School: Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry
Joel Federman, Ph.D., is a writer, teacher and activist. He is Director of Saybrook's Transformative Social Change Specialization, within the School of Psychology and Interdisciplinary Inquiry. He has a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Southern California, and currently lives in San Francisco.
Dr. Federman is currently working on a case study of civil society activism toward democratic reform in Egypt. To further this research, he traveled to Egypt in August 2011, and met with democracy activists and others.
More broadly, Dr. Federman's teaching and writing focuses on helping people to reenvision their individual and collective potential, to see themselves shaping a better world. He is particularly interested in global-level social change, especially the development of global civil society efforts aimed at realizing values such as universal compassion, social justice and peace. He is writing a book on those themes, to be titled The Politics of Universal Compassion. He is also interested in exploring ways that new communication technologies can be used in the service of transformative social change.
He edits a website on the topics of peace, social justice, universal compassion, diversity, and ecology, at www.topia.net, with a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/topia.net. He also has done research and writing in the related areas of violence prevention, media violence, diversity education, and cross-cultural conflict resolution.
During the Spring 2015 semester, Dr. Federman is teaching TSC 6510 CO Theory and Practice of Nonviolence, TSC 6610 CO Social System Transformation Theory, TSC 6590 Peace Studies, TSC 7079 CO Building Sustainability: Present Practices in Communities and Society, RES 1005 CO Methods of Research & Disciplined Inquiry I, and is also a member and/or chair of several dissertation, thesis, project, and essay committees.
A former Co-Director of the Center for Communication and Social Policy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Federman was project director for the National Television Violence Study. For that three-year effort (1995-98), he coordinated a team of more than 200 individuals at four major research universities -- the Universities of California, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin -- to produce the most comprehensive study of television violence to date.
Dr. Federman was also project director and co-author of the Choices and Consequences Evaluation, a study of a middle school violence prevention curriculum developed by Court TV, the National Middle School Association, and Time Warner Cable. In 1998, he initiated the Center's Civility Clearinghouse, a web-based resource for information regarding the topic of civility. He is the author of Empowering Diversity, a curriculum for middle school students commissioned by the Santa Barbara, California Board of Education.
Dr. Federman has led numerous cross-cultural conflict resolution workshops, including a year-long Palestinian-Jewish dialogue at the University of Southern California. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, a national consortium of university-based peace and conflict studies programs.
His writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times; the Encyclopedia of Communication and Information; Tikkun Magazine; Common Dreams; the Yearbook of the UNESCO International Clearinghouse on Children and Violence on the Screen; Alternet; Campaigns and Elections; and Humanities in Society."
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