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The Power of Humiliation: Rhetoric, Retaliation and Resistance

 From Trump to ISIS to the Arab uprisings, invocations of humiliation pervade the political landscape. But what does ‘humiliation’ mean exactly, and how does it work rhetorically? In this lecture on her current research, Professor Roxanne Euben develops an account of humiliation anchored in the way people actually use it in language, with a particular focus on Islamist rhetoric about the ‘humiliation of Islam’ and invocations of humiliation during the 2011 Egyptian Uprising. These cases illustrate broad patterns in how humiliation constructs collective powerlessness, but also how it operates to demand dramatically different responses.  

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