Name History



How our name evolved

 

By Evelin Gerda Lindner
February 2005

 

Our Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies endeavour continuously struggles with our name.

Please see here the list of names that we developed between 2001 and 2003
(to each name please think the motto "Breaking the Cycle of Humiliation" attached):

"Columbia Center for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies"
"Center for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies"
"Working Actively Towards Confronting Humiliation (WATCH)"
"Humiliation WATCH (Working Actively To Confront Humiliation)"
"Humiliation or Peace (HOPE)"
"Global Network of Humiliation Studies"
"International Humaliation Studies"
"Center for the Prevention of Humiliation and Violence"
"Overcoming Humiliation - Center for the Study and Action"
"Center for the Prevention of Humiliation in Conflict"
"Center for the Prevention of Humiliation and Violence in Conflict"
"Center for the Prevention of Humiliation and Violence"
"Center (or Institute) for the Study of Humiliation and Conflict"
"Humiliation Focus Center"
"Center for the Study of Humiliation"
"Humiliation Action: Breaking the Cycle of Humiliation"
"Humiliation Action Center: Breaking the Cycle of Humiliation"
"Humiliation and Humanization - A Study and Intervention Center"
"Institute for the Study of Humiliation and Acknowledgment"
"Humiliation and Its Discontents - A Study and Intervention Center"
"EARTH Center - End All Regimes That Humiliate"
"Education Against Regimes That Humiliate"
"HELP: Humiliation Elimination Learning Program"
"Institute to investigate and eliminate acts of humiliation"
"Center for the Study of Humiliation and Violence"
"Center for Studying Acts of Humiliation and How to Overcome It"
"Center for Enhancing Dignity and Decreasing Humiliation"
"Institute for the Analysis and Prevention of Humiliation"
"The Institute for the Study of the Causes and Effects of Humiliation and Developing Remedial Strategies"
"Center for the Study of Humiliation and Facilitation of its Abolition"
"Ending of Humiliation Institute"
"Institute for the Ending of Humiliation"
"Humiliation Elimination Institute"
"Institute for the Discontinuation of Humiliation"
"Institute for the Abolition of Humiliation"
"Humiliation Abolition Institute"
"Humiliation Eradication Institute"
"Institute for the Eradication of Humiliation"
"POHS - Programme on Humiliation Studies"
"Program for the Study of Humiliation".
"The Program to Study the Causes of and Responses to Humiliation"
"Institute For the Study of Intergroup Humiliation, Hostility, and Violence"
"Program on Humiliation Studies and Transformative Strategies"
"Program - or Center - for the Study of the Alleviation (or Eradication) of All Forms of Humiliation"
"Institute for the Study of Intergroup Hostility and Humiliation
"Institute for the Study of Negative Human Interaction"
"The Institute for Studies of Human Rights and Humiliation"
"Center for the Study of Humiliation and Hostility"
"The Anti-Humiliation Institute"
"Institute for Anti-Humiliation Strategies"
"Humiliation Reduction Institute"
"Breaking the Cycle of Humiliation Institute"
"The Humiliation Management Institute"
"Moratorium on Humiliation Institute"
"Advancing the Science of Humiliation Reduction"
"Studies of Honor and Humiliation"




How "Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS)" came into being in 2003

In June 2003, Elisabeth Scheper wrote:

Thought some more about the title. This is my favorite for today:

Center for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies

I think it sounds great, because:
        It has a nice alliteratie sound
        It is simple but dignified
        It combines subject and purpose in the title
        Center gives it status and intellectual ownership to you
        Studies indicates it is not training in humiliation and SM
        Human dignity as first word does the same: puts humiliation studies in context
        Decided against international in the title, because that is already embedded in human dignity, which has a universal appeal and an ethic value that is global."




How we tried to avoid terms as Institute, Center, or Program, in 2003

We subsequently decided to avoid words such as institute, center, or program, since we felt that these terms had too narrow connotations within institutional bodies such as Columbia University, which had invited us. Thus, when Eric Van Grasdorff started building our website in December 2003, we decided to merely omit words such as institute, center, or program and merely use "Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies" with the motto "Breaking the Cycle of Humiliation."




How we struggled with the name, again, in 2005

After our annual meetings in 2004, we discussed, how we could develop our group institutionally. We had decided to keep the word Humiliation in our name, after a discussion at our 2004 Paris meeting. Our decision was to develop our work in a global decentralized way. This would involve founding the global part of our endeavour, to begin with, as a non-for-profit organization in the US, and ask local groups to found their sub-groups wherever they are based.

Please see here the text that Lindner wrote at the end of 2004:
One view is that HumanDHS ought to be developed as one single organization, entailing all four agendas. The other opinion is that HumanDHS ought to develop in a de-centralized way, thus opening up for flexibility, the multiplication of ideas, and empowerment of people who adopt those ideas. This approach suggests that HumanDHS should keep its characteristic of being a global network that spurns ideas, and that those who "adopt" these ideas would then found sub-organizations, in a franchise-like approach, under the umbrella of HumanDHS.

When we envisage a decentralized organizational structure, in order to allow for flexibility and multiplication, the HumanDHS network/group does not carry out projects itself, apart from networking, having annual meetings, and generating ideas.

However, we encourage everybody to "adopt" the ideas generated by our HumanDHS network in a franchise-like way (read in this context our Call for Creativity, by Trevor Balance, at www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/callforcreativity.php). We encourage interested individuals to take over specific parts of the HumanDHS Agendas and realize them as directors/heads/coordinators by founding their own organizations, tailor-made to the specific task they are heading. Our Agendas, from Research to Education and finally to the numerous Intervention projects, require very different organizational and institutional solutions. Each subgroup is therefore encouraged to develop those most suitable institutional solutions for themselves, in cooperation with our HumanDHS network/group.

Each organization that is linked to HumanDHS commits itself to a certain framework of values (furthering equal dignity as opposed to humiliation) and to donating a certain part of profits (in case profits are generated) to our research scholarships, our annual meetings, and the position as Director/Head/Coordinator of our global network (in case Judit were to wish to take up this position, she is warmly invited).

The framework that we hold to be important is that we wish to work for and not against, namely for equal dignity for all. And, even though we aim at raising awareness for the destructive consequences of cycles of humiliation and the suffering of people who are being exposed to humiliating treatment, we do not wish to engage in violently humiliating humiliators, which would merely turn the spiral of humiliation further. We rather wish to promote respectful approaches also to humiliators and the non-violent humbling of humiliators. We furthermore believe that it is important for all of us to walk the talk. We wish to invite people into our group who are willing and able to promote our mission with humility and in a cooperative relational spirit of mutual support and respect. Competitive and adversarial behavioral styles that draw their strength from dominating and humiliating others have no room in our work. We wish to encourage "selfless leadership" and would wish to avoid including in our group autocratic "big-ego" leaders.




Nitza Milagros Escalera's reflections, February 2005

In your email you asked if the name for the organization could remain "Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies?" After some thought, we think that it is probably best to alter the name for the reasons enumerated below.

•  If HDS seeks tax exempt status with the IRS, careful consideration should be given to the implications the corporate name may have for tax-exempt status. For instance, if your organization seeks to serve a public/charitable purpose (501(c) (3)), then the name should reflect a broader constituency rather than a limited one. The word "Studies" is good, but it may be too limiting as the term on its own may be interpreted as servicing a particular group of students and scholars. However, because it appears that you want to serve and touch a diverse global community, it might be best to adopt a name that includes other qualifying terms such as Global, Universal, Alliance, Networks, Association, or Academy to better reflect this broader constituency.

•  In addition, from a non-legal perspective, "Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies" may not fully express the essence of what the group is all about. For instance, if your goal is not only to engage in studies, but to also act to help bring about change by working with member groups in various ways, then you may want a name that reflects this goal. Thus, a name that includes terms like Global, Universal, Alliance, Network, Association, or Academy might better serve HDS' goals.

•  Finally, have you thought of choosing a name that forms a good sounding acronym? For instance, "World Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies" sounds wonderful, but in its short form, WHADS, the name appears less attractive. In contrast, a name such as Universal Alliance for Human Dignity, short form UAHD or Global Alliance for Human Dignity, short form GHAD, are very pleasant to pronounce in both the long and acronym forms. We see from the emails that the group had previously considered names that form good acronyms - perhaps one way to help decide would be to list possible names along with their corresponding acronyms?




Evelin Lindner's reflections, February 2005

Evelin's first message, on the word global:

I would opt for "global" (or something equivalent) instead of "international," because I think that the word "national," even when used with "inter-" is emphasizing nationalities, while we want to emphasize globality, a sense that we all are part of One World and that nationalisms might rather be unhelpful, at least as long as they are used to put "national interest" first and "international" interest second. The current American administration, for example, drives a policy of American interest first, as if there were another planet waiting to be populated when this one is exhausted. The current American administration's notion of internationalism does not make clear that in an interdependent world common interest has to be adopted as self-interest. I am not sure, however, to my sense, the word global makes this more clear. What is your view?

A later message by Evelin:

I like a lot the following two names:
Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies - A Worldwide Alliance
or
Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies - A Global Alliance

I like Alliance since it expresses that we want to join forces and envisage a common goal/vision/mission. Forum and Association are less goal-oriented, at least to my understanding, even though I also appreciate Betty's experience.

Another advantage of having the name in the way you indicate is that we would not necessarily have to change the frame of our website




Linda Hartling's reflections, February 2005

Linda's first message, on the word Alliance:

I would like to keep the "Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies" of our group's name. However, to give the group a more substantial identity, here are a couple of name possibilities to spark our thinking about this...

Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
International Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies

Alliance =
1.      an association of two or more groups, individuals, or nations who agree to cooperate with one another to achieve a common goal
2.      the establishment of or participation in an alliance with somebody 3.      the nations, individuals, or groups that make up an alliance
4.      a close relationship, based on the possession of similar aims or characteristics, between two or more people or things, especially a love affair

Other word possibilities: Global, World, Partnership.

Another message from Linda:

Here are a few more ideas:

World Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Global Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Universal Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Worldwide Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies

And here are some ideas using our other word possibilities...

World Organization for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Global Network for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Universal Society for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Worldwide Forum for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies

Yet another message from Linda:

It is not easy to balance the various factors that would give us an ideal title.  I agree with Betty that shorter is better whenever possible....At the same time, I think we want to offer a compelling description of the work (more brainstorming below).  After looking up the definitions, I tend to prefer "association" or "alliance" rather than "forum" (see below). 
Another possibility to consider is to use a graphic to symbolize the global nature of the organization, rather than using a word. Warmest wishes to all, Linda

More ideas...
Worldwide Association for Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies Global Association for Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies
Worldwide Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies Association Global Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies Association
Worldwide Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies Alliance Global Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies Alliance
Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies - Worldwide Alliance Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies - Global Alliance
Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies - Worldwide Association Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies - Global Association
HumanDHS - Worldwide Association HumanDHS - Global Association

DEFINITIONS
ASSOCIATION: 1. a group of people or organizations joined together for a purpose 2. a linking or joining of people or things 3. coming together and social interaction between people 4. a connection of ideas, memories, or feelings with each other, or with events.

ALLIANCE: 1. an association of two or more groups, individuals, or nations who agree to cooperate with one another to achieve a common goal 2. the establishment of or participation in an alliance with somebody 3. the nations, individuals, or groups that make up an alliance 4. a close relationship, based on the possession of similar aims or characteristics, between two or more people or things, especially a love affair

FORUM: 1. a medium, for example, a magazine or newspaper, in which the public may debate an issue or express opinions 2. a meeting to discuss matters of general interest 3. a public square or marketplace in ancient Roman cities where business was conducted and the law courts were situated 4. a law court or tribunal.

Yet another message from Linda:

I like this option very much!!
Human Dignity & Humiliation Studies - A Global Alliance
It captures our message and our mission, and it allows us to clearly identify the work without redesigning the Web site....I think this is an excellent option.




Richard Slaven's reflections, February 2005

I strongly support the name:
Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies - A Global Alliance.
It keeps the primary focus of the organization first and says we are worldwide.




Bert Wyatt-Brown's reflections, February 2005

Bert's first message:

Usually societies, organizations, or whartever they are in their titles. Organization of American Hiiostoroian,. American Socilogical Association, Society for Studies in Human Dignity and Humiliation. That sounds more like the name of an organization, but I am no expert. Maybe you know comparable societies that lack that sobriquet. I belong to ones like American Historical Association,  Historical Society, Southern Historical Association, American Automobile Association, National History Center, Harvard University Club, etc.

Another message from Bert:

I think "Alliance for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies" is short enough and does not rpeclude a global, worldwide, or Universal connection. 




Elisabeth Scheper's reflections, advocating Forum, February 2005

I too agree with Evelin about 'international' and thanks linda for giving us various alternatives. However i am a bit concerned that the title is getting too long. I always prefer something simple that gets to the core of our work. We put human dignity before humiliation studies to reflect the positive spin of our work, so we have five words already. I would replace Center with only one word, but if you insist to reflect our multinational work in the title, intuitively i would chose global, as world doesn;t work and the others are too long and distracting from the HDHS.
 
I like both alliance and forum, but do have preference for the latter. Again it is intuitive. An alliance feels like a likeminded group joining for global change, for which others need to change. The in and out group thing. Contrary to Bert, I think it is much harder to be an active, open, democratic and inclusive Forum that gives room for everyone to participate and exchange, however diverse the opinions are. I have highest admiration for the few well functioning Forum organisations that I know.
 
Two examples: Forum Asia is the regional human rights organisation of South East and South Asia that was founded in Bangkok in the early 1990s with a first grant from my former Novib department. Governments in Asia were increasingly learning from eachother how to curtail critical voices in the society wihtout losing their international aid, but civil society had no regional network. Initially there was much resistence from national HR organisations, because they claimed that every country is unique and the state repression made HR work dangerous, something that could only be understood by incountry organisations. Now a decade later Forum Asia has done outstanding work to facilitate linking and learning, to undertake joint election monitoring missions in eachothers countries, to provide shelter for 'partner under fire' etcetc. Another example is Forum NL, the leading information and dialogue center on multi cultural integration in the netherlands. Another highly sensitive subject, nobody wanting to be represented by others, but with strong need for exchange and joint action in a safe place. I can send you their english websites if you like. If our network could move in such direction, we can be really pround.




Rebecca Ann Klein 's reflections, February 2005

"Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies - A Global Alliance":
I like it!




Donald Klein 's reflections, February 2005

I personally favor Human Dignity and Humiliation Network (HDH-net) but
clearly others favor Alliance over Network.  Of the two Alliance options, I
favor Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies- A Global Alliance.  I also have
some concern over the term "Studies," which appears to limit us to teaching
and research.  However, I don't have an alternative to propose.