Empathy, particularly for those who live in states that initiate war, often does not extend beyond their own national boundaries. Yet empathy, more than just a feeling, can be a powerfully positive force for change. This course will show how it draws upon and expands human interaction, making it accessible to anyone to cultivate in themselves. By contrast, when U.S. soldiers massacre villagers in Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans do not even know the names of the dead and their families. Yet they come to know personal details about the killers, humanizing them while objectifying their victims.
This course combines
1) empathy-interaction training, using case studies from combat today, with
2) consciousness-raising using concepts such as ongoing, unending war as national policy, preventive war/war crimes, sociopathic/remorseless killing, psychopathic state leadership/war crimes, crimes against humanity. The masculinity of war is uncovered here with concrete examples of men remaking masculinity. Finally,
3) a strategy session will involve participants in developing plans and projects for their peace work.
This course will be held July 20-22, 2012 at the La Casa de Maria Retreat Center. Friday: 4-8pm (dinner from 6-7); Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Sunday: 9am -12pm
Dr. Kathleen Barry
Sociologist Kathleen Barry holds two doctorates – in sociology and in education – from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a university professor for twenty years, on the faculty of Brandeis University and now Professor Emerita of Penn State University. Her writing and activism extends from the U.S. civil rights movement to global feminism. Her latest book is Unmaking War, Remaking Men: How Empathy Can Reshape Our Politics, Our Soldiers and Ourselves (20ll). Her first book, Female Sexual Slavery (1979) launched a global movement against trafficking in persons. She founded the UN (Human Rights) NGO, The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. The Prostitution of Sexuality: Global Exploitation of Women (1995) presents new human rights law she developed with UNESCO to abolish prostitution and trafficking by criminalizing customers while decriminalize prostitutes. This law has been adopted by five countries. She was also editor of Vietnam’s Women in Transition (1996) in collaboration with women of Vietnam and is the biographer of Susan B. Anthony (1988). http://www.kathleenbarry.net/
This course is part of the National Peace Academy’s National Peacebuilding Peacelearning Certificate Program, a program designed to make learning for peace accessible, available and affordable for all. The program allows participants to pursue an individualized course of study that will help them achieve depth in knowledge and skills they need to achieve their personal and professional goals and interests in peacebuilding and peace education.