Ellen Feig

Professor, Bergen Community College
Yonkers, NY, United States

About Ellen

Languages

English, French

TED Conference

TEDWomen 2013

Areas of Expertise

Social Activism, Literature of the Silent, Genocide

An idea worth spreading

Everyone can write - it's just a matter of finding and honoring your own voice

I'm passionate about

Writing, Literature, Creativity, Teaching

Talk to me about

Ending War, Fighting Poverty, Using the Arts to Change the World

People don't know I'm good at

Telling stories, being funny when I don't intend to be

My TED story

I've been involved with TED, one way or another, for some time; was one of the initial users of TED-ED and am now a TEDx organizer.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

178135
Ellen Feig
Posted 9 months ago
Jorge Soto: The future of early cancer detection?
As a breast cancer survivor and someone who lives with fear of its return, I want to thank you for your incredible work. This is something that can truly change the world and the lives of those who suffer. Thank you, thank you, thank you
178135
Ellen Feig
Posted over 2 years ago
Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.
I normally don't weigh in on these issues as I trust the TEDx team to make the appropriate decision. However, I want to commend Lara and her team for acting responsibly and removing the license. As an educator, I use TED videos almost daily in my classroom; my students have come to expect quality, authenticity and interesting views without any commercial aspect. As a TEDx organizer, I have made clear to my presenters that I will not allow any of the TEDx rules to be violated and ask to see their presentations, including visuals, ahead of time. While it is nice to want to have a specific theme at a TEDx, the reality is that we have signed a license willingly with full knowledge of what is in the agreement. As with any legal agreement, TEDx has every right to hold us to the terms of that agreement. It bothers me when commentators argue this is censorship as it is not - like any branded organization TED has a responsiblity to its viewers/users to uphold the brand and as organizers we have the same.
178135
Ellen Feig
Posted over 2 years ago
Can one ever truly atone?
It is two fold - can one ever truly make a wrong right, i.e. could a criminal ever make a victim whole? And then can one ever reconcile with the higher power they believe in?
178135
Ellen Feig
Posted over 2 years ago
Can one ever truly atone?
Atone for any wrong deed, whether it be against one's family, against society, against nature. Leo - there are many critics who actually argue that the Old Testament sees atonement as to placate; so I like the idea of soothing one's soul while attempting to atone for sin or a bad deed. One of my students brought up the concept that one can't truly atone until one gains forgiveness from the wronged party but I am not sure that's what is meant by the Story of Ruth.
178135
Ellen Feig
Posted over 2 years ago
Based upon a discussion we are having in the Idea area, I wonder - how do you define morality and why? Where does your definition come from?
Thank you all for your insightful responses - I really struggle with this idea that morality, and in many instances ethics, come from experience of a person or culture; does that mean that there is not a code of morality that transcends all cultures or religions? I remember years ago learning how the Golden Rule (do unto others...) was something that all religions espoused. However, if that is true then how do humans continue to kill in the name of religion - doesn't that destroy the very essence of the golden rule? The next issue is the idea that morality comes from past successful experiences. My questions is what defines successful experiences? I was having this conversation this morning with my family who has always valued money as the definition of success - by this definition I am the least successful member of my family as I make the least amount of money. However, I am passionate about my job and the work I do so isn't that success? This is all very circular thinking and may simply be impossible to define but what happens when each of us or each group has their own idea of what is moral or ethical? Would that lead us to potentially hurt others in the name of our own sense of morality? If I am brought up in a culture that says it is okay to kill in the name of a higher power, that in fact it is ethical to do so, does it make that moral?
178135
Ellen Feig
Posted over 2 years ago
Based upon a discussion we are having in the Idea area, I wonder - how do you define morality and why? Where does your definition come from?
I agree with you on your definitions but struggle with the subjective nature of morals..if we learn morals from a culture that acts in ways that seem unethical (i.e to society) then how do we ever become ethical beings? I know it this is circular thinking but it is weighing on me as an educator when I see the real lack of concern for others in young people.
178135
Ellen Feig
Posted over 2 years ago
Can one teach young people to be moral? Is morality something that must be taught in the home? Is it innate?
Very interesting re: game theory as I was of the belief that games (and competition) teach one to further their own interest rather than the interest of the whole. Having just spent some time reading about the conflict in Sudan, there are some strong global examples of the immorality that comes from acting to further one's objectives while ignoring the needs of the group.