BEI Fellows gather annually and at meetings throughout the year with scholars to learn and discuss areas relevant to our Mission and Commitments. Fellows then integrate this work with their work as writers and artists within their home communities. See Events.

THEMES, 2005-2016


Borders, Boundaries and Bridges: separateness and commonness of communities


  • The Carnivore Way by BEI Scholar Cristina Eisenberg
  • Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy
  • The Politics of Resentment, Rural Consciousness and the Rise of Scott Walker by Katherine Cramer



New voices, new opportunities


Unexpected voices and why-Nikki Haley and WalMart on lowering and taking off the shelves the Confederate battle


Survey by the American Academy of Religions on views on environmental issues by religion and political party


Possible effects of Pope Francis and Laudato Si on spreading the word on effects of climate change on our home, earth



Effects of greenery on reducing fear near public housing

Problems with the environmental moment and peoples of color-Presented in Black Faces, White Spaces

Performance and political art- a play by Eve Ensler



“Spirituality,” “religiosity,” and how the two terms intersect and diverge

History of faith leaders in social movements

Spiritual legacy of Occupy movements



No meeting due to illness of Patricia Monaghan


Resilience in field biology and human social systems



Food and energy

The sacred table

The gift economy: Lewis Hyde, Genevieve Vaughan and others

Raymond Williams and Chinua Achebe: town and country

“The Colors of Nature”



Commodification and the arts

Alternative economic structures

Bell Hooks’ ideas on place

Mirror neurons and empathy



Trophic cascades and keystone predation

The Communist Manifesto

Place and history



Aldo Leopold’s vision

Standpoint and feminist epistomology

Wallace Stegner on place

Aristotelian and non-Aristotelian narrative structures



The Second Great Awakening

Native American environmental philosophy

The Chatauqua movement

Transcendentalism vs Puritanism in American culture



Philosophy of George Lakov

Framing, metaphor and embodiment in art

Alternative images of artists’ connection to society

Chaos theory and art

Influence of think-tanks on American politics

mary swanderBEI is a dynamic collective of artists, writers, and scholars who are dedicated to integrating concepts of earth, arts, spirituality, and society. BEI has provided a sage network of supportive activists with whom to share my work, deepen my consciousness of social justice, and become inspired to action. As a BEI fellow, I have made friendships with some of the most talented writers and probing scholars throughout the U.S. and abroad. – Mary Swander