About Susan Parenti


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Social Change Expert

Susan Parenti is a touring performer, writer, and collaborator with Dr. Patch Adams. She was one of the founding organizers of the School for Designing a Society, a grassroots school for social change in Urbana, IL. The relationship between the School for Designing a Society and the Gesundheit Institute owes much of its existence to Susan.

Susan has authored three books: "The Politics of the Adjective 'Political'", "'I' and My Mouth and Their Irresistible Life in Language", and "Playing Attention to Language". Susan is currently co-writing a book with Patch Adams called "The Politics of Care".

Susan received her masters and doctorate degree in musical arts (DMA) from the University of Illinois, and her bachelors degree from Northwestern University. After studying for two years in Rome, Italy, at the l'Academia di Santa Cecilia she became a composer as a profession.

However, Susan does not only compose music. In collaboration with Herbert Brun, Susan composes in the medium of language and of society. This means that in addition to composing pieces for chamber ensembles, she also composes schools, projects, and approaches to thinking.

Susan is currently a teacher and organizer of the School for Designing a Society in Urbana-Illinois, a two year program where composition is applied to social change. She has been a guest teacher at some of the most progressive schools in the United States and Europe: Evergreen College in Washington, Bard, Bennington, Oberlin, New College in Florida, Virginia Beach, Oklahoma State as well as on the faculty at the University of Illinois, teaching the innovative freshmen "Discovery" course. Susan has taught at Schumacher College in England, and at the Gesammtehochschule in Kassel, Germany.