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Tag Archives: David Livingstone Smith

Author David Livingstone Smith Speaks On Combating Dehumanization At CWRU

Philosopher David Livingstone Smith gave a lively preview of “Making Monsters: The Uncanny Powers of Dehumanization,” his forthcoming book, for an avid circle of listeners gathered at the Inamori Center for Ethics and Excellence in Cleveland.  The new work examines two cases of spectacle lynching – public events for which railroads put on extra excursion cars, tens of thousands assembled and crowds fought for human relics and nightmarish photos to commemorate the torture and killing of young black men.Smith, 63, is keen to know “what is going on under the hood here, in these acts pursued by sane, ordinary people...the same sort of folk you’d meet at an average PTA meeting.”The scholar, a professor at the University of New England, blends an examination of biology, philosophy... Read More →

A Look Back At The Rwandan Genocide: 20 Years Later, What Have We Learned?

This spring, as Rwanda commemorates the 1994 genocide that extinguished more than a million of its citizens, a nation assesses its reconstruction while the wider world wrestles with the fact that it stood by. Several important books illuminate these tasks.  "Twenty years ago today our country fell into deep ditches of darkness," said Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s current minister of foreign affairs. "Twenty years later, today, we are a country united and a nation elevated." Economic progress and a fragile peace characterize Rwanda now, under a new Constitution and a marked ascendancy of women into leadership.  A moving photographic portrait of the hard work of reconciliation is newly published in the New York Times. “The story of U.S. policy during the genocide in Rwanda is not a... Read More →

VIDEO: David Livingstone Smith On The Delusion Of Race

Philosophy Professor David Livingstone Smith kicked off the University of New England's 2014 diversity lecture series with a talk on why "race" is a destructive concept. The 2012 Anisfield-Wolf nonfiction award winner for “Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others” stated his mission at the top: "I wish to liberate you. I do not think I will succeed, but I hope I will raise questions about certain beliefs you take for granted." Smith presented his audience with a slide of four individuals with light skin and typical European facial features. He then asked the audience if they could determine which two were, in fact, African-American. It proved puzzling for those assembled. (See the slide here.) "Virtually every genocide that I know enough about has been a... Read More →

“Less Than Human”: How One Professor Explores Deeper Meaning Behind Dehumanization

By Lisa Nielson, Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow Lisa Nielson is the Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. She has a PhD in historical musicology, with a specialization in Women's Studes, and teaches seminars on the harem, slavery and courtesans. I was introduced to “Less than Human” last fall when I had the pleasure of hearing David Livingstone Smith speak at the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony and at Case Western Reserve University the next day. His presentation was riveting, and I felt myself vacillating between awe at the breadth of his work and shock at the horror of what humanity has done through dehumanization. Judging from the taut silence as the awards audience of 800 heard Smith speak, they had a similar reaction. Listeners occasionally... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Winners Reaction To The Election

The 2012 election cycle was filled with a bombardment of political ads, 24-hour news cycles dissecting every possible angle, and an overwhelming sense of hype surrounding who will be our next batch of elected representatives. Some of our winners got in on the action and made a few comments about the election as well.  Junot Diaz, who has been writing consistently about the Latino effect in this year's election, wrote a special message on his Facebook page. "Obama WINS!" he wrote shortly after the race had been called. "The Latino community came out BIG for Obama. Very proud of my community, very proud of all the new voters, the very proud of all the Obama supporters who put in the time and the hard work to make this happen." Never one to shy away from his passions, David Livingstone... Read More →

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards – Told Through Tweets

[View the story "77th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Ceremony" on Storify]   Read More →

“The Most Dangerous Animal”: A Short Film Based Off David Livingstone Smith

Filmmaker Al Sutton was inspired by our 2012 award winner David Livingstone Smith's 2007 book, The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War.  "We have killed over 200 million people over the past century by war and genocide," Sutton writes in the film's description. "We must stop the killing to protect our loved ones, ourselves, our future."  Watch the film here and let us know what you think!  Read More →

Listen As Esi Edugyan, David Livingstone Smith, David W. Blight And Arnold Rampersad Discuss Race And Diversity

We won't spend too much time on an introduction today; let's get right to the meaty stuff. Recently, our 2012 winners all had a chance to speak with Dred-Scott Keyes on the Public Radio Exchange to discuss their books and the deeper themes within. Take a listen to David W. Blight and Esi Edugyan in part one, and David Livingstone Smith and Arnold Rampersad in part two: Read More →

Upcoming Events For Our 2012 Winners

We are roughly a month away from the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf ceremony and is customary, we are alerting fans to several opportunities to meet our 2012 winners.  Book Signing with David Livingstone Smith Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood Branch (In the Meeting Room) 25501 Shaker BoulevardBeachwood, Ohio 44122-2398Corner of Richmond & Shaker BoulevardWednesday, September 12, 20127:00 PM – 8:30 PMRegistration is recommended. Click here to register.     Lecture with David W. Blight Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities (Clark Hall Room 309)Wednesday, September 12, 20124:30 PM – 5:30 PMThis event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended. Click here to register.  Read More →

2012 Winner David Livingstone Smith To Participate On G20 Summit Panel

2012 nonfiction winner David Livingstone Smith, author of Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others, will be a on a panel at the G20 Summit in Mexico. He's featured on a panel about provoking understanding, dealing with transforming communities and exploring new paradigms. In the video above, he explains why humans lie, and why it's a part of human nature. He tells the audience, "The picture we have now is lying is pervasive...because it's natural. It comes naturally to us. It's not something our parents have to teach us." Read More →
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