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Riverside Salem: Designing Utopia – A Collective Thought Experiment

February 25, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

3449 West River Road, Grand Island, 14072. (talk + potluck).  Join us!

Kevin Hinkley and Dr. Melanie Mayberry taught a course last semester at Niagara University that explored alternative social arrangements.  Using utopian and dystopian literature and films, they encouraged students to think about the possibility of cooperative associations that emphasize mutual aid, autonomy, and the absence of structures that facilitate domination and exploitation.  The capstone of the course was a simulation exercise in which students collectively designed a community based on the ideas they value.  Students from the course continue to talk about actualizing that community—maybe on Grand Island!—and putting their ideas into action.  Kevin and Melanie will share the lessons from their course and the surprising results of their simulation with the students.

 Kevin is a graduate of Harvard Law School and currently serves as Niagara University’s General Counsel, in addition to teaching in the Department of Political Science.  Melanie Mayberry is a recent Ph.D. graduate of the University at Buffalo’s Physical Anthropology program, and was instrumental in the effort to respectfully reinter at Assumption Cemetery the human remains from 372 gravesites at the former Erie County Poorhouse cemetery.  She teaches anthropology, archaeology, and related courses at a number of local colleges and universities.



February 25, 2018
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm