There is a certain kind of peace that is not merely the absence of war. It is larger than that. The peace I am thinking of is not at the mercy of history's rule, nor is it a passive surrender to the status quo. The peace I am thinking of is the dance of an open mind when it engages another equally open one.
--Toni Morrison, "The Dancing Mind"
Where is your mind? Where is it on a Saturday morning when you're rolling out of bed, grabbing for your iPhone, and scrolling through your email? Where is it on Friday at 11:20 p.m.? Where is it when you're driving through campus? While you're running on a treadmill, while you're printing out your paper, while you're sipping a latte? Where is your mind when you've lost your focus? When you've lost your purpose? When you can't seem to turn off auto-pilot? When your phone won't stop beeping and your calendar keeps growing?
It's time to challenge your mind — to dance.
The Dancing Mind Challenge
Saturday Oct. 21, 2017
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. or 8 a.m. - noon
The Griot Institute for Africana Studies, in partnership with Library & IT, will again host the Dancing Mind Challenge. We invite our entire community to participate in the Challenge.
The Dancing Mind Challenge began in 2010 in response to Toni Morrison's essay, "The Dancing Mind" wherein Morrison advocates for disconnecting from the sometimes overwhelming electronic influences in our modern lives. The Griot intends this event to be an opportunity for our community to practice this often difficult idea by committing to "unplug" for four or eight consecutive hours (from 8 a.m. to noon or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21) and to spend that time engaged exclusively in reading. In addition to the pure challenge in isolation, we will also offer a public space, the Bertrand second floor library lounge (available from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.), within which to participate in this challenge with friends, classmates, and colleagues.
In order to participate in the Dancing Mind Challenge, all that students, faculty, administrators, and staff have to do is pledge on-line, at the registration site below, to disconnect from phone, computer and television and any other electronic device and to commit to "dance" with the mind of a new or favorite author, to complete the Challenge, and then to reflect on the experience with a thoughtful response on the Dancing Mind blog site.
After completing the Dancing Mind Challenge, participants are asked to contribute their reflections on the experience to the Challenge Blog.