Glendinning, Chellis

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Female. Education: Attended Smith College; graduated from University of California at Berkeley, 1969; Columbia Pacific University, Ph.D., 1984.


Home—Box 130, Chimayo, NM 87522. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Shambhala Publications, P.O. Box 308, Boston, MA 02117.


Author, psychologist, and political activist. Guest lecturer at colleges and institutions, including Harvard University, Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, California Pacific Medical Center, American Psychological Association, and New Mexico Highlands University. Served on advisory boards of organizations, including EarthWays Foundation, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Earth Island Institute, Peace and Conflict Studies Department at University of California, Berkeley, and Loka Institute.


Jacques Ellul Society (founding member), Phi Beta Kappa.


First Times Award for Short Story Writing, New Mexico Council for the Humanities, 1989; grant, Foundations of Deep Ecology of San Francisco, 1993; Zero Injustice Award, Rio Arriba County Commission, 1997; National Federation of Press Women Book Award, 2000, for Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Imperialism, the Global Economy, and Other Earthly Whereabouts; Communications awards, New Mexico Press Women, 2001, 2002; Best Local Writer awards, Rio Grande Sun, 2000, 2003.


Waking up in the Nuclear Age: The Book of Nuclear Therapy, Beech Tree Books (New York, NY), 1987.

When Technology Wounds: The Human Consequences of Progress, Morrow (New York, NY), 1990.

My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1994.

Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Imperialism, the Global Economy, and Other Earthly Whereabouts, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1999.

Chiva: A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade, New Society (Gabriola, British Columbia, Canada), 2005.

Contributor to anthologies and volumes, including Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner Sierra Club Books (New York, NY), 1995. Contributor to periodicals, including Utne Reader, Mother Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bay Guardian, New Mexican, Orion, La Herencia del Norte, and Earth First! Guest editor of journal Race Poverty and the Environment issue "Burning Fires: Nuclear Technology and Communities of Color."


A collection of poems about village life and essays on social thinker Frantz Fanon, bioregionalism, and social change as it relates to globalization.


Author Chellis Glendinning is a licensed clinical counselor in the state of New Mexico as well as a political activist concerned with issues of society and technology, globalization, and social change. She has given readings at or lectured for institutions such as Stanford University, Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, American Psychological Association, the Center for Psychology and Social Change at Harvard University, Naropa Institute, Prescott College, and the University of Northern Arizona. A former resident of San Francisco, she lives with an indigenous community in the small New Mexico village of Chi-mayo, where she ponders "Western civilization" while remaining removed from it. Glendinning endorses a contemplative view of the dysfunction of the Western world in her book, My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization. In this book she examines societal dysfunction as a social issue and "clearly spells out why it is essential that we reevaluate the assumptions, values, and the very structures of Western society," commented Lorraine M. Fish in an interview with Glendinning for Evergreen Monthly Online. "Indeed, a healthy human being is, after all, only as healthy as his or her environment." Glendinning's world in Chimayo "is based on completely different assumptions about what life is, what death is, what success is, what kindness is, what right is," she commented in an interview with Beth Burrows in Talking Leaves. Booklist reviewer Mary Ellen Sullivan declared that "this brilliant, offbeat, and ultimately provocative book is nothing short of revolutionary."

Waking up in the Nuclear Age: The Book of Nuclear Therapy deals with issues of nuclear-related distress, a psychological condition associated with anxiety about nuclear power, the safety of nuclear plants, and the overall usefulness of nuclear technology compared to its profound capacity for devastation. As a psychologist, Glendinning worked with patients coping with this condition, and in what Library Journal reviewer Frieda Shoenberg Rozen called a "personal and impassioned book," she endorses group "nuclear therapy" work to help sufferers overcome their distress and associated feelings of helplessness in the face of a power they cannot control.

In When Technology Wounds: The Human Consequences of Progress, Glendinning tells the stories of forty-six "'technology survivors'—people who have been harmed by technologies in the workplace and environment," wrote Susan G. Hadden in American Political Science Review. Hadden noted that "several of them sustained long-term injuries from exposure to new medical technologies" such as reproductive technologies and radiation-based treatments. Harmful technologies range from the artificial sweetener aspar-tame, to weed-control chemicals, to the well-documented harmful effects of asbestos, chemical additives, and nuclear fallout. Glendinning herself suffered ill effects from birth-control pills and devices. However, reviewer Lee Dembart, writing in Los Angeles Times, disagreed with Glendinning's assertion that technology has caused widespread, unchecked harm. "By focusing on the harms of science and ignoring its benefits, Glendinning has written a book that will persuade no one but the persuaded," Dembart commented. "She offers case studies of people who have been hurt by technology (herself included), and she argues that these cases are widespread and inevitable. As a society, we reject that view," Dembart continued. Glendinning "does at least try to offer some solutions," Hadden noted, including a "a new interest group, a Union of Technology Survivors, who can organize the educational, legal, and political resources needed to further policy agenda—a combination of support payments and technology controls," Hadden reported. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book "an alarming and persuasive expose."

Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Imperialism, the Global Economy, and Other Earthly Whereabouts offers a "lyrical meditation on the human costs of economic globalization," commented a reviewer in Publishers Weekly. Glendinning asserts that the U.S.-dominated system of corporate imperialism "that pockets the world's raw materials and labor at bargain-basement prices" creates a global economy that destroys communities, ecosystems, and lifestyles, the Publishers Weekly reviewer noted. She intersperses her anti-globalization argument with images of a horseback ride through the New Mexico badlands, stories of her own harrowing history of being abused as a child, and the plight of struggling Hispanic farmers in northern Mexico, finding links to imperialism among all her subjects. Glendinning "makes some interesting connections between these ideas" and concepts in the book, noted Gwen Gregory in Library Journal.

"We all have something to offer; everybody has a grain of truth," Glendinning commented in her Evergreen Monthly interview with Fish. "We need to listen to each other."



American Political Science Review, December, 1990, Susan G. Hadden, review of When Technology Wounds: The Human Consequences of Progress, pp. 1370-1372.

Booklist, April 1, 1994, Mary Ellen Sullivan, review of My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization, p. 1407.

Library Journal, May 15, 1987, Frieda Shoenberg Rozen, review of Waking up in the Nuclear Age: The Book of Nuclear Therapy, p. 89; March 15, 1990, review of When Technology Wounds, p. 105; August, 1999, Gwen Gregory, review of Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Imperialism, the Global Economy, and Other Earthly Whereabouts, p. 123.

Los Angeles Times, April 24, 1990, Lee Dembart, "She's Singing the Same Old Song about Technology," p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, February 23, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of When Technology Wounds, p. 211; August 23, 1999, review of Off the Map, p. 36.

San Francisco Chronicle, Patricia Holt, "Is Our Technology Making Us Sick?," section E, p. 15.

Talking Leaves, summer-fall, 2001, Beth Burrows, interview with Glendinning.

Wall Street Journal, June 16, 1997, G. Pascal Zachary, "Technology (A Special Report): The Skeptics—Not So Fast: Neo-Luddites Say an Unexamined Cyberlife Is a Dangerous One," section R, p. 18.

Whole Earth Review, winter, 1991, Robin Bishop, review of When Technology Wounds, p. 14.


Evergreen Monthly Online, (August 30, 2004), Lorraine M. Fish, author interview.

We Bought the Farm Web site, (August 30, 2004), "Chellis Glendinning."

Writers Register, (August 30, 2004), author profile.