The UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality presents

"Ethics Workshop on Postcolonial Ethos and Deliberative Spaces"
with Mark Gjokaj and Erin Costino, UCI

May 23, 2011
6:30 p.m.
University Hills (please contact Sandy Cushman for details directions, 949-824-3344 or

About Mark Gjokaj and "The Postcolonial Ethos and the Palestinians: Film and the Changing Representations of the Other":

Theories of intergroup conflict predict that groups in conflict will seek to delegitimize one another. The early research done on these theories has largely supported this prediction. Of note, however, is that since the 1960’s, a reversal of this prediction has become evident for some forms of conflict; specifically those involving colonial settlement. In these instances, instead of delegitimization, the Other has come to be portrayed sympathetically and their narratives are given voice. Explanations for the shifting representations have largely pointed to the effects of local events. For example, in the United States, changing portrayals of Native Americans in films and literature have been credited to actions of the American Indian Movement. Changing portrayals of Algerians and Indians, in French and British films respectively, have been credited to the ending of colonial rule. Changing portrayals of Palestinians in Israel films similarly have been credited to local events, such as opposition to various wars, or contested elections. These localized explanations, however, fail on several accounts. First, they overlook the fact that changes to representations have often preceded the events used to explain them. Second, they fail to account for the wider trend happening transnationally. Third, they fail to account for the content of the change, which is largely unrelated to local events, but is closely related to themes found elsewhere. By examining the case of Israel, and representations of Palestinians in Israeli film in particular, this talk will instead argue that these changes can be best understood as the result of an emerging postcolonial ethos spreading precipitously amongst (and by) the western intelligentsia following the Second World War. Ultimately, the ethos, being widely held, both gave local events a significance and guided the changes to representations of the Other that followed.

About Erin Costino and “Deliberative Spaces: The Impact of Design on Power, Participation, and Legitimacy”

Does spatial design have an impact on political deliberation? Do people feel more empowered in a formal setting or in a casual setting? This presentation provides evidence that the design of city council chambers may have an impact on the satisfaction of the citizenry.

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