Gero-punk Project: Call for Collaboration

Hey, friends! I always think better with others, so I’m putting out the call for some help, looking for a few willing comrades who’d like to play with me. Have I piqued your interest? If so, read on!

Here’s what’s what: I’ve been working on Gero-punk Lexicon entries for the following ideas:

  • Embodiment (Across the life-course but particularly in later life)
  • Future older self (One of my coinages from way back!)
  • Traveling through the life course (Another one of my favorite catch-phrases!)
  • Agency & Sovereignty (Most especially in later life; these are important concepts for which there are multiple definitions and usages.)
  • Aging identity (For example, what does it mean to be “middle-aged” or in one’s “mid-life”?  How can we even know we are at the mid-point except retrospectively? How do we know we are aging? When do we become an old person?)

While I have plenty to say about this collection of ideas which play such a central role in my thinking, learning, teaching, inquiry and action, I’ve been feeling an increasingly intensifying desire to collaborate with others in fleshing all of this out.  I’d love to have your input into possible ways to conceptualize and articulate these ideas, as well as examples of these ideas. If you take a look at some of the entries to the Lexicon I’ve already made, you’ll see that if there’s a convention for the format, it is something along the lines of a provisional definition of the idea (or perhaps just a series of questions about the idea), followed by some textual examples meant to enunciate, explore, or enact the idea.

Oh, and there’s another way in which you can contribute to the Gero-punk Project in general, and the Lexicon more specifically, and that is by offering me your ideas for concepts to explore for the Lexicon as well as potential subjects for my observations and essaying. (And, if you’d like to be a guest blogger, let me know that, too!)

What’s the time-frame for this project?  Well, the Lexicon is a living, emergent project—I have been adding to previous entries as my understanding continues to shift and nuance, and will continue to do so, hopefully for a long time, so that means you can share  your ideas with me as you like.  And: I’d like to include provisional entries for the ideas listed above by the end of 2012, so get cracking, will ya?

In closing, if you’ve got some notions about either or both aspects the Lexicon project, and you’d like to collaborate with me (and get some Gero-punk Project contributor props as well), please email your input to me at:

Thank you for your time and consideration. Shine on, friends.




About Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

I am a freelance educational gerontologist, writer, community activist and facilitator. I am former Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University. I joined the faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and since that time, I've been involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners, including in Gerontology. As an undergraduate I attended Willamette University, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; my interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. My dissertation became part of a book published in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee--Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society. Over the past twenty (or more!) years I have been involved in inquiry in the areas of creativity in later life; older women's embodiment; sexuality and aging; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and inter-generational friendships and cross-generational collaborative inquiry. I am co-author, with Dr. Harry R. Moody of Aging: Concepts and Controversies (now in its 10th edition!) and first author, also with Moody, of the recently published Gerontology: The Basics, as well as author/co-author of several book chapters, articles and essays. I am on the Portland Community College Gerontology Program faculty.
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2 Responses to Gero-punk Project: Call for Collaboration

  1. Erica says:

    So glad you asked! May I begin with Aging Identity? I’ve been tooling over that one a bit these days. We are all comfortable with the idea of identity, but when we place the word “aging” in front of it, we pause. Yet I feel as though aging identity speaks to our need to change. Our aging identity can develop with us, look forward when identity has a way of holding on to the past. I’ll work on this some more and send you my notes, dear comrade. xo ew

    • jennysasser says:

      Please do begin with Aging Identity! (I’m wondering if your great piece on the mid-point would serve as textual support for a Lexicon entry on Aging Identity. Is “mid-point” nested within “aging identity,” or, rather, a separate entry? Think on it….look forward to seeing your notes!!

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