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You want to win a prize in a writing contest in social science in which contributions written like an academic paper will not be accepted? Pay attention to the following call for articles: The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) invites young scholars to submit texts on Sustainable Development Goals and their human dimension, be it political, technological, economic, or social.
Prizes are US$ 500, US$ 200, and US$ 100 and the three winning pieces will be published in the in-house magazine Dimensions.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to May 15, 2013.
If summer school organizers asked me: “Is all knowledge local?”, I would respond: “Surely not”. However, then I would falter trying to say any more about the spatial dimension, locality and knowledge in motion.
The summer school “Sites of Knowledge: Space, Locality, and Circulation between Asia and Europe” in Heidelberg, Germany, addresses this relationship. It focuses on a variety of exemplary places like courts, temples, and academies; discusses actors and practices; as well as suitable concepts.
The event is part of the research cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context: The Dynamics of Transculturality” at Heidelberg University. The agenda includes presentations by a great bundle of international speakers.
Invited to apply are graduate students from the humanities and social sciences. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2013.
Date: August 4 to 8, 2013.
Yesterday was the first International Day of Happiness as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in July 2012. The idea to introduce such a day derived from a meeting titled “Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm”. The meeting had been convened by the Government of Bhutan and is one of many initiatives questioning economic growth and the GDP as leading indicator for political success (e.g. summarized in a MPIfG working paper, in German). During the debates on alternatives, Bhutan gained a lot of prominence for its decade-old practice of focusing on citizens’ happiness instead.
The resolution which introduces the Day of Happiness also tells us that “the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal”. Furthermore, the UN General Assembly recognizes
“the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives”
the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples
The new economic paradigm which the world was supposed to reflect on yesterday is still one of economic growth, one might say – but in addition, there is an International Day of Happiness.
The holiday season seems a good moment to explore the contradictory nature of Christmas as a holiday that has become nearly globally observed while at the same time still being considered deeply nationally entrenched in many countries. Take Germany, for example: Considered as the homeland of Weihnachtsstimmung (Christmas mood), Christmas trees and Christmas markets, few would doubt that there is something a like a really true deutsche Weihnacht. Across the Atlantic, Americans equally claim to have their American Christmas, which, by the way, is the only federal holiday in the United States with a religious connection. Yet, celebrating Christmas has also an inherent transcendental dimension that goes beyond national borders – no matter whether people observe it as a religious or secular holiday.
To better understand the contradictory global and national character of Christmas, it is useful to go back to the long 19th century in which the modern Christmas was re-invented in a series of developments. During this period, Christmas celebrations became increasingly linked to national sentiments but they were also shaped by a multitude of imagined cultural encounters and transfers between countries. Building on the abundant scholarly literature on the history of Christmas, this blog post aims to sketch some developments which had a lasting impact on modern Christmas as it is familiar to us today. In particular, it draws on the wonderfully detailed books of Joe Perry and Stephen Nissenbaum, as well as an article by Neil Amstrong (references see below).
This post has been written “live” at the Creative Commons Global Summit 2011, taking place from September 16-18 in Warsaw, Poland.
Continuing the debate on license porting in the realm of Creative Commons (see “The End of the Porting Experiment?“), Paul Keller of CC Netherlands took a clear stance, calling for developing only one, global license in the future. In his talk, he mentioned the following advantages of the global approach:
- Reducing (potential) incompatibilities
- Forces us to take a consistent position on issues that are specific to certain regions (e.g. moral rights, database rights)
- Will produce licenses that better meet users’ expectations
- Will cover all jurisdictions, not ‘just’ 55
- Has the potential to initiate a inter-jurisdictional discussion on the substance of the licenses
- Frees time for other activities (community building, promoting adoption, policy work, implementation advice)
Keller was followed by Massimo Travostino from Creative Commons Italy, who added his opinion that the more a license is successfully “ported”, the more likely it is to create problems in other jurisdiction. Read the rest of this entry »