- The Guild of Independent Scholars
- The Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies
- The Journal of Contemporary Literature
- JAPSS Press
- The Central American Institute of Asia Pacific Studies (CAI-APS)
- Africa Peace and Conflict Network (APCN)
- Tienda Arte de Luz (Costa Rica)
- More to be announced...
The Second International Conference of Alternative Perspectives in the Humanities and the Social Sciences will be held in San Jose, Costa Rica. It will be held at the Escazu Campus of the International University of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Topic for the Conference: Culture: Heritage and Legacy
August 6, 2011
10:00 A.M. Opening Remarks, Conference Conveners
10:15 A.M. H.E. Ambassador Antonio López Escarré, former Costa Rican Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and to the Republic of Panama, Executive Director of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Entrepreneurial Associations of Costa Rica (FedeCÁMARAS), and former Presidential Pre-Candidate for the Libertarian Party
Keynote Presentation: “Commerce and Politics in Costa Rica (El Comercio y la Política en Costa Rica)”
About the Presenter: Ambassador Lopez is the current executive director of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Entrepreneurial Associations of Costa Rica. He has served as ambassador two times representing the Republic of Costa Rica in the Republic of Panama and in the Kingdom of Spain. Due to his exemplary diplomatic service Ambassador Lopez was awarded the Grand Cross of Isabel La Catolica and the Imperial Grand Cross of Charles V by His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain. His Excellency has written more than one hundred articles for newspapers and magazines.
10:45 A.M. Prof. Brooklynn Welden, MA and Dr. Mary Anne O’Grady, PhD International University of Humanities and Social Sciences (Costa Rica)
Workshop: “The Exploratory Mediator: Examining Cultures, Processes, and Practices” (2 hours)
Abstract: What is conflict in your culture? What do mediators in your cultures do and how do they do it? In our globalizing world, conflict is everywhere and peaceful conflict analysis and its management/resolution, through mediation, is increasingly important to each of us as human beings. Mediators are inquisitive—what is the conflict about, who are the parties, what can be done peacefully to resolve differences? Examine the cultural mediation practices of participants through inter-group sharing and teaching, then role-play a conflict and resolve it.
1:00 P.M. Food Fair
2:00 P.M. Traditional Costa Rican Folk Dance
2:40 P.M. Dr. John Ringquist, PhD, United States Military Academy (West Point, USA)
“Revealing the “Hidden Hand” in Tanzanian Political-Military Affairs: A Network Science Approach”
Abstract: The development of the Tanzanian state post-independence occurred during a period in which Julius Nyerere provided political and economic guidance via the African Socialist program of Ujamaa. The Tanzanian military was key to this effort. The relationship between the military and the government is close, and exploring the social networks behind the official façade reveals a complex network of power brokers united through social, political, ethnic, and educational ties. The development of Tanzania has not been without external influence, as can be measured by the impact of Uganda’s invasion of Tanzania, the end of the Cold War ( and a change to a multi-party state) and the effect of terrorism, as evidenced in the 1998 attack on the US Embassy. Analyzing the impact of these events on the Tanzanian military gives an opportunity to assess its resilience at key time periods during which social impact is greatest. The “hidden hand” of the society can then be studied to determine what factors facilitated resilience, and how social networks may have modulated the military’s response.
3:00 P.M. Prof. Brooklynn Welden, M.A., Assistant Professor, International University of Humanities and Social Sciences (Costa Rica), Doctoral Scholar, Nova Southeastern University (Florida, USA)
“Queering the Mom: An autoethnographic deconstruction of a mother’s journey from etic supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersexed, transgendered/transsexual, and queer/questioning (LGBIT/TQ/Q) people to an actively supportive emic queered mom of an out bisexual son”
Abstract: I grew up near Woodstock, New York in the 1970s, and knew several lesbian couples, and men who were gay. One of my high school friends identified himself to me as bisexual, marking the first time I had ever heard the term. The disclosure made no difference to my liking for my friend. I was etic to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersexed, transgendered/transsexual, queer/questioning (LGBITQ) community, and simply accepted who people were and how they were. When I learned my younger son was bisexual, however, I could not believe what I was hearing. While I had considered the possibility that either of my two sons might be gay when both were small boys, I did not see anything in either of them to indicate the possibility of anything other than a heterosexual orientation. But I was incorrect. While part of me watched in incredulity and deep dismay, the rest of me reacted in what I considered at the time to be a shameful, rejecting, manner. The two days it took me to evolve into acceptance and joy of my son’s true identity and of mine as his mother, I now recognize as the start of my journey to being a queered mom. In this autoethnographic account, I share my experience of my son’s coming out as bisexual, deconstructed through poststructuralism (Foucault,1978; 1990) and queer theory (de Lauretis, 1991), framing my story within the narrative structure detailed by Labov: Abstract, emplacing the story in an overall context which is flexible and non-linear; Orientation, situating the story in time and place; Complication, illustrating the event which grounds and impels the story; Evaluation, the core of the story, wherein I muse on both story and meaning; Resolution, detailing the Complication’s dénouement; and lastly Coda, or conclusion (cited by Cortazzi, in Atkinson, Coffey, Delamont, Lofland, & Lofland, 2007, p. 391). My story contains two parts. The first details my initial reaction to my son’s disclosure, while the second shifts to my own coming out as an emic parent, to others.
3:20 P.M. Book Pre-Launch “The Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Development and Conflict” by Prof. Otto F. von Feigenblatt, New Century Publications, New Delhi, India
Prof. Otto F. von Feigenblatt, BS, MA, FRAS, Millenia Atlantic University (Miami, USA)
Abstract: This study provides a structural analysis of ASEAN’s role in Southeast Asia’s regional development and conflict. Part one of the book concentrates on ASEAN’s dispute management mechanism and applies Robert Fritz’s theory of structural dynamics. Chapter 1 introduces the main structural factors influencing the organization’s dispute management system and identifies avoidance and consensus building as the two central procedures. ASEAN’s oscillation between success and failure is discussed in the second chapter by identifying the root causes behind the structural instability. How to overcome ASEAN’s internal organization conflicts leading to oscillation through structural dynamics is the topic of the third chapter. Chapter 4 concludes the first section of the book by presenting a general overview of ASEAN’s role in dealing with regional conflict through preventive diplomacy and possibly peace building.
The second section concentrates on socio-economic development and trade. Chapters five and six provide an overview of socio-economic development in the region as well as some important intraregional trade barriers. The last two chapters of the second section apply structural dynamics to the problem of economic and trade oscillation in ASEAN. Chapter eight summarizes the findings of the section in terms of structural challenges to economic integration and explains ASEAN’s important role in the region’s socio-economic development.
Based on ASEAN’s official goal of creating a socio-cultural community, part three of the book tackles the structural conflicts present due to the region’s diverse socio-cultural makeup. The complementary processes of avoidance and consensus building are presented as the central mechanisms through which ASEAN can construct shared norms and thus overcome inherent organizational conflicts. Chapter 11 presents an overview of ASEAN’s path towards a socio-cultural community through a structural lens.
Finally, part four of the book presents general conclusions and proposes possible future directions for further research. Chapter 12 ties together the three sections by providing an overview of ASEAN’s future in the region’s development and conflict while chapter 13 concentrates on the possible application of structural dynamics to other governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
About the Author: Prof. Otto F. von Feigenblatt is an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, an Academician of the Constantinian Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (Palermo, Italy) and a member of the United States committee of the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Millenia Atlantic University (Doral, Florida). Professor von Feigenblatt is the author of Human Security in the Asia Pacific Region: Security Challenges, Regional Integration, and Representative Case Studies, YKING Books, Jaipur, India, 2010. His research has appeared in more than twenty peer reviewed academic journals and he is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Contemporary Literature and Entelequia. Professor von Feigenblatt is serving as the editor in chief of the Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, the Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, and as one of the chief editors of the Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies. In terms of education, he holds a Bachelor’s of Social Science from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Beppu, Japan), a Master’s of Arts in International Development Studies from Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), and he is completing the final year of a Doctorate of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in International Peace and Conflict at Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Florida).
4:00 P.M. Vannapond Suttichujit, MEd, MEd, Doctoral Scholar Lynn University (Boca Raton, Florida) and Associate Professor, International University of Humanities and Social Sciences (San Jose, Costa Rica)
“Education and Culture: Bridging the Achievement Gap”
4:15 P.M. Graduation Ceremony for Mediation and Negotiation Certificate Programs
Certificate in Interpersonal Mediation
Graduates: Margot León, Susana Cisneros, Maria Marta Ardon, Virginia Solano, Laura Grillo Abdelnour, Erwin Dobles, Constanza Labarca Prado, Frederick Christian Nicolaisen, Elizabeth Moralez Coto, and Anne Marie Hutchinson.
Certificate in Negotiation and Group Conflict
Certificate in Negotiation and Group Conflict
5:00 P.M. Awards Ceremony
5:15 P.M. Traditional Handicrafts Exhibition
August 7, 2011
10:00 A.M. Dr. Erna Oliver, University of South Africa
“South Africa: Cultural Diversity Counters National Unity”
Abstract: ‘Rainbow-nation’ is a descriptive and useful term to refer to the large array of cultures that form part of the diverse South African society. Using language as a cultural determinant, the spotlight falls on people who speak Zulu (22% of the population) or Afrikaans (14% of the population) as first language. Focusing on only these two prominent groups, the following observations are made: Firstly, they share a common heritage of ancestors who were cattle farmers and fight heroically in numerous wars for survival of the nation or to protect their independence. Secondly, they are divided by their historical legacies: The political history of the previous century is still, to a large extent, to be dealt with. Finally, these groups are struggling to accommodate each other’s traditions, cultural values and customs. Sexual behaviour and polygamy, controversy about belief systems, and offensive practices serve as examples of intolerance and grievances. National unity suffers from this negative impact and there is still a long way to go for all South Africans to get to the idyllic idea of ‘a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world’ (Nelson Mandela 1994).
10:15 A.M. Rev. Willem Oliver, ERCO, South Africa
“A Brand New Culture: The Real Educated Child”
Abstract: Home education is something very different from attending school. School curricula focus on the "average child," while home education focuses on the best interest of a specific (unique) learner. Although many parents worldwide are home schooling their children – they try to duplicate school at home – real home education parents take the term "education" in the correct direction, where education is not limited by time (periods), space (class rooms) or specific books (handbooks). This worldwide tendency to educate children this way, is creating a brandnew culture on earth – the culture of the real educated child. This paper will empirically discuss the "new direction" of (home) education for children, indicating and discussing the outcomes of this education that are already available.
10:30 A.M. Dr. William Bostock, PhD, University of Tasmania, Australia
“Building National Identity Through National Language: Several Case Studies”
Abstract: A strong sense of national identity is seen as essential to a stable and enduring state. But can national identity be built, or must it just be allowed to “happen”? It is argued that as language plays an essential role in creating and maintaining identity, national identity can be built through national language (NL). However, to be effective, NL policy must address some important issues, such as whether the selected NL has negative colonial associations, prior lingua franca status, claims of ownership by a specific group, accessibility, diffusion and sense of security. The diverse experiences of India, Indonesia, South Africa and Sri Lanka are presented and a general model of the criteria for a successful NL policy offered.
10:45 A.M. Dr. Ukertor Gabriel Moti, PhD, University of Abuja, Nigeria
“Culture and Development Nexus: The Interaction of African Culture with Western Culture and the Relevance to Development in the African Continent”
Abstract: The current global content is one of unprecedented economic and environmental emergency, compounded by continuing challenges of poverty, inequality, mass unemployment and conflict. This demands new ways of thinking and a fresh look at how development proceeds. In certain countries, because a consideration of cultural values, practices and resources has often been left out of development analyses, a good number of development interventions have failed to achieve their objectives. In others, an overemphasis on cultural considerations has inhibited development. A broad understanding of culture should underpin and inform attempts to support culturally-based development, including the use of cultural resources and cultural expressions to advance development objectives, and support for the creative economy to contribute to economic development. Africa is in transition. In this transition the attitudes, choices, and the values that support them, remain tragically ambiguous and ambivalent. The socio-cultural systems are nevertheless not fixed. These values, attitudes and choices are largely inspired by some old continental civilizations that slavery and colonization have no doubt strongly shaken but hardly replaced. The old framework of lifelong solidarity has not disintegrated completely; the new framework of capitalist individualism has not completely moved in. The paper focuses on assessing the culture-development relationship highlighting the importance of the multiple connections between culture and development and the added value that can be achieved by taking greater consideration of culture in development; the interaction of the African culture and Western culture and the relevance to development in the African continent. Key Words: Africa, Culture, Development, Economic, Resources.
3:00 P.M. Dr. Beatriz Peña Acuña, PhD, International University of Humanities and Social Sciences (San Jose, Costa Rica) and UCAM (Murcia, Spain)
Keynote Presentation: “Popular Culture, Social Change, and News Technologies”
Abstract: This lecture seeks to address novel socio-cultural aspects arising from the presence of social networks and to show interest in the field of Communication and Culture in general. First, we start thinking about how the concept of "net" (net) is designed and contextualized within the framework of the emergence of technological marvel as it is Internet. Second, we reflect about the nature of what are social networks in terms of real-virtual relationship established between the consumer from an Aristotelian and interpretative point of view. Third, we reveal the new social and psychological effects of the use of cyberspace through opinions and studies, in general, and social networks in particular. Fourth, we expose how the use of social networks can spread the amplification of social and cultural happenings, ultimately, how it builds new areas of expansion in the local, national and global. Fifth, we examine how social networks give rise to social and cultural currents which encourage personal initiative of cosmopolitan compared to State wide about certain issues and values that take shape around. Sixth, we raise the opinion that the average citizen expression affects the consciousness about the power of civil participation with immediate reply to everyday occurrences, and other predictable effects on long-term citizen as facts in Arabic countries recently show us. With all these factors, the purpose of this conference is attempting to give a selective overview of factors over time can lead to a transformation in how individuals relate to society, to live with themselves and each other, what proactive outreach can obtain a citizen at the time of building the culture, and finally, deduce, under these conditions, what authority and political terrain gives the citizen -with a different mindset- to the State.
3: 25 P.M. Dr. Karan Singh Chauhan, PhD, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea
“Phenomena of Honor Killings in India: Cultural Legacy of Caste and Crime”
Abstract: In recent times, cases of honor killing in India have claimed public attention and triggered demands from civil society for expeditious legislation to curb such crimes. Unconventional alliances, involving couples from different castes and clans, or of the same gotra, provide the pretext for medieval village-level, caste-linked governing bodies, called khap panchayats, to pronounce judgment and award punishment that can only be termed barbaric. Errant parties are hounded out of the villages, driven to suicide or killed. Their kin may also be persecuted by community members. Such events are accepted as being permissible for upholding the status quo in terms of social and caste relations. Outside rabidly feudal areas, alliances that do not meet family and community approval are unlikely to end in death. Most victims of ‘honor killings’ reported from various parts of the country are young people who choose to love or marry outside their caste, sub-caste or religion. Not surprisingly, the socially and economically dominant castes are usually responsible for acts of reprisal against inter-caste relationships. In the name of preserving ‘social order’ and saving the ‘honor’ of the community, caste or family, all kinds of justifications are pressed into service. To combat the epidemic of honor killings requires understanding what makes these murders unique. They differ from plain and psychopathic homicides, serial killings, crimes of passion, revenge killings, and domestic violence. Their motivation is different and based on codes of morality and behavior that typify some cultures, often reinforced by fundamentalist religious dictates. In 2000, the United Nations estimated that there are 5,000 honor killings every year. That number might be reasonable for Pakistan alone, but worldwide the numbers are much greater. In 2002 and again in 2004, the U.N. brought a resolution to end honor killings and other honor-related crimes. The possession and control of desirable commodities, especially zan, zar, zameen( women, gold and land) is closely linked with perception of man's honor. These objects are worthy of possession and need to be control on account of their inherent value. A man's property, wealth and all that is linked with these are the sum of total value and therefore it is an integral part of honor of man. Although honor is located in material wealth, the language and expression of honor resides in the body. Women's bodies are considered to be the repository of family honor. Honor in the traditional settings is a male prerogative it is men who possess these assets that allows them to hold their heads up; women have no honor of their own. In the paper these two faces of discrimination and crime, caste system and women’s subjugation, connected with an ancient cultural legacy are discussed in great intimacy and detail.
3:40 P.M. Mr. Federico Muñoz,MS, Institute of Biodiversity of Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica)
“Costa Rican Biodiversity: The Story of the Unpredictable”
Abstract: Biodiversity, or Biological diversity, is most often defined by biologists as the "totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region". Biodiversity is not evenly distributed, rather it varies greatly across the globe as well as within regions. Among other factors, the diversity of all living things depends on temperature, precipitation, altitude, geology, geography and the presence of other species. With a land area of only 51.100 km2 (0.03% of the planet’s surface and 0.001% of the land free of ice) Costa Rica is considered to be one of the few countries with greatest biodiversity in the world. The more than 500,000 species that are found in this small country represent nearly 5% of the total species estimated worldwide. We discuss the factors that enabled this process until the completion of the land bridge, 3 million years ago, that today is known as Costa Rica, with its worldwide implications.
“A Comparative Study: Gender and Education: Past, Present and Future in Iran” (Virtual Presentation)
Abstract: In the last two decades, Iranian women’s education has increased. The aim of this article is analysis trend of education and gender equity in Iran compared to other countries and regions. The main question in this article is what is Iran’s ranking among other countries, in terms of trend of change in gender equity? There has been a marked progress in the status of indicators for the assessment of fulfillment of the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) related to achieving the universal primary education. The research method is the method of secondary data analysis. The source of the data is the human development report (HDI), World Forum, and World Watch in 2000-2010. The study of various educational indicators, including access to early childhood care and education, participation in primary, secondary, and higher education, and adult literacy rates, points to considerable progress made towards gender equity in Iran over the last decade. The most significant progress has been made at the primary education level, and the secondary education level. Promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women is one of indices of MDG, to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education by 2015.
4: 15 P.M. Dr. Richard Johnson, PhD, Louisiana State University (USA)
“A Comparison of Educational Values of Anglo Americans and Latin American Immigrants in the Agriculture Industry in Louisiana” (Virtual Presentation)
Abstract: Latin American immigrants come to the United States with hopes to obtain a better life for their families through perceived better educational opportunities. One source of income for Latin American immigrants is through employment in the agricultural industry. The agricultural industry benefits from the employment of Latin American immigrants through government programs that supply workers to the industry. Therefore, many operations in Louisiana employ both Anglo-Americans and Latin American immigrant labor to operate efficiently. The purpose of this study was to compare selected characteristics of farm workers as well as to explore values related to education held by each ethnic group. The results of this study indicated similarities associated with Latin American immigrant and Anglo American educational aspirations. The Latin American immigrants are younger and have a lower overall educational attainment than Anglo-Americans employed in agriculture. However, educational attainment is equally important for Anglo-Americans and Latin American immigrants. The results of this study can be used by extension services and other educational programs to direct future educational activities based on collected information related to values and perceptions of agriculture employees in the United States. These activities can enhance the value of extension and educational programs that are meant to serve all populations in the United States.
4:30 P.M. Ms. Purnima Perera, M.Phil, The Open University of Sri Lanka
“Getting Pregnant during Teen age - By Choice or By Chance? Experiences of Pregnant Teens from Under-Served Slums in Colombo City” (Virtual Presentation)
Abstract: Teenage pregnancy (TP) is more prevalent among urban slum dwellers compared to other urban residents and it is one of the key health and social problems among slum dwellers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This paper intends to examine the early pregnancy experiences of teen girls from a sociological perspective. This study was conducted among 109 pregnant teenagers living in urban slums in Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area during 2008 July to 2010 July. A population proportionate sampling method was used to select the participants from 13 Antenatal clinics covering 96 Public Health Midwife (PHM) areas in CMC. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected through a questionnaire and in-depth interviews. Qualitative analysis was done using Frame Work Analysis and the quantitative analysis was done using SPSS software. Ethical approval was obtained. The prevalence of TP was 7.8% in CMC during the period of study. Higher prevalence of TP was observed in poorer PHM areas. Study revealed that, Most of the pregnancies were unintentional resulted from unprotected intercourse. Of the unintentional pregnancies (n=86), 17.4% (n=15) were unwanted pregnancies occurred against the will of pregnant teenagers, the unmarried in particular highlighting the un-met and un-articulated needs for contraception among teenagers. The majority of pregnancies were identified by someone else related to teenagers. This stressed the need for provision of information and awareness creation on pregnancy symptoms among pregnant teenagers as early diagnosis of pregnancy is vital for proper management of TP. The decision on continuation of pregnancy is often made by the parents of either spouse or male partners implying the lack of autonomy and awareness of teen girls over their reproductive rights. A larger proportion of pregnant teens has been identified as a high risk group by PHMM. Unmarried PTs experience more pregnancy risks than those who are married.
List of Participants in Traditional Handicraft Exhibition:
- Diana Torres (Diana's Crafts)
- Mercedes Sanchez Masis (Confecciones M&M)
- Carolina Madrigal Mora (Carito Inspiraciones)
- Enredos Sandalias Tieras Intercambiables
- Kristy Jimenez (Queques y Mas)
Accommodations (Recommended Hotels)
- Hotel Isla Verde:
Breakfast is included, great location (five minutes away from the University), rates per person range from $25 to $50 per night depending on whether the room is shared or individual. Discount available for conference presenters and participants. (Mention the name of the University in order to get the discount)
Dirección: 2 cuadras al Oeste de la Embajada de los Estados Unidos, carretera Pavas. San José, Costa RIca
Teléfonos: (506) 220.127.116.11 | (506) 18.104.22.168| (506) 22.214.171.124 | (506)126.96.36.199 | (506)188.8.131.52
- Hotel Pico Blanco:
Great view of the city, great location (ten minutes away from the University), rates per person range from $30 to $50 per night depending on whether the room is shared or individual. Discount available for conference presenters and participants. (Mention the name of the University in order to get the discount)
(Local Participant: $15)
(Local Presentation: $40)
(Virtual Presentation: $90)
(Regular Presentation: $180)