Dynamics of Civilisation


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Centre for Research into the Dynamics of Civilisation (CREDOC)
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NEWS AND EVENTS

African Perspectives on Empathy, Reparative Humanism and Recognition: Decolonizing the Discourse on Victim/Perpetrator Dynamics

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Lecture 13 November 6-8pm. Further details.


Narrative of Desire: The Politics of Exhibiting Culture and Displaying African Art

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Lecture 23 November 6-8pm. Further details.


Muslim Responses to Westernization 

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Lecture 7 December 6-8pm: Retreat from the secular path 

Panel discussion 8 December 5-7pm: Living in non-Islamic societies

Further details.


Watch the video for Civilisations and their Mobilisation Today: Western Civilisation:

Events

African Perspectives on Empathy, Reparative Humanism and Recognition: Decolonizing the Discourse on Victim / Perpetrator Dynamics

Lecture by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

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date: 13 November 2017

time: 6-8pm

location: Common Ground, Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL

We are pleased to welcome Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (Professor and Research Chair in Historical Trauma, Stellenbosch University) for this CREDOC lecture in which she will broaden the horizon of understanding of the dynamics of empathy in victim-perpetrator encounters by engaging a perspective that makes transparent the interconnected relationship among empathy, Ubuntu and the embodied African phenomenon of inimba—a Xhosa word that loosely translated means “umbilical cord.” She will integrate these concepts with the relational and psychoanalytic theory of intersubjectivity. The goal is to find a richer, deeper and multi-layered understanding of the mutual reciprocity of empathy that takes into account an African knowledge archive.

Abstract: In the lecture, I will broaden the horizon of understanding of the dynamics of empathy in victim-perpetrator encounters by engaging a perspective that makes transparent the interconnected relationship among empathy, Ubuntu and the embodied African phenomenon of inimba—a Xhosa word that loosely translated means “umbilical cord.” I will integrate these concepts with the relational and psychoanalytic theory of intersubjectivity. The goal is to find a richer, deeper and multi-layered understanding of the mutual reciprocity of empathy that takes into account an African knowledge archive. Ubuntu is based on the cultural orientation of recognition of others—of always engaged with and reflecting, consciously and unconsciously, on the subject’s interaction with a wider network of others, including internal others. Illustrative examples will show how inimba opens up the possibility of new subjectivities that transcend intersubjective (“two-person”) contribution of the two people encountering each other. Locating the essence of ethical responsibility towards others in the heart of the body, as symbolized by the embodied phenomenon of inimba, the subject is called to respond to the traumatic disruption of the past not with the moral force of righteous aggression, but with the moral force of love. In this sense then, inimba points toward understanding the body as a site for reparative humanism, a site for forging human links across time and space with the Other—even an Other responsible for one’s irreparable loss.

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor and Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has been Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Cape Town, and Senior Research Professor at the University of the Free State leading the research initiative in Trauma, Memory and Forgiveness.

Her research interest grew out of her work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, focusing mainly on two strands of research. The first is exploring ways in which the impact of the dehumanising experiences of oppression and violent abuse continues to play out in the next generation in the aftermath of historical trauma. For her second research area, she expands her earlier work on remorse and forgiveness and probes the role of empathy more deeply by engaging a perspective that makes transparent the interconnected relationship among empathy, Ubuntu and the embodied African phenomenon of inimba—a Xhosa word that loosely translated means “umbilical cord”—and integrating these with the relational and psychoanalytic concept of intersubjectivity. The goal is to find a richer, deeper and more complex understanding of empathy that takes into account an African knowledge archive.

Gobodo-Madikizela’s critically acclaimed book, A Human Being Died that Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness won the Christopher Award in the United States in 2003, and the Alan Paton Award in South Africa in 2004. The book has been published seven times, including translations in Dutch, German, Italian and Korean. Her other books include Narrating our Healing: Perspectives on Healing Trauma, as co-author, Memory, Narrative and Forgiveness: Perspectives on the Unfinished Journeys of the Past, as co-editor, Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition: A Global Dialogue on Historical Trauma and Memory, as editor, and What Does It Mean to Be Human in the Aftermath of Historical Trauma? Re-Envisioning the Sunflower and Why Hannah Arendt Was Wrong (Claude Ake Memorial Papers, Uppsala University). Her current book project is a monograph (as editor) that focuses on a close analysis of dialogue between adult children of Nazi perpetrators and descendants of Holocaust survivors. The monograph derives from her ongoing collaboration that she has been leading with German and Jewish-German psychotherapists and psychiatrist based in Cologne and Düsseldorf. 

This event will be followed by a reception. 

Please register here.  


Narrative of Desire: The Politics of Exhibiting Culture and Displaying African Art

Lecture by Babaro Martinez-Ruiz

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date: 23 November 2017

time: 6-8pm

location: Common Ground, Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL

This lecture will touch upon some of the issues discussed by George Marcus as symptomatic of new approaches in anthropology. It will explore his suggestion that the off-stage green room is an apt metaphor for the increased dialogue across disciplines, particularly between anthropology and African art history, in that it symbolizes a XXI century experience of globalization that focuses on site-specific performance art and ethnographic encounters. The lecture will cover a global debate over Western representations of African and African diaspora art with special attention to issues such as the manner of in which aesthetic concepts, museum politics, art display, colonialism, identity practices and nationalism intersect across a global diaspora. It will explore questions of representation of contemporary African art and its proliferation in art collections of major institutions around the world and will query the dichotomy between viewing ‘African’ artistic practices in the diaspora as either influenced by cultures of the West (modern) or as non-Western cultures equated with primitivism (traditional).

Bárbaro Martinez-Ruiz is the Head of Department for the Department of Art History & Discourse of Art at the University of Cape Town. He is also a Leverhulme Visiting Professor, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford and Senior Fellow at St. Anthony's College. 

This event will be followed by a reception. 

Please register here


Muslim Responses to Westernization: Retreat from the Secular Path

Lecture by Professor John Esposito

with response by Hugh N. Kennedy (Professor of Arabic, SOAS)
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date: Thursday 7 December 2017

location: Common Ground, Institute of Advanced Studies, South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL

time: 6pm to 8pm

In contrast to the past when modernity or becoming modern was equated solely with a Western secular paradigm, we live in a more cosmopolitan world today of “multiple modernities” that go far beyond the standard, homogenous western secular paradigm for modernization. The conventional wisdom in the late 20th century, which assumed the centrality of secularism, separation of church and state, and viewed religion as a private affair, has been challenged in much of the Muslim world.

The resurgence of Islam in Muslim politics and society in the late 1970s signaled a “Retreat from the Secular Path”. For more than three decades, Islam has been a major force in public life: in newly created Islamic states and republics, mainstream political and social movements and in major jihadist movements. While some seek Islamization from above, increasingly many opt for a process of Islamization from below, through political and social change.

Muslim social scientists, scholars, and political pundits rethink the meanings of secularism and its relationship to state, law and society. Many discuss and debate the relationship of religion to secularism and democracy. However, too often, these discussions are “about them”, failing to sufficiently listen to, consider or reflect diverse Muslim voices: religious leaders and intellectuals, Arabs and non-Arabs, neo-traditionalists and Islamic neo-modernists or post-modernists. This discussion will also be placed within the broader context, the realities on the ground -- what major polls (Gallup and PEW) have reported majorities of Muslims, the silent and often the silenced majority, have to say about the West and the role and relationship of Islam to state and society.

John Esposito is University Professor & Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington.

A panel discussion will also be held the following day, Friday 8 December, from 5pm in the Common ground, IAS UCL whose theme will be Muslim Responses to Westernization: Living in Non-Islamic Societies. Details to follow.


Page last modified on 16 oct 17 09:42