Dr. Jamil Zaki, psychologist and author, will present his book and this year’s first-year summer read, “The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World,” Thursday, September 17, at 7:30 p.m. This event is a private Zoom event for the College of Wooster community.
In The War for Kindness, Dr. Zaki shares research that illustrates how empathy is not a fixed trait, “but rather a skill that can be strengthened through effort.” Throughout the book he shares narratives of people who develop and work towards greater kindness and empathy, in themselves and in the world, while also sharing scholarly research on this subject in an accessibly manner. Of note, the annotated bibliography includes evaluation of each source that is cited, which in addition to the book itself, offers an invitation to unique pedagogical opportunities regarding information literacy.
His writings on the topic of how empathy works and how people can learn to empathize more effectively have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic.
Dr. Zaki, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Laboratory, has spent his career studying empathy, and especially how people can learn to empathize more effectively. These skills are especially important now, as we face the COVID pandemic and the ongoing fight for racial justice, and yet countless people feel more isolated than ever before.
Dr. Zaki’s visit is made possible thanks to the Peter Mortensen Endowed Lecture Fund, established in 2006 with a gift from Peter Mortensen, class of 1956, with gratitude for the contribution of The College of Wooster to the success and happiness of three generations of the Mortensen family. Income from the fund is used to support one or more public lectures and/or performances related to the First-Year Seminar, or for similar purposes directly related to the academic program.