Linda M. Hartling

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NameLinda M. Hartling
Affiliated Organizations

Linda M. Hartling, Ph.D., Social Scientist, Relational-Community Psychologist

Country of origin / País de origenUnited States
Country where you do your workUnited States
Please tell us about your work in peace education. / Cuéntenos sobre su trabajo en la educación para la paz.

Since 2003, I have collaborated with Dr. Evelin Lindner in cultivating a community of peace-and-dignity advocates known as Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS). It is a transdisciplinary academic community of concerned scholars, researchers, educators, practitioners, creative artists, and others, who all collaborate in a spirit of mutual support to understand the complex dynamics of dignity and humiliation.

We wish to stimulate systemic change, globally and locally, to open space for peace in dignity. We observe that it is still widely mistaken as “peace” when people are driven into apathic subservience through systemic humiliation and routine humiliating practices. Our goal is opening space for feelings of humiliation to nurture constructive social change, so that we all can join in healing cycles of humiliation throughout the world and achieve peace in dignity.

Our projects include:

  • World Dignity University Initiative (WDUi): Collaborator and on the leadership team of the WDUi that invites educators, scholars, practitioners, activists, learners, and people from all walks of life, from all corners of the earth, to share responsibility for leading the world toward greater cooperation by developing a higher education, non-degree learning community.
  • Dignity Press and World Dignity University Press: These are the publishing branches of HumanDHS, focusing on publishing books written by a diverse group of scholars, activists, practitioners, and others working throughout the world.
  • Annual Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict: This a yearly meeting for new and returning members of HumanDHS that allows members of HumanDHS to share ideas that bring the practice of dignity to the forefront of scholarship and social action. The workshop is convened in affiliation with the Morton Deutsch-International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.
  • Annual Dignity Conference: This is a yearly conference bringing together HumanDHS members and new friends working in locations throughout the world. The conference provides a space for all involved to connect and collaborate on ideas and efforts that cultivate the dignity of all people and the planet (meeting locations have included Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim, Norway; San Juan, Costa Rica; Istanbul, Turkey; Dunedin, New Zealand; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Kigali, Rwanda; Dubrovnik, Croatia, Indore, India, and Amman, Jordan).


Start in the field & motivations / Inicio en este campo y motivaciones

I started out as a singer, music educator, and choral conductor. Music is the foundational source of my belief in the power of collaborative creativity for inspiring mutually beneficial social change. After going back to graduate school to earn a doctorate in clinical/community psychology, I was deeply inspired by the work of many visionary scholars, including my mentor Jean Baker Miller, MD, a leader in relational-cultural theory and therapy; my doctoral advisor Donald Klein, Ph.D., a founding father of the field of community psychology; my closest collaborator Evelin Lindner, MD, Ph.Ds., a global social scientist and relational ambassador; and Oregon peace poets, William and Kim Stafford.

These scholars — along with many, many other highly esteemed colleagues — have led me to commit my life to “creating a world without humiliation that dignifies us all,” which I believe is essential to deep and enduring peace.

Significant Career Moments & Success Stories / Momentos significativos de tu carrera y historias de éxito

One of my greatest highlights is working with Dr. Evelin Lindner to cultivate the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) community. Our community (a.k.a., a “dignicommunity”) uses appreciative inquiry for advancing scholarship, while practicing a relational approach to engage in collaborative action. We strive to foster a replenishing relational-organizational climate that is constantly evolving and growing with, rather than at the expense of, the people by emphasizing mutually dignifying dialogue.

In addition, in the 1990s I developed the Humiliation Inventory, the first scale designed to evaluate the internal experience of humiliation. This self-report scale assesses cumulative humiliation (to what extent one has felt humiliated throughout their life) and fear of humiliation (to what extent one fears being humiliated in the future). It has been used internationally in research exploring the link between humiliation and a wide variety of social and psychological concerns, including global p-0overty, depression, facial disfigurement, narcissism, eating disorders, immigration, emotional isolation, and conflict. It has been translated into Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Norwegian (Hartling & Luchetta, 1999).

What keeps you going? / ¿Qué te hace seguir?

It is my colleagues and collaborators in the HumanDHS community who inspire me every day with their efforts to create dignity and peace in the world. Their courage while “walking-the-talk” of peace and dignity — realized through compassion, sensitivity, and humility — gives me the courage to keep going!

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