Please note that while registration for this event is full, there will be a standby list and an overflow room with monitor.
Shame is the emotion we experience when someone to whom we are deeply attached says or does something which is...shameful! "Someone" can include parents, children, close friends and lovers. "Someone" also can encompass certain kinds of community dear to us, including the nation to which we believe we are bonded. Shame also requires at least a third, external party who is either a victim of a spectator. The same emotion, as often as not, stirs one into action, so that the shame can be healed.
This talk will address the origins of political shame and the value that should be attached to it. What creates the visceral attachment people feel for their country? Before which spectators is the emotion aroused? What understanding of "nation" is necessary? What kinds of commitments make the pain really hurt? Does this shame have a long future? And if so why? And of what kind? Can it be said that political shame is progressive and emancipating?
Benedict Anderson is the Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government and Asian Studies at Cornell University. He was born on the eve of the Second Sino-Japanese War (August 26, 1936) in Kunming, China to an Irish father and an English mother. When he was five years old, Anderson and his family returned to the United States, where he matriculated through the U.S. school system. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in Classics from Cambridge University (1957) and returned to the United States to earn his Ph.D. from Cornell University's Department of Government (1967).
In 1972, Anderson was kicked out of Indonesia for 27 years because of his role in writing a confidential preliminary analysis of the failed October 1, 1965 coup in Indonesia. The analysis argued that the Communists were not behind the coup, but rather disaffected officers in the army and air force. Within six weeks, the document was leaked and officials in Jakarta and Washington, D.C. were in an uproar. Initially, the Indonesian military thought that because Anderson and his co-authors were young they could be pressured into accepting the official line and debunk the facts in the analysis. But they refused to comply; and in 1972, Anderson was removed from the country. The long sentence was the result of Anderson's testimony before the U.S. Congress about political prisoners and the attempt to occupy East Timor.
Anderson is best known for his celebrated book Imagined Communities, first published in 1983. He argues that the main causes of nationalism and the creation of an imagined community are the reduction of privleged access to particular script languages (e.g. Latin), the movement to abolish the ideas of divine rule and monarchy, as well as the emergence of the printing press under a system of capitalism - or, as Anderson calls it, "print-capitalism."