10-Minute Talks: The politics of humiliation

by Professor Ute Frevert FBA

29 Dec 2021

Daniel Defoe in the Pillory

The modern history of humiliation is different from the history of public shaming; both share certain features and practices but differ as to intentions and goals. In this talk, Professor Ute Frevert FBA argues that liberal societies have made some progress in abolishing public shaming. But they have failed to bring about “decency“ in Avishai Margalit’s terms – a general refusal to humiliate others.

She is the author of The Politics of Humiliation. A Modern History.

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