ve been up since six, so that’s about all the coherent thought I can manage at the moment. For a lot more useful background on Earthaven, check Think or Thwim’s report from a year or so ago. (There’s always the Washington Post, too.)

Lots and lots of photos—over a hundred!—at my Flickr site. Just a few favorites below…

One of the many signs greeting you as you enter the community.

A painting inside the community’s Council Hall.

A characteristically Ecotopian home.

Good advice.

Also good advice.

Delicious berries.

Delicious solar-powered golf cart.


Sometimes this happens. That’s part of it, too.

The name of the main thoroughfare in the community and a succinct expression of their mission statement—there really is one. And in fact, as our tour guide was quick to remind us, emphasizing the diversity of the community and the many approaches to sustainability to be found inside Earthaven, there’s not just another way, but other ways.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2008 at 4:29 am