“CHARMES AND CHALLENGES OF OTHERNESS: HOW TOLERANCE AND SECURITY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD” – LECTURE BY MIKHAIL EPSTEIN, PROFESSOR OF RUSSIAN AND CULTURAL THEORY AND DIRECTOR OF CENTRE FOR HUMANITIES INNOVATION AT DURHAM UNIVERSITY (UK)

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The first Lecture about Secure Tolerance “Charms and Challenges of Otherness: How Tolerance and Security Make a Difference in the World” was delivered by Mikhail Epstein S.C. Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University, USA and Professor, Founder and director of Centre for Humanities Innovation at Durham University, UK to students and teachers of University College School, in London on 20th January 2015.

University College School was specifically chosen to host the discussion about a very important subject – tolerance and its parameters. Tolerance has historically been an important theme at UCS. This school is not only one of the best educational institutions, but also “a product of tolerance”.

The concept of “limited tolerance” is universal and touches almost all areas of human life – from nuclear disarmament to migration policy. However, it is extremely complicated to define the parameters of tolerance.

Nevertheless, we face another problem as well: how to teach the criteria of tolerance. A comprehensive education programme teaching the foundations of tolerance has never been applied in practice. There is a very limited number of experts capable of doing it.

That is why the Kantor Programme together with the Department for Education in the UK have proposed to implement the programme at UCS, which is one of the best institutions for this pilot programme. There are also plans to roll out the programme in to a UK university, a suitable university is currently being selected.

The educational programme proposes to teach children from the age of 3 through to university age. The first step is to implement this programme over several years, followed by more fundamental research and development.

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