Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Aristotle’s Logos and Pathos in Cross-Cultural Contexts

Dr Mabel Deane-Khawaja.

In my literature classes when I teach the evolution of literary trends, it is difficult to avoid the historical contexts and viewpoints that shaped the transitioning eras of cultural transformation and emerging literary trends. To make those contexts of transition meaningful in the current cultural context that is temporally and psychologically removed from classical texts, Aristotle’s definition of the soul provides a powerful link across ages. He defines the human soul as emotion, capacity, and disposition.

In human drama, whether personal or international, the role and roll of Time can be analysed as a source of human tragedy as well as a catalyst in revealing the tragic flaw or flawed visions of characters’ who fail to understand transforming signs of time. The question is whether we are actually connecting the theory to the empirical role of time by placing a greater emphasis on shifting perspectives for a meaningful understanding of cross-cultural contexts.

In Humanities courses, cross-cultural contexts become the sites of human analysis as well as encounters with the empirical reality of human soul. Literacy functions as both a transforming and transformed agent of bridging theory into practice through a comprehensive involvement of the human soul. Such discovery is enriched with multiplicity of interpretations about human experience, encompassing paradoxes, contradictions, differences, and ironies. For some the discovery stops at an irreconcilable impasse; for others, it provides new explanations about meaningful parallels across cultural contexts that are freed from the gridlock positions of ancient polemics.


Dr Mabel Deane-Khawaja  (United States)
Associate Professor
English Department, School of Liberal Arts and Education
Hampton University

Mabel Khawaja is a former International Programs Coordinator and a civil servant of the US government. She is a recipient of the 1999-2000 Fulbright Award as Senior Scholar and Lecturer to Tunisia, North Africa. In 2004 she will assume office as the chair of the Standing Committee of International Concerns at the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English.

  • Cross-Cultural Contexts
  • Aristotle
  • Signifying literacy

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)