Saturday, May 21, 2011

Listening ideas for 21 May 2011

The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show
Helen Thomas on Israel, Netanyahu, Zionism, Presidents, the Media, the Arab Spring
a wide ranging conversation covering her views, her experience over more than 50 years as White House Correspondent and journalist.
(review, feed)

London School of Economics: Public lectures and events
Gay Liberation Now: global movements and transformations
Since the late 1970s, Sonia Corrêa has been involved in research and advocacy activities related to gender equality, health and sexuality. She is the founder of various non-governmental initiatives in Brazil. Between 1992 and 2009 she has been the research coordinator for sexual and reproductive health and rights at DAWN – Development Alternatives with Women for a new Era – a Southern Hemisphere feminist network. In that capacity, she closely followed United Nations negotiations directly impacting on gender and sexuality related matters: the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD – Cairo 1994), the IV World Conference on Women (IV WCW –Beijing, 1995) and also the five and ten years year review processes of this conferences. Since 2002 with Richard Parker, she co-chairs Sexuality Policy Watch (SPW), a global forum comprised of researchers and activists engaged in the analyses of global trends in sexuality related policy and politics. In 2006, she co-chaired the expert meeting that finalized the Yogyakarta Principles. Sonia Corrêa has extensively published in Portuguese and English. This list includes, among other, Population and Reproductive Rights: Feminist Perspectives from the South (Zed Books, 1994) and Sexuality, Health and Human Rights co-authored with Richard Parker and Rosalind Petchesky (Routledge, 2008). She has also lectured in various academic institutions. Clare Hemmings is a Reader in Feminist Theory and Director of the Gender Institute at LSE.
(review, feed)

The temptation of Karna - A twist in Dharma

As you all know, I faithfully follow the Mahabharata Podcast. I desperately want to get a grip on this (for me) exotic and ancient string of tales and I must admit: that is not easy at all. The Mahabharata is long, filled with countless characters with difficult names and the stories are following unfamiliar patterns. There does seem to be some kind of inherent logic to the tales, but strangeness also here plays its part. (feed)

Another idea I tried to project onto the multitude was that this great epic may have one underlying theme. A good candidate for that theme would be the question of Dharma, or in other words, what is the right thing to do? It shows that in the Mahabharata's take on ethics, this is personal or at least class-related dharma. The right thing to do for a priest would be different than what is the right thing for a warrior, or a beggar - obviously. And the Mahabharata seems to help you get a hold on this changeface normativity by means of the many different examples.

If you want to get an unexpected example within this theme, I recommend you listen to the installment The Temptation of Karna and proceed to listen and pay special attention to the unexpected interpretations of the right thing for this character. Where Karna could have joined the good guys in the story as he finds out he is their half-brother, he chooses to stick to his original and mistaken class in life and stay with the baddies. How is that for a twist in Dharma? It makes Karna one of the most fascinating persons in the epic.

More Mahabharata Podcast:
Flood tales; Noah, Gilgamesh and Manu,
Indian roots of the Unicorn,
Endless cloth,
The Mahabharata Podcast.