Session 5: Culture and Politics

Nonviolence Initiative for Democracy Inc. and Iranian Student Organization at Boston University present a series lectures on:

Roots of Violence and Conflict Resolution

Spring 2011
This course closely examines the roots and sources of violence in Persian specking  countries by focusing on history of violence, modernity and conflict, religion and ethnics minorities, culture and pluralism, and state and politics. Each of these spheres constitutes one of the segments of the course and we will begin our scrutiny of each by examining the roots and structures of violence in them. In the first section, Aram Hessami has discussed on the notion of politic, structure of power and its relations to violence on March 11 & 12. In the second section, Farzin Vahdat has discussed on modernity; violence – nonviolence. And in the third section, Ali Mirsepassi will discussed on society, culture and violence.

Third Section: society, culture and violence

Ali Mirsepassi
Professor of Middle Eastern studies and sociology at the Gallatin School and director of Iranian Studies Initiative at New York University

Session 5: Culture and Politics

April 8

Time: Friday, April 8 at 5-7pm
Location: Boston University, 635 Commonwealth Avenue; Room 102

Session 6: Society and Modern Violence

April 9

In the third session, Ali Mirsepassi will discuss on society and modern violence. He will argue what are the conceptual and discursive underpinnings of modern violence.
Modern violence as practice/discourse undoubtedly finds some of its roots in traditional violence, rather as modern pacifism as practice/discourse is traceable to traditional pacifist notions – however often rendered unrecognizable through profound and unconscious mutations. Let us take as illustrative examples three defining moments in modernity, each a demonstration of the interdependence/overlappin

g of change between the ‘modern’ present and the ‘traditional’ past, and the West and the non-Western parts of the world: the English Civil War/Locke, the French Revolution/Enlightenment and the project of a new global juridical order following World War Two. Each was also an experience of traumatic violence, bringing into question the relation between rapidly changing existence and traditions of value, requiring radical adjustments in institutional accretions, the authority of ideals, imaginings and thought over choice and conduct. If these three moments do not represent a teleological advance towards Condorcet’s “true perfection of mankind” through “reason”, they certainly represent crucial experiences of learning.

Time: Saturday April 9 at 3-5pm

Location: Boston University, 685-725 Commonwealth Ave, Room 224

This event is in Persian and it is free and open to public.

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