Taboo: eXtreme Dialogs
~ extreme dialogues ~

Students, Faculty, Staff and community members are all welcome.

No homework, no prep, just REAL conversations!

These "hot topic" dialogues incorporate techniques developed, and facilitated by the Office of Residential Life, Student Programs, the Counseling Center, Eliot House, and Dean of Students. Other staff, faculty, and student guest facilitators occasionally host the sessions.

At a TABOO dialogue, every effort is made to make space so that all personal perspectives on a topic can be shared. It's an "uncomfortable zone/safe space." A healthy place to explore ideas and feelings while leaning into your own sometimes uncomfortable growing edges. These dialogues are "one-offs" (you dont' need to enroll, or come for multiple sessions).  You can participate once or often.

Students, Staff, Faculty, and Community members are welcome.

                To suggest a topic or recommend a facilitator drop an email to us - Taboo.

Listing of Previous Taboo Series Dialogues


Keep checking back in for more dialogs...
(they could be any day of the week, most any time for 1.5 hours)

Thursday, April 3, 2014 ~ 6:30pm to 8pmm
TABOO: Weed? Let's Get Real

Come discuss your thoughts and feelings about the current culture of marijuana, on this campus and beyond. How do international differences in law and culture impact? What are new trends in national medical marijuana laws bringing to the table?

Facilitators:Lindsey Spratt '15, Cate Cantler '16, Carrie Carter '16
Location: Blanchard Lounge (227)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014 ~ 4:30 to 6pm

Trigger warnings have become increasingly attached to internet postings, blogs, websites, and news articles in some circles. Many folks find value in also including these warnings when introducing educational presentations, social events, film screenings, news reports, and even interpersonal conversations. What role are Trigger Warnings playing in our community? Who do they help? Do they presume a particular audience? Is this approach bringing a needed self-care, feminist-focused, more gentle way of being in community into our lives? Do TW's create any unintended challenges? How do we as a community determine if/which/when to use them?

Facilitators: Karen Jacobus (Health Education), Kris Bergbom (Student Programs)
Location: Blanchard Lounge (227)

Wed. March 5, 2014 ~ 4:30 to 6pm
TABOO: Good Hair Day

There's no way that talking about HAIR -especially Womens' Hair - isn't a loaded topic for dialog. We are wearing the politics of gender, race, ethnicity, age, class, and personal health on the top of our heads everyday. Some of us get to take it more for granted than others. Some of us gain privilege with our hair. Some of us get stigmatized and marginalized. Some of us wage a life long battle with our hair. Some braid it, shave it, dye it, keep it short, keep it long, lock it, twist it, fro it, press it, curl it. For some of us our hair is a statement and for some of us our history. However, you prepare the top of your head in the morning....its a Hair Day.....Let's talk about Hair!

Facilitators: Latrina Denson (Asst. Dean of Students), Sara Blair (Residence Life)
Location: Blanchard Lounge (227)

Friday, March 7, 2014 ~ 3pm to 4:30pm
TABOO: Transgressing the norm: Genderism and Cisgender Privilege

Mount Holyoke is known as a place where people can celebrate their identities and works to support people to be their authentic self. But what happens when the culture around you tokenizes your existence or even calls into question your place on this campus? In conversations about trans* identity on campus, we often look at the experiences of transgender folks and how to support them. However, we need to continue to ask if and how campus systems are primarily designed to support and 'norm' the experiences of non-transgender (cisgender) individuals, and the gender binary. Is this heightened because this is a Women's College? Is there/should there be a different way to approach this?


Wednesday, March 12, 4:30 to 6pm
TABOO: It's not funny: Identities, slurs and the politics of humor

Does humor give a free pass to terms and isms that would otherwise be offensive? Can we use racist / sexist / genderist / homophobic / ableist / ethnicist / other slurs if we "don't mean it that way"? What if we are part of the identity group in question? How does our use of language, and our tolerance of it, shift with the spaces we occupy?

Facilitators: Sadia Khatri '15 and Cari Morrison '
Location: Blanchard Lounge (227)


Taboo: eXtreme Dialogs


Suggested Topics with faciltiators and dates tba include...

- Feeling Broke and Left Out: Facing the rising costs of belonging to a college community.
- Food Justice issues
- Women's relationships to "Authority" around the globe
- Invisible Femmes
- Politics of "Academic English"
- Cyberbullying / Hate Crimes vs. Freedom of Expression On-line

- Bi/Multiracial Identity and the Politics of Being Enough

- transgender culture at a historically womens' college

- media influences on 'rape culture'


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