Battles of Ideas: Identity and Alienation

Panel Chair: Dr Brian Victoria
Panellists: Professor Dexter Da Silva

For much of the previous quarter of a century, Europe and North America has seen a liberal politics in the ascendent, moving towards full legal equality of the LGBT community, and an increased international engagement in cooperative unions. But the past few years have seen a remarkable comeback of a conservative and religious right within these countries, leading to huge debates over such fundamental questions as what it means to be a human, a citizen, or even an assigned gender.

Militancy or activism fighting power structures has been harnessed in the form of populist movements defining themselves against the “Establishment”, and this Establishment is no longer able to exercise the same level of control through traditional instruments of power, including previous near monopolies on communication. Populist movements now, as in the past, have used various forms of scapegoating to harness and direct popular sentiment and anger towards easy solutions. Regionalism, nationalism, and divisions of faiths and ethnic groups has lead to huge divisions and conflict in this globalised world.

Historian and religious studies scholar, Brian Victoria, and Educational psychologist, Dexter Da Silva, speaking from within their own fields, will lead this interdisciplinary panel that will look at questions of identity in the context of a divided and divisive global system, to included questions related to how humans are capable of both cooperation and dissent, and how they can be societally alienated, and come to define their identities against, as opposed to with, other members of the human race, inviting input from the diverse disciplinary backgrounds represented at the conference.

Read presenter biographies.

Posted by IAFOR