2010 – Heribert and Kogila Adam

This year 2010 the Thakore Family Foundation, The India Club of Vancouver, Institute for the Humanities and the J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University celebrates the 20th annual Gandhi Jayanti Celebration with an Award to Heribert Adam and Kogila Moodley Adam, distinguished authors and teachers whose books on peacemaking and non-violent change in South Africa and in divided societies have brought them many honors.

They will speak on October 3 at 7:30 p.m. on the subject of

Gandhi and Mandela: Reconciliation in Deeply Divided Societies

The talk will compare Gandhi and Mandela who have been elevated to global icons of non-violent change. They stand for a secular, universalist and cosmopolitan vision. Linked by their struggles to dislodge exploitative external colonialism in the case of India, and internal colonialism in South Africa, they soared above the extremists of their times to seek out alternatives to restore dignity to the human condition regardless of caste, class, color or creed. Yet these noble ideals often founder on a contrary reality. The ‘burden of history’ shapes collective memory.

By comparing Gandhi’s and Mandela’s successes and failures we can draw lessons for post-conflict reconstruction. How do societies deal with the crimes of their past? How can perpetrators and victims of gross human rights violations be reconciled and justice as well as peaceful co-existence secured?

The two-part lecture demystifies Gandhi and Mandela by referring to India, ‘rainbow’ South Africa and the elusive peace in Israel/Palestine. By asking, How can Gandhi and Mandela’s visions of reconciliation be revived in a violence-prone world, the talk will add to our understanding of the cultural and political roots of violence and peacemaking.

Kogila Moodley is Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Education at UBC and was the first holder of the David Lam Chair. Raised in the Indian community of apartheid South Africa, her research is focused on critical multiculturalism and anti-racism education. She has served as President of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Ethnic, Minority and Race Relations (1998-2002).

Heribert Adam, FRSC, is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at SFU and also holds an annual appointment at the University of Cape Town.  Educated at the Frankfurt School of critical theory with Adorno and Habermas as mentors, his most recent books, co-authored with Kogila Moodley, are: Seeking Mandela: Peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians (Temple University Press, 2006) and, as editor, Hushed Voices: Unacknowledged Atrocities of the 20th Century (Berkshire Academic Press, 2010).