• Allison Pelyhes

Numen Lumen l Shannon Lundeen l 4/14/2022

Shannon Lundeen shares how her love of humor and identity as a dreamer helps her through her journey with loss and grief, unexpected pregnancy, and moving forward. Shannon uses Mary Oliver's poem entitled, "Dreams" to weave her stories together and invite us into what happens when the world throws unexpected moments your way.

“Dreams” by Mary Oliver

All night the dark buds of dreams open richly. In the center of every petal is a letter, and you imagine if you could only remember and string them all together they would spell the answer. It is a long night, and not an easy one — you have so many branches, and there are diversions — birds that come and go, the black fox that lies down to sleep beneath you, the moon staring with her bone-white eye. Finally you have spent all the energy you can and you drag from the ground the muddy skirt of your roots and leap awake with two or three syllables like water in your mouth and a sense of loss — a memory not yet of a word, certainly not yet the answer — only how it feels when deep in the tree all the locks click open, and the fire surges through the wood, and the blossoms blossom.


Dr. Shannon Lundeen’s administrative work over the past decade has focused on diversity, inclusion, critical pedagogies, engaged learning, and interdisciplinary curriculum development. She is an award-winning teacher who has taught courses ranging from introduction to gender studies to graduate seminars on the science of sex and sexuality. Her teaching and scholarly interests include feminist philosophy, gender and sexuality studies, critical pedagogies, residential learning communities, and experiential learning in undergraduate education. Dr. Lundeen oversees the incorporation and development of academic initiatives in Elon’s eight residential neighborhoods, working to advance the University’s goal of transforming the residential experience at Elon by integrating the residential, academic, and social aspects of campus life.


Our Numen Lumen theme this year invites speakers and musicians to ponder the idea of dreaming. “Dreaming” will push our community to traverse the passive and active forms that dreaming takes in our lives. Speakers will explore the literal and figurative series of images, ideas, sensations, and emotions in the mind and through their work.

We ask speakers to ponder where reality and dreaming meet, what form dreaming takes in their everyday lives, and how dreaming directs their pathway. Can dreaming be a productive form of activism? Is dreaming strictly forward-thinking, or can it exist without time restraints? Is dreaming simply an involuntary experience? How may dreaming be dangerous, or irresponsible in the face of real-world issues? Or, where can it be a useful instrument? What are the burdens of dreaming? What or who makes you dream?

We encourage you to share your thoughts and responses to our speaker in the comment section below!

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