I was born in Trieste, Italy and grew up in a multilingual household where I was provided with literature from cultures around the world. When my father moved to Latin America, I spent time with him in Sao Paulo, Lima and Mexico as a teenager. He taught me how to immerse myself in different cultures, leaving behind my suppositions and learning new perspectives as well as languages. In the United States, with its emphasis on individualism and the marginalizing of its communal cultures such as the African American and the Native American, we do not realize how deeply culture influences our study of history and how our very epistemology is a social construct. One of my pressing interests as a political scientist is the change in our political culture since 9/11 and my opposition to the Iraq War. Under our current government, people who dissent are labeled as unpatriotic and the executive branch has eclipsed the other two branches of government at great cost to our civil liberties. As a result I have turned to my life as a poet to express my dissent as poets in other cultures have done for generations.
My “global awareness” derives from the accidents of birth (in Germany), habitation (USA), multiple influences, widespread wandering, and study. Feminism infuses my understanding of the cultures I encounter and convinces me that the received word is inadequate.
Ruth Nemzoff, Ed.D., Resident Scholar, WSRC, Brandeis University
I lived in India for two years, have worked in France and Switzerland. I travel to Asia annually these days and am interested in how women in one country can both influence each other and be understanding of each other. My new book, Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How To Foster: Rewarding Relationships with Your adult Children, explores intergenerational relationships. I am interested in exploring what aspects of these relationships are universal and what aspects are culture based.