Francesca Howell

Adjunct Associate
Adjunct Faculty


MA in Resilient Leadership - Adjunct Faculty
BA in Environmental Studies - Adjunct Faculty


PhD, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
MPhil, Cambridge University, (Clare Hall), Cambridge, UK
BS, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

From the heart

Naropa is unique, not only in academia, but in the world. Here we can speak of and teach compassion, modeling contemplative practice from an interfaith perspective. It is a place where we can study, explore and co-create what an enlightened society might look like.


  • Georgetown University Bosco Award for outstanding scholarship over four years of undergraduate study, 1979

  • Graduated from Georgetown Magna cum Laude, 1979

  • Making Magic with Gaia: Practices to heal our planet. (Red Wheel/Weiser, 2002). The Italian edition of my US/UK book became an Italian bestseller on Italy's "mind-body-spirit" lists, 2008.

Other Selected publications

  • Food, Festival and Religion: Materiality and place in Italy, London and NY: Bloomsbury Academic, August 2018.
  • "Contemplative Ethnography: Mindful Explorations into Materiality and New Animism", Wisdom Now, Journal of the Department of Wisdom Traditions, Naropa University, Fall 2017.
  • “With Rituals Large and Small, We Heal, We Re-member", in Ritual and Healing: Stories of Ordinary and Extraordinary Transformation. Eulert, D. and S. Krippner (eds). Carlsbad, CA, USA: Motivational Press, 2013.
  • “Heterotopia, Community and Sense of Place: Performing land and folding time in the Badalisc festival of Northern Italy”, Folklore, Vol. 124. Issue 1. April 2013.

Among the courses Francesca has taught since coming to Naropa in 2001

  • COR 220 - Community-based Learning and Action

  • ENV 245 - Geography: Pilgrimage and Sacred Landscape

  • ENV 645 - The New Science & Its Cultural Implications

  • ENV 785 - Environmental Leadership Capstone Seminar