Humiliation and Revenge: Links by Nuruddin Farah
Sultan Somjee kindly wrote to me on 28.02.2004:
Just finished reading Nuruddin Farah's novel called Links. He is the famed
Somali writer. Links is about humiliation and revenge in Mogadiscio. The
loss of human dignity and culture. Insightful situations in a degraded city.
Please read a review about this novel by Richard Barlett on
http://www.africanreviewofbooks.com/Reviews/farah.html (this review first appeared in www.africanreviewofbooks.com; I received the kind permission of Luzette Strauss, Website Editor of African Review of Books, to place this link on our website):
Jeebleh is a Somalian who returns from the comfort of New Yok to his homeland of Somalia after an absence of more than 20 years. He has returned to his birthplace to mourn the death of his recently deceased mother. He has left his anxious family behind, and arrives in Mogadiscio as foreigner with a Somali passport. His distance, his separation, from his nuclear family, is a metaphor for the similar distance between the reality of Somalia and his/our notions of family. ...
For further information, please see www.africanreviewofbooks.com.
Art in Context by Mette Newth
Mette Newth wishes to contribute to our discussions around our intervention project World Films for Equal Dignity. Please see Mette Newth's biographical paragraph on our Advisory Board page.
Mette sends us a report on a colloquium on art and conflict resolution that took place in Oslo when Mette was Rector of the Oslo National College of the Arts (I gave a presentation in the framework of this colloquium).
Warm thanks, dear Mette!
ART IN CONTEXT
COUNCIL OF EUROPE’S EXPERT COLLOQUIUM OCT. 7- 9 2002
ON INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE AND CONFLICT PREVENTION
THE CHALLENGE OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY
“ART AS AN ARENA FOR INVESTIGATING CONFLICTS”
by Ms Mette Newth, author and former rector of the Oslo National College of the Arts
Oslo October 2002
"There is no true art without sincere human compassion" Leonardo da Vinci
Humans create art and culture, and art and culture shape humans and their societies. Cultural identity is of fundamental importance to the individual as well as to society; as pertinent to each person’s self-conception and expression, as to a community's common framework of reference. No culture is truly static, nor is any people's culture ever a solitary island. Throughout history cultural encounters have taken place; cultures have influenced each other, often mutually beneficial, but sometimes to the loss of one of the parties.
Far too many nations still struggle to accept their state of multiculturalism in the wake of (unwanted) refugees and immigrants. Far too many conflicts and wars stem from suppression of cultures and/or faiths, segregation or ghettofication of peoples. As nations and as individuals we need to recognise that human rights and cultural diversity are fundamental to the safety, dignity and well being of all individuals and societies. We are all responsible for contributing to changes of attitudes, practices and politics.
Towards the end of the 20th Century, yet another devastating conflict erupted in the war-torn Balkans. The then president Milosevic of former Yugoslavia instigated systematic ethnic cleansing on Albanians in Kosovo, and in Spring of ‘99 the NATO-allies launched an intensive war of bombs in order to force the regime in Belgrade to stop the atrocities in Kosovo. The Serbian rulers’ systematic suppression of the Albanian language in schools, public service and medias was undoubtedly the early warning signal of worse to come; the encroachment and discrimination based on ethnic origin or religious beliefs.
Recognition of our common responsibility constitutes the platform for the further education project “Art as an arena for investigating conflicts” organised by the Oslo National College of the Arts - ONCA in 2000. The fact that Norway as a member of NATO had participated in the military action against the rulers in Belgrade, served to emphasise the moral obligation to initiate a dialogue with both Albanians and Serbs.
ONCA, representing the highest level of education for visual arts and design, dance, theatre and opera in Norway, thus accepted the challenge posed by the international conference ”Culture and conflict prevention” held in Norway in 1999, jointly hosted by the Norwegian chairmanship of the OSCE and the Council of Europe. The OSCE Annual Review Conference in Vienna in October ‘99 also underlined the need to establish ongoing conflict-solving programmes within the field of art and culture with emphasis on the need to aim projects at young people as an audience.
The ONCA project aimed to investigate conflicts between peoples of different ethnic backgrounds, cultures or faiths through artistic approaches, techniques and methods. In order to ensure professional attitudes and skills on the part of the participants, the ONCA designed the project as a further education programme. Regarding communication as vital to the co-operation within the group, the disciplines of scenic and visual arts were chosen, as these arts easily transcend language barriers.
Regarding the establishment of an arena for dialogue and interaction between equal partners with vastly different experiences and backgrounds as vital, and in respect for the participants’ need to freely engage in an innovative artistic process, the ONCA deliberately refrained from detailing the theme or predetermining the end result. However, it was evident that the project was not only personal journeys of enlightenment, but also aimed to result in public performances, as well as to contribute to establish more permanent further educational schemes such as this. Furthermore the ONCA underlined that the working methods and process of artistic interaction would be documented and presented as a model applicable to education on human rights and cross-cultural interaction.
Participants were selected tutors and students of art and professional artists from Pristina, Belgrade and Oslo. The project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spanned 6 months of 2000. The programme included a week of lectures for the Norwegian participants focused on human rights and democracy-building, conflict analysis and the conditions for reconciliation, presented by Human Rights NGOs, Norwegian UN-officials, research and educational institutions and representatives of the organisations of Serbs and Kosovars, visits by all Norwegian participants to Belgrade and Pristina, institutional co-operation and exchange lectures, and last but not least, 6 weeks of intensive workshops in Oslo, also including discussions with human rights organisations.
The artists of Belgrade and Pristina who met in Oslo in June 2000 for the first week of workshop, had not been in contact since before the war, although some of the artists had actually worked professionally together in Belgrade before the "years of Apartheid", as expressed by a Kosovar actor. Evidently, the first week of their meeting was extremely difficult and painful. As organisers and fellow artists we knew that the participants, having committed themselves to the idea and aims of the programme, would strive to bridge their deep personal and political conflicts with the power of their professional skills, as they indeed did. By the end of the week, the individual artists as well as the group had established mutual trust on a professional level, the kind of interdependency that is fundamental to the success of any stage performance.
During the four months that passed before the whole group met for 5 weeks of intensive workshops in Oslo, email-contact was upheld and the Norwegian artists travelled to Pristina and the increasingly turbulent Belgrade. A few days before the whole group met in Oslo, the Milosevic regime came to an end, an event also influencing the artistic work of the group as well as the heated discussions of how and why, and who was to blame. Having a common goal of producing free expressions of quality, the Serbian and Kosovar artists continued their discussions, sometimes too sensitive for Norwegian ears. The Norwegians on the other hand, had a unique opportunity of investigating their role in a conflict of this horrendous magnitude, a self-critical study that most Western peacemakers and do-gooders would benefit from undertaking.
Since the project formally ended in Oslo on November 17th of 2000 with a public presentation of the artistic works in progress, the artists from Belgrade, Pristina and Oslo have kept in contact. Whereas the Norwegian artists now were able to freely travel between Belgrade and Pristina, the Serbian and Kosovar artists, only miles apart, paradoxically enough have to leave Yugoslavia to meet, in spite of all international peace keeping efforts.
Some of the artists are now working on joint projects, some have produced new work. Thus the MIMART dance theatre staged their performance "Made in Norway" on March 24 2001 in Belgrade, exactly two years after the NATO bombing began, a day loudly commemorated in Belgrade by supporters of the former president Milosevic.
The artist education institutions in Belgrade, Pristina and Oslo are connected through formal agreements, thus also being able to continue to manifest that cultural diversity, freedom of expression, opinion and belief are fundamental to the dignity and well being of individuals and to peace in any society.
What’s art got to do with conflict solving?
This question was frequently asked by many a human rights or conflict expert that participated as lecturers or advisers to our project, as well as by politicians or academicians – bluntly or covertly. The answer is simply that artists, although often quick to respond to the injustice of war or suppression, are no more qualified to engage in conflicts of war than any other professional group in society, say plumbers or bank directors. But neither are artists less able to undertake the individual and collective responsibility that follows from living in a world where the majority of their fellow humans constantly suffer the consequences of wars, poverty and hunger, and gross violations of their precious human rights.
To involve, engage and care I firmly believe to be the moral right and duty of all citizens. To remain indifferent seems to me to represent a precarious squandering of ones democratic right to voice and participate in the shaping of our common world. In this day and age of the superpowers’ war against terrorism, state leaders needing public support for their actions will more often than not count the silent bystander as part of the nodding majority.
Art is communication. Art makes an impact, on individuals as well as societies. When art is created in earnest and freely expressed, the poem or the painting, the play or the song, often accurately voices the indignity, pains or hopes of people. At the best of times, art even spurs changes of minds, attitudes and beliefs, this being some of the most important ingredients for social change.
History is full of examples of this, which may best be characterised as the artist’s self-defined role in society, that of investigating and expressing different understandings of reality, or questing values and preconceptions.
In recent times, Salman Rushdie’s novel, “Satanic Verses”, is probably the most stunning example of the social impact a work of art may have, both politically and culturally. The novel was deemed in Iran as highly blasphemous and subversive, worthy of a deadly “fatwa” proclaimed against the author, his translators and publishers.
Art in context
Increasingly, art and culture is being focused in cultural and educational politics, nationally as well as internationally, as a means of bridging conflicts and as contributions to the enhancement of mutual respect and understanding. The focus on the role of art in society is important to the higher education of artists, not least in view of the growing number of coming artists who wish to explore new arenas for performing their work. By providing art students with opportunities of exploring their artistic ambitions in a social context, the institutions will be able to respond to an aesthetic and ethic need expressed by societies.
As artistic expressions more frequently are being employed in human rights or peace education world wide, it seems evident that systematic co-operation and interaction must be encouraged between the institutions of higher education of artists, the NGO-community and institutions of research and education in general. To ensure that such co-operations are mutually beneficial for students, tutors and society alike, all parties must strive to enter into co-operation with open minds, respectful of each profession’s distinctive qualities and skills, and intent on freely exploring the new opportunities of expression such joint ventures will represent.
The reason for stressing these preconditions for fruitful co-operation and interaction, is to warn against attempts to make art to ideological measure, so to speak. The politically correct artwork, however honourable the intentions may be, tends to be boringly predictable. No doubt also the audience can also sense the underlying boredom of the artist dutifully creating the politically correct work.
Children and juveniles in particular are the targets of the politically correct works of art. Confronting children with the facts of injustice or war or starvation through a play filling the correct pedagogical or ideological requirements have been much favoured by teachers. Sadly often having no other impact than to stir the children’s already throbbing conscience.
Art made to measure lacks the power of conviction. When powered by sincerity and compassion, art changes opinions and lives. Educators of art know that the degree of impact a work of art may have, depends on the individual artist's professional skills and earnest dedication, his or her ability to freely explore the vast variety of human experience of reality. Educators of art also know that while artistic talent cannot be taught, anyone can learn to use the skills of our trades in more innovative or professional ways.
Learning artistic methodology from inside, so to speak, also allows for insight into the basic elements of art, such as meeting the challenges of aesthetics or communication, mastering the undercurrent of conflicts driving a drama, or establishing the relationship of trust between the artists that any good stage performance relies on.
This is an area for constructive cross-disciplinary co-operation and interaction that should indeed be focused on the curriculum of higher education of artists as well as teachers, and should be pursued in politics of culture and education in general.
This presentation aims to contribute to the discussion on preconditions for lasting, fruitful cultural diversity. Some of the lessons learned through our project might very well be useful in this context.
is crucial in any cross-cultural co-operation or interaction. The partners must have equal status and equal opportunities of influencing the agenda, the process or the project. This is a lesson also we learned, in spite of our efforts to avoid pre-defining our project. The concept of bridge building, so frequently used as a metaphor for co-operation across differences, should be thoroughly investigated. No bridge is ever built from only one side of the river. No co-operation is ever fruitful when defined by the one party. Any process of interaction or co-operation must be regarded as a process of mutual learning, and must therefore be open to adjustments and changes
An attitude of self-criticism
is crucial to the establishment of a fruitful environment for earnest dialogue. There is nothing more destructive to co-operation than self-righteousness, as the bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine is a painful proof of.
In our project it proved important to supply the participants both with broad background documentation of the conflict in Kosovo and information on Norway’s history of national independence, of discrimination of the ethnic minority of the Sami people, and current human rights problems in Norway.
Adopting this attitude of open self-criticism on the part of the ONCA as an institution and the Norwegian participants, helped to relieve our Serbian and Kosovar colleagues of their feeling of guilt and shame. To constantly remind all the participants that no nation can ever claim that “this could not have been us” also helped relieve the tension, and no less important; made it easier for the Norwegian participants to identify with and involve in the conflicting feelings of their Serbian and Kosovar colleagues. Personally I believe this – the abolition of “the innocent bystander” - to be crucial in conflict solving.
Recognising that cross-cultural co-operation is no easy ride
Ensuring the lasting mutual respect for cultural identity and human rights is a slow process, anywhere in the world. The fact that human rights must be respected above and beyond cultural traditions is hard to accept for many, particularly ethnic minorities already under pressure to integrate into the majority culture. All the more important to recognise the need to establish arenas for the continuous, free and earnest dialogue and interaction on all levels of society.
Children and young people are always the most vulnerable in any kind of conflict, but they also represent the group of any community most receptive to change. Undoubtedly, education represents by far the most significant arena of dialogue. It is through relentless efforts and systematic work within all levels of the educational system that deep-rooted attitudes and prejudices may be transformed into peaceful and constructive co-existence.
This obligation naturally also includes higher education for artists responsible for educating the future custodians of art expressions and creative communication between people.
However, the most important contribution to the prevention or avoidance of conflicts is to be aware of, and respond to, the “early warning” signals of conflicts, such as the suppression of language, culture and religious belief.
THE OSLO NATIONAL COLLEGE OF THE ARTS FURTHER EDUCATION PROJECT: “ART AS AN ARENA FOR INVESTIGATING CONFLICTS.”
From Pristina, included the University of Pristina, Faculty of the Arts
Evner Petrovci, actor and director and tutor
Valbona Petrovci, pianist and tutor
Ernesta Zhubi, actress
Arta Dobroshi, actress
Mentor Zymberaj, assistant tutor of scenic movements
Zeni Bal’azhi, student of visual art
Eliza Hoxha, student of visual art
Nela Antonovic, choreographer and dancer
Ivana Joksimovic, dancer
Bojana Mladenovic, choreographer and dancer
Marko Gvero, actor
Marjia Obsenica actor
Zana Poliakov, visual artist.
Tutor from the Faculty of Theatre: Thea Stabell, actor and instructor
Tutor from the Faculty of Dance: Ingunn Rimestad, dancer
Tutor from the Faculty of Visual Arts: Steinar Christensen, visual artist
Hooman Sharifi, choreographer and dancer
Per Roar, dancer
John S. Kristensen, actor
Cathrine Myhre, actor
Anne Lise Stenseth, visual artist
Leif Gaute Staurland, visual artist.
Karoline Frogner, film director
Maria Warsinsky, fim director
Oslo National College of the Arts project group:
Inger Lise Eid, Thea Stabell, Ingunn Rimestad, Steinar Christensen and Mette Newth
Research Group on Humiliation: An Invitation by Katrine Fangen
I would like to encourage all researchers who do, or wish to do research relating to the notion of humiliation to form a group of mutual support and cooperation. Please read Katrine Fangen's project description further down. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the University in Oslo and would like to be part of our group on humiliation-related research. I would very much appreciate your contribution! Thank you!
Evelin, Paris, February 2004
Katrine Fangen presents her work as follows:
I am conducting a post-doctoral study of Somalis living in Norway.
The study is divided in two project-periods, a one-year study of Somalian concepts of health, especially mental health, and how they cope with psychological problems. The other project-period lasts for four years, and the research topic is identity and integration. This project will focus on different groups of Somalis, ranging from Somalis with higher education to unemployed Somalis, from religious Somalis to secular ones, young and old, men and women, single persons and families. The point is to find out more about different coping strategies of Somalis in Norway, and how various identity solutions and levels of integration are related to background factors such as status in Somalia, own and parents education, etc.
My empirical material consists of interviews with both Norwegians and Somalis who work with Somali clients of various types. Many of these Somali helpers work as so-called natural helpers, that is, they have no formal education but use their own life-experiences and high status in the Somali milieus as their competence for working as bridge-builders between the formal social and health services in Norway and Somali clients. They also work directly with Somalis who have problems in marriage or with parent-child relations.
In addition I interview Somalis in different positions in society, both families and single persons, both young and old. I will also participate as an observer in two focus-groups, one consists of women coming together to discuss the issue of pain, and the other is a group which is meant to educate natural helpers.
In 2005 I will do a short fieldwork in Somalia. One of the goals for the fieldwork will be to visit a women's project in Mogadishu, which is a rehabilitation project for women who have experienced rape and disabuse.
One of my concerns is how war, refugee-camps, transit and life in exile, including discrimination on the work-market and the housing-market, affect those Somalis who have suffered these experiences. One focus will be how experiences of humiliation express themselves in Somali life in exil, how Somalis verbalise these experiences, and which kind of help they wish or could think of applying for.
Katrine Fangen, Oslo, February 2004
Humiliation and Abusive Relationships: See work by Sam Vaknin
Sam Vaknin wrote on 06.02.2004:
Dear Evelin (please call me Sam),
What a fascinating Web site! I bookmarked it for further perusal.
I have also promoted your Web site to the 2000 members of my study list
You may find these of particular interest:
There is a lot more about humiliation in abusive relationships here:
I deal with psychological aspects of politics and history on my Web site.
Feel free to link to, reprint, or quote any article found on these Web sites
(with appropriate credits and link back to the original):
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org OR (as backup) email@example.com
(Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
(Relationships with Abusive Narcissists)
(The Politics and Economies of Countries in Transition)
(Internet Matters and Business on the Web)
(Buy "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited")
The Feeling of Being Humiliated in the Classroom by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan
The Feeling of Being Humiliated in the Classroom
Dr. Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan
Professor and Head of the Department of Education, University of Madras,
Madras 600 005, India
(Professor Emeritus in 2003)
Published in the Journal Experiments in Education in 2001,
placed on www.humiliationstudies.org with his permission, February 2004
Being humiliated is an unwelcome experience. However, it is universal too – in that everyone suffers this experience at some point or other in his/her lifetime. Though the humiliating episode may be short and not physically nor economically damaging it is psychologically painful and lingers long – in consciousness soon after the experience, and in the unconscious for a very long time, often through decades into old age. Dr. Evelin Gerda Linder, a physician and cross-cultural psychologist in the institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, has done extensive and intensive research on this theme but in the military context. She has adopted a truly multidisciplinary approach.
Being humiliated is a very common experience in schools and colleges. The perpetrator may be the teacher or the seniors. “Ragging” as it is occurring in our colleges is a humiliating experience. It is sometimes so traumatic that the victim commits suicide. And, there are teachers who humiliate their students sometimes unwittingly and sometimes wantonly. Some of them – especially, those subscribing to the old schools of thought – may justify it to others and to themselves on the ground that it is a form of motivation adopted to provoke the victim to improve himself or herself. We do not know whether being humiliated has ever been found to be effective in this direction. We believe that even if it is effective scholastically it inflicts incalculable damage on the self-concept of the learner.
There must be varied forms of humiliation in the classroom. A survey of the different forms of humiliation can be undertaken to identify the forms and classify them. The forms can be classified in terms of the source – whether it is conscious and intentional or unconscious and unintentional; the nature of the target, manifestation /effect on the victim, and consequences. The impact will be severe when it is conscious and intentional. When the target is a group its impact will be less severe than when it is an individual.
We also believe that all those teachers who humiliate their students – whatever their professed intention may be – are sadistic. If the target is a group most probably it is rooted in the source’s prejudices against and stereotypes target. If the context is scholastic it will have a kind of reverse Pygmalion Effect. Yes, when the victim is a pre-school or elementary school child the damage will be disproportionately severe and lasting. Whereas older children may be able to recognise the sadistic nature and prejudices of the teacher and to that extent minimise the damage young and innocent children are utterly defenseless. In fact they may not even be able to comprehend and articulate and report the experience of being humiliated to their parents.
There may be varied patterns of humiliation vis-a-vis the source: a teacher may be given to humiliating all his/her students, always. Or, he/she may do so occasionally. He/she may persistently humiliate a particular individual student or a particular group. He/she may compare and contrast an individual with another individual, an individual with a group, or a group with another group. For example, we have referred in these columns a few years ago to the negative effect of such comparisons when siblings study in the same class successively and the younger one is compared unfavourably with his/her sibling especially of the same sex. The humiliation may be direct and verbal or indirect, sarcastic and non-verbal. Jean Paul Sartre, for example, has dealt with the humiliating experience of the Other’s Look in his magnum opus Being and Nothingness.
The nature and effect of humiliation may also vary depending upon the source, the target the nature of the recipient and the context. We surmise that the elements and/or their proportions in the content of the experience of humiliation will be different according to the source, context and the nature of the target. The experience of humiliation may involve helplessness, hostility to the source, guilt, or self-pity. We surmise that being humiliated by a male teacher will be more traumatic for the girls than the other way about. We also surmise that being humiliated in a mixed sex class will be more traumatic for both the sexes than in a single sex class. Similarly, we surmise that the trauma will be more severe and longer lasting on girls than on boys.
We surmise that the phenomenology – the elements and/or their proportions in the contents of the experience – of humiliation will be somewhat different for the different groups: Helplessness, guilt, self-pity, covert or overt hostility towards the source are likely to be ingredients of the experience of humiliation. Again, the cultural differences may make for differences in the perception, experience and direction for provenance of humiliation.
Inasmuch the traces of the trauma of the experience can never be fully wiped off even if the source makes abundant and public amends, it is better to prevent humiliation than try to cure it –if at all this is possible. The best way to prevent it is to choose teachers who have imbibed the value of the intrinsic dignity of a human being. A variety of behavioural tools like Abidon’s, Bale’s, and Flander’s Interaction Analysis Categories have been developed in the fifties and the sixties of the last century. However, the phenomenology of students’ classroom experience which mediates between teacher behaviour and the students’ learning. We believe the classroom experience should be an empowering and not a humiliating one. We also believe that teachers must be specifically sensitised to the traumatic nature of even small, casual humiliating experiences. We believe it is absolutely essential to adopt qualitative methods of research to gain an insight into the contrast between humiliating and empowering teacher-student interactions.
We commend the topic for research in the Indian educational context.
-Dr. D. Raja Ganesan
(Those who are interested in pursuing the topic “Feeling Humiliated” may contact Dr. Evelin Gerda Lindner, Physician and Cross-cultural Social Psychologist, Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo)
Please read the messages that Dr. Ganesan wrote to Lindner over the years (placed on www.humiliationstudies with his permission):
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001
Dear Dr. Lindner
Greetings from India. I read with deep interest your mail on humiliation. Humiliation is a subtle,deep and often enduring psychic violence. Even small and short episodes linger long in the mind. You have done well to highlight an unwelcome experience which is near universal --everyone is humiliated some time or other during his/her lifecourse. As far as I know this is an unexplored area. Humiliation in the classroom is totally an undeserving experience for a child who comes to the school to learn and grow into a dignified human being. I am referring to your contribution in the editorial of the forthcoming issue of "Experiments in Education" a professional journal I am editing. Of course, I will send you a copy of it as and when it is published. And I will suggest the topic for work in the Indian context for any interested doctoral student of mine.
I take the liberty of suggesting development of eufunctional psychological training strategies for bracing up to and coping with humiliation.Also, modes of getting rid of its lingering effects.
Wishing you all success
Very sincerely yours
(Professor and Head, Dept.of Education,University of Madras, Madras 600 005, India
Date: 11 Feb 2004:
I would like to offer a suggestion: The range of normative responses to varieties of humiliation in different contexts across cultures deserve to be identified, codified, consolidated and offered within the spectrum of choice in coping with attempts at humiliation -- deliberate and intentional or accidental and collateral.
I believe Indian and Chinese cultures have a different range of normative responses. Of course, they may be more autoplastic. It is not known whether autoplastic responses are more eufunctional in the long run than alloplastic responses. Of course, I for one would commend alloplastic response even if it is dysfunctional in the long run.
Wish you all success in eliminating humiliation from human interaction. An interesting if not inappropriate and amusing question: Don't we humiliate animals -- especially domestic pets-- often unwittingly?!
D. Raja Ganesan
Date: 11 Feb 2004 Dr. Ganesan wrote to one of his students:
Look at the website esp. the conference in 2005. Think of a piece of action research in conflict resolution with attention to 'humiliation' as a variable. Of course, I am willing to guide and collaborate with you.If our paper based on research along these lines is good we can think of participating in the forthcoming international conference. I also suggest you have a look at the editorial I wrote on Dr.Lindner's work in our journal sometime ago. It is, as far as I reckon, a pioneering work in a hitherto neglected area of human experience. Another suggestion is that you do some work on the phenomenology of humiliation. You can borrow a book I have on empirical phenomenology and also read my copy of Ms. Ramani's M.Phil thesis on phenomenology of test anxiety which I guided.
D. Raja Ganesan
Date: 11 Feb 2004:
Dear Dr. Lindner
My general impression -- derived from a reading of Post-Emotional Society -- is that people are getting inured -- thick-skinned! -- to humiliation. The book deals with a whole range of professions like Public Relations and Air Hostesses part of whose professional responsibilities is to bear with humiliation. And, those who are not thick skinned are falling by the way side in the rat race. And, people are ready to put up with humiliation from those above them but flare up when it is from those below them. Well, I must stop. I will keep writing to you off and on because the topic is of interest to me.
Let me add: Both the major epics of India, the Ramayana and Mahabaratha, are steered into their major crises and catastrophes because of minor, inconsequential humiliations suffered by two characters: one is a minor, and otherwise inconsequential character -- the equivalent of a servant maid, and the other, of course, the arch villain who happens to slip at which the heroine unwitingly and irrepressibly laughs. Yes, humiliations need not be of major economic consequence.
Date: 12 Feb 2004:
Dear Dr. Lindner
Greetings from India. Yes, you have a blanket permission to put up whatever you deem worthy of your website space among my reflections-of course, with a credit line.
Subsequent to my sending the e-mail it occurred to me to bring out a book of readings consisting of original texts focussing on the experience of humiliation from world class epics and mythologies and annotations thereon in print form. It can help those who are humiliated in real life to cope with -- perhaps by understanding the mute depths of their experience and finding echoes of the same in the expressions and also by way of consolation that even epic characters have suffered humiliation.
For example, the Mahabaratha has episodes of humiliation of the heroes. The heroes lose in gambling their everything including their common wife to their villanous cousins (there is a streak of polyandry here). The wife is brought by orders of the villanous cousins of the heroes to the royal court and disrobed in the public. Many poets in the various vernacular languages of India have treated this powerful and painful episode. All of them condemn the eminent figures of learned men who kept mute at this atrocity.
That brings me to another dimension of humiliation: humiliation in tete-a-tete and humiliation in the public. Again, among the Nobel Laureates in literature who has treated humiliation in an exemplary way? Perhaps the list includes Tony Morrison? A well known Tamil writer (who is no more) lost his grown up son. The writer himself had been in his seventies. What he did was to write a book on filial bereavement in epics and found catharsis and consolation thereby.
Yes, it is the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who said people will forget major injustices but minor slights often remain simmering and festering.This is an afterthought -recollection -- upon the causes of major catastophe in the two Indian epics I cited yesterday.
And that leads me to (nocturnal) dreams that follow episodes of humiliation during the day. Another dimension would be personality correlates of degree of susceptibility to humiliation. Yes, as an afterthought it also occurred to me that people are becoming -- thanks to the propulsions and compulsions of economic liberalisation and globalisation?-- not only thick skinned but also hard hearted. Well, that is at least my perception. I guess politicians are less susceptible to humiliation than people in other walks of life are! I will stop for the present. Wishing you all success
History and Humiliation by Shibley Telhami
History and Humiliation
The Washington Post, March 28, 2003
Shibley Telhami, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy
... Today militancy in the Middle East is fueled not by the military prospects of Iraq or any other state but by a pervasive sense of humiliation and helplessness in the region. This collective feeling is driven by a sense that people remain helpless in affecting the most vital aspects of their lives, and it is exacerbated by pictures of Palestinian humiliation. There is much disgust with states and with international organizations ...
Please read the entire article on http://www.brook.edu/views/op-ed/telhami/20030328.htm. Shibley Telhami was so kind as to give me the permission to post his text. Warm greetings! Evelin
Conference on Intercultural Research
Call for Proposals
Fourth Biennial International Conference on Intercultural Research
May 5-7, 2005
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio USA
General Theme: Conflict, Negotiation and Mediation Across Cultures
Call for Proposals
Fourth Biennial International Conference on Intercultural Research
May 5-7, 2005
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio USA
The conference will immediately follow the
35th anniversary of the shootings that occurred on the
campus of Kent State University on May 4, 1970
General Theme: Conflict, Negotiation and Mediation Across Cultures
General Theme, Objective, and Program and Open Invitation:
This biennial conference of the Academy focuses on the central theme of conflict, negotiation and mediation across cultures. The immediate objective of this Conference is to provide an international forum for scholars and practitioners of intercultural relations and related fields to engage in broad and meaningful dialogues. In particular, the Conference will target the systematic analysis and integration of various theories, strategies, and practices in addressing interactive issues between diverse groups both within as well as those that transcend national boundaries.
ALL theoretical and empirical works without respect to discipline are solicited. Preference will be given to those proposals which embody an interdisciplinary approach to the themes, objectives, and goals of the conference. However, participants are welcome to address any cross-culturally comparative issues that are relevant to intercultural research and relations. These can range anywhere from the family and local community,(delete comma) to international relations.
The Conference will feature keynote speakers, paper presentations, topical panels/symposia, workshops, posters, and other formal and informal exchanges of ideas and experiences.
Kent State University?s Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education is honored to co-sponsor this important international conference for the second time.
SAMPLE AREAS OF COMPARATIVE STUDIES:
Under the central theme of conflict, negotiation and mediation across cultures, the concept of culture includes both subjective and objective aspects. These aspects can be at any leavel of human endeavor: individual, family, community, business, society, and international relations.
The Conference's ultimate goal is to enhance the dialogue around characteristics associated with conflict in its broadest form, from that which is unique to a group/culture (emic) to those which seem to be common between cultures (etic).
The following list is meant to be suggestive only. Those submitting proposals are free to suggest presentations that focus on any aspect related to the conference themes.
Intercultural Dimensions of Conflict ? both domestic and international, and across a range of contexts, including (but not limited to) religion, gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, and in a variety of settings how is context different from setting.
- Negotiation and Mediation Across Cultures ? both domestic and international, and across a variety of contexts, including (but not limited to) family, community, business, societal and international
- Peacebuilding and Development
- Crisis Management and Response ? e.g. humanitarian agencies working in conflict zones, reconstruction after conflict
- New Research in Conflict Resolution
- Cutting Edge, Theory-Based Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Programs and Practices
- Intercultural Dialogue and Education for Peace - with an emphasis on youth programming, K-12 and university education
Negotiation and survival strategies of disadvantaged groups, women, minorities, and other people suffering from daily humiliation
Indigenous Approaches to Negotiation and Mediation
Research and Theory-Based Intercultural Training in Negotiation that Makes a Difference
Proposals are invited without regard to discipline or location of proposer. Proposals may fall in one of five categories: papers, panels, symposia, workshops, or posters. The Program Committee will accept proposals through December 1, 2004. Authors will be informed of the committee's decision within 60 days of the receipt of the proposal.
Three submission methods:
1. On-line: Proposals (papers and posters only) may be submitted on-line through the Academy website by clicking on the following link: On-line Proposal Submission Note, in using this method, please use only English characters (no diacritical marks).
2. As an E-mail attachment: Authors should submit their proposals simultaneously to all four members of the Program Committee (see addresses at the bottom of this page). Attachments should be in WORD or Rich Text Format.
3. Hard-copy submission: Authors should send four copies of their proposal to Dr. Cushner.
What to submit (e-mail and hard-copy submissions):
a. For Workshop, panel, and symposium proposals, the organizer should submit a 500-word summary describing the rationale for the proposal, the target audience, presentation format(s), anticipated learning outcomes, and mechanisms for evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed program.
b. For all paper, panel, symposium, and poster presentations, each individual should submit a 500-word abstract that briefly describes the study purposes, issues, theoretical foundations, methodological approaches, major results, and conclusions.
c. All abstracts must include the names of all authors, along with their physical and e-mail addresses. A statement of intention of to attend the conference and to present the paper also needs to be enclosed.
Dr. Kenneth Cushner
306 White Hall
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242
Dr. Janet Bennett
Director, Intercultural Communication Institute
8835 SW Canyon Lane, Suite 238
Portland, OR 97225
Dr. Dan Landis
President, International Academy for Intercultural Research
Affiliate Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
200 W. Kawili St
Hilo, HI 96720
Dr. Dharm P. S. Bhawuk
Professor of Management and
Culture and Community Psychology
College of Business Administration
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2404 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
The International Academy for Intercultural Research (IAIR) was founded in 1997 as a result of deliberations by the Organizing Forum for an Intercultural Academy. These deliberations were co-sponsored by the Intercultural Communications Institute and the International Journal of Intercultural Relations. The aim of the Academy is to provide a forum where senior intercultural researchers, academics, and trainers can exchange ideas, theories, research and successful training approaches. In this way, the Academy fosters high level research and scholarship on intercultural issues. All disciplines are welcome in the Academy.
HumanDHS Meeting Notes Paris 2003
Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HuamDHS) is proud to publish the Meeting Notes of its first Annual Meeting in Paris, September 2003.
Read the Full Text version of the Meeting Notes in pdf
Day One, September 12, 2003
Humiliation: How to Defuse Conflict and Violence in the World and Our Lives
I. Why study humiliation?
II. Where do we find cases of humiliation?
III. What is humiliation?
IV. What is new?
V. What do we do now?
Appreciative Psychology and Humiliation
I. Humiliation as a Collective Phenomenon
II. Humiliation as a Barrier to Our Inherent Capacity for Awe and Wonderment
III. The Mental Scrim: How We Create Reality In Our Minds
IV. Appreciative Psychology as an Antidote to Humiliation
Shame and Humiliation: From Isolation to Relational Transformation
II. Three goals for this talk
III. Relational-Cultural theory (RCT)
IV. A relational analysis of shame and humiliation
V. Relational ways to transform shame and humiliation
Discussion on Humiliation
Day Two, September 13, 2003
The Polarization between Occupier and Occupied in Post-Saddam Iraq
III. Honor, shame and humiliation ? What is it?
IV. Victimizer and victim point of view
V. Honor and Iraqi women
VIII. How do you repair? Recommendations
Cross-Cultural Communication: HRI Profile
I. A behavioral model to understand humiliation
II. How the model helps to understand causes and reactions to humiliation
Discussion of the Future of the Group and the Center at Columbia University
A Conversation with Arne Næss
I. Introduction by Evelin Lindner
II. First questions: What is humiliation? What is non-violent conflict resolution?
III. Kit-fai: Tell us about Gandhi non-violence and liberation
IV. Kit-fai: Why don?t you like pacifism?
Discussion on Humiliation
Discussion of the Center for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies