“Making your life is ultimately an extraordinary creative endeavor.” ~Anna Deavere Smith
Cathy B. Glenn is a San Francisco Bay Area native, the first of 6 children. Born and raised in a violently authoritarian family culture, she has always been obsessed with agency, with the idea that even those trapped at the very bottom with the least power can still choose and find places to resist. Her search for agency became a journey into ideas, and while learning and exploring, she earned a B.A. and M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
As a graduate student at SIUC, she co-founded and edited Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research, which continues to lead as a forum for high quality graduate student scholarship. As a new faculty member at Saint Mary’s College of California, she established and directed a nationally award-winning forensics program. Her popular critical scholarship is published in various books and journals, and she is a San Francisco Commonwealth Club speaker alum. Cathy currently sits on the editorial boards of the Journal for Critical Animal Studies and Kaleidoscope.
The absence of any U.S. research program dedicated to understanding rural cultures here energizes Cathy’s current focus on development of The Center for U.S. Rural Cultures Studies. Committed to understanding the cultures created by 46 million U.S. citizens, the Center is the only project of its kind focused on first-hand study of rural norms around the country. The Enabling Conditions Study–the Center’s premiere project– is the first of its kind in the U.S. to begin collection of “relational big data” in order to understand relational patterns in rural areas. Related creative projects are also in process.
Having lived first-hand again, recently, the connections between unhealthy human relational patterns and everyday authoritarianism, Cathy is deeply committed to living democratic principles and processes. She continues her rural cultures research in Sea Ranch, California through 2019, while concurrently developing projects based on 19 months of data collection in Josephine County, Oregon. She works intentionally independently of any business, religious, academic, or political organizations.
Cathy can’t live her life without access to trees (@just.trees.yo ) and beautiful trails. (@ebrpd) Her life is so much more creative with a reason to trespass and dance. (@giggin.one) She hikes (#30trails30days) solo and while she’s gone, the current love of her life, Sparkles the cat, holds down the fort. (@lilfam.one)