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ERIC Number: EJ1097392
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8034
"Where Is the Love?": The Ethics of Empathy in Abu Ghraib
Sturgeon, Elizabeth M.
CEA Forum, v36 n1 Win-Spr 2007
Abu Ghraib. The name conjures horrifying images of abuse, torture, and man's inhumanity to man. In one photograph, a pyramid of naked detainees huddles outside a jail cell; in another, a soldier holds the end of a dog leash which is attached at the neck to a prostrate prisoner; in another, a soldier gives the thumbs-up sign in front of a line of naked detainees. A constant barrage of images like these can often leave students shaking their heads and repeating a line from the Black Eyed Peas, "Where is the love, the love, the love?" In this article, assistant professor Elizabeth Sturgeon explores how professors can show their students the value of empathetic identification while still teaching critical thinking skills, without forcing them to adapt the professors' viewpoints, which often results in college professors being stigmatized as radicals. Further, she asks how teachers can empower their students to engage the political hot-spots around the globe and in their communities instead of turning away to turn the volume of their iPods up and tune out? Herein, Sturgeon discusses a two-tier approach to teaching freshman composition that she has been using regularly for the past eight years. Firstly, she introduces current subjects of social, cultural, and political significance to her class. In this article, she specifically discusses the controversy surrounding the discovery of the photographs in January 2004 which testify to the abuse and torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad. Secondly, she has students analyze these current events--in this case, the abuse at Abu Ghraib--from the perspectives of major researchers, thinkers, and writers who, in the wake of the Holocaust, attempt to make sense of mankind's common (in)humanity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iraq
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A