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Friday, March 28, 2008

The Challenges And Opportunities Of Nationality, Nationalism And Cultural Identity

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Session Description

In today’s interconnected world there has been much written about the end of nation states. At the same time, the need to understand how individuals identify with regional, ethnic, and religious traditions and identities has been increasingly recognised as critical in addressing global problems. The panel will explore how social innovation can both mitigate the pernicious consequences of xenophobia and insularity inherent in many stereotypes of nationalism and enhance the positive opportunities for social change within established heritage and cultural traditions. The session will discuss issues ranging from multiculturalism within countries to cross-national and international cultural challenges and opportunities.

When | Where

09:00 - 11:00 Friday, March 28

Session leaders

  • Contributing Editor, Q-News
    Abdul-Rehman Malik is a Contributing Editor at Q-News – a leading Muslim current affairs magazine. A Canadian by birth, Abdul-Rehman was a columnist on religious affairs for one of Canada’s leading national dailies, The Toronto Star, from 1998 to 2003. An experienced educator and activist teaching history and dramatic arts with the Peel District School Board, he began working as a freelance journalist attached to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2001 and his radio documentary entitled “Ramadan at Ground Zero” – a look at New York’s Muslim community in the aftermath of 9/11 – was nominated for a prestigious Peabody Award. Abdul-Rehman is also currently a project manager on the Radical Middle Way, a community-led initiative to engage young Muslims on issues of violent extremism and theological radicalisation. In August 2007, he was invited to begin to blogging at The Guardian’s influential comment site Comment is Free.
  • Eman Al Nafjan Speaker
    Writer, Saudi Woman / Foreign Policy
    Eman Al Nafjan blogs on Saudi society, culture, women and human rights issues.  She also works as a freelance writer for publications such as Foreign Policy, The Guardian and The Stern.  In 2011 she was named as one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.
  • SSM Director, Institute for Healing Memories
    Father Michael Lapsley is a South African Anglican priest and social justice activist. He was born in New Zealand on 2 June 1949, and ordained to the priesthood in Australia, where he also joined the religious order the Society of the Sacred Mission. In 1993, he became Chaplain of the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, which assisted the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This work led to the establishment, in 1998, of the Institute for Healing of Memories (IHOM) in Cape Town. The IHOM aims to allow many more South Africans to tell their stories in workshops where they work through their trauma. The IHOM is based in Cape Town, South Africa, but Fr Michael has worked in many other countries, in Africa and across the world. The organisation now works with groups including those affected by political violence; those affected and infected by HIV and AIDS; refugees and asylum seekers; prisoners and war veterans.
  • Jonathan Hearn Speaker
    Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
    Jonathan Hearn is a senior lecturer in the School of Social and Political Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His specialisation in the study of nationalism, identity, and civil society in Scotland, fits within broader interests in the theorisation of power, culture, morality, identity and social change, with a particular interest in the articulation of formal and informal structures of power in society. His first book, Claiming Scotland, is based on ethnographic research on the home rule movement in Scotland in the mid-1990s. His second book, Rethinking Nationalism, takes a critical look at how theories of nationalism deal with concepts of culture and power. As part of the Leverhulme Trust’s Nations and Regions Research Programme he conducted an ethnographic study at a major Scottish clearing bank, exploring the role of institutions in shaping national identity.
  • Vaughan Jones Speaker
    Chief Executive, Praxis
    Vaughan Jones is Chief Executive of Praxis where he has worked since its formation 25 years ago. The organisation works with displaced communities – ”listening and acting through our common humanity to create and nurture reconciliation, human rights and social justice”. It is based in East London, an area of rapidly shifting demography, and delivers high quality services through one-to-one support, training and community development. It has also provided support and training in the Czech Republic and Liberia. Vaughan is currently serving on the Advisory Group to Lord Goldsmith’s review of citizenship. He is a past chair of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. He has previously worked in the field of single homelessness and youth work and maintains a strong interest in housing issues. He received a prestigious award from the Government of Chile in recognition of support given to Chilean refugees during the dictatorship.