Joel Federman

Chair, Department of Transformative Social Change, Saybrook University.

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 currently writing a book on those themes, to be titled The Politics of Universal Compassion. Though primarily presenting a positive vision of global civil society movements aimed at realizing values such as universal compassion, nonviolence, social justice, and environmental sustainability, the book will also present those movements in contrast to growing hyper-nationalism, racism, and xenophobia in various parts of the world.

Dr. Federman is the former Director of the North American Dialogue Project of the American Friends of Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam (an Israeli-Palestinian intentional community in Israel that has pioneered dialogue efforts). He has conducted dialogue workshops with leaders of the Arab and Jewish communities in Los Angeles, and co-facilitated a year-long Palestinian-Jewish dialogue among faculty, staff and students at the University of Southern California.  He has traveled to the Middle East, and met with Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian officials, as well as activists, educators and researchers. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, a consortium of university-based peace and conflict studies programs.

Dr. Federman is developing 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.

Dr. Federman also conducts research and writing in the related areas of violence prevention, media violence, diversity education, and cross-cultural conflict resolution. 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, 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.

His writing has been published in Common Dreams; the Los Angeles Times; the Encyclopedia of Communication and Information; Tikkun Magazine; the Yearbook of the UNESCO International Clearinghouse on Children and Violence on the Screen; Alternet; Campaigns and Elections; and Humanities in Society.

He has a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Southern California, and currently lives in San Francisco.