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Spring course "International & Ethnic Conflict Amelioration, Resolution, & Prevention"

COMM 8110 Advanced Topics Seminar: International and Ethnic Conflict Amelioration, Resolution, and Prevention.

Rosita Albert M 1:15 -4:25) (some flexibility on the schedule possible)

It is estimated that currently 2/3 of international conflicts are ethnic conflicts. These conflicts may or may not involve physical violence, but they usually involve issues of ethnic and cultural identify, prejudice, stereotyping, differing historical accounts, and complex interrelationships between political, social, economic, educational, and other factors.

If you are interested in intercultural or interethnic relations, ethnic identify, ethnic conflict and related issues such as globalization, inter-group relations, immigration, minority/majority relations, media and conflict, reconciliation after conflict, and other related issues, this cutting-edge seminar might intrigue you. It is open to graduate students in any related field who want to engage with current and evolving work in this area, and it will involve multidisciplinary approaches and perspectives.

The seminar will focus on a variety of ethnic conflicts, on what we can learn about the amelioration and prevention of such conflicts, as well as on recommendations to policy makers and others interested in peacebuilding.

An exciting part of the seminar will be the opportunity for participants read extensive chapters from the forthcoming Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: International Perspectives, co-edited by Dan Landis and myself. The Handbook will be published in the near future by Springer. The chapters cover a wide variety of conflicts, including those in Israel/Palestine, Spain, France, China, India, Mexico, Sudan (Darfur), the Netherlands, Turkey, the Philippines, Peru, Hawaii, Cyprus, and other locations. A number of the chapters deal with immigrants. Others focus on ethnic groups that have been in a location for a long time. Many deal with minority populations. The authors come from a variety of disciplines and from countries throughout the world. Most of the authors have expertise in intercultural relations.

The Handbook will be the first book sponsored by the International Academy for Intercultural Research, a multidisciplinary association of researchers and senior practitioners. One unique feature of the Handbook is that authors followed a common outline and made recommendations for policy makers.

The seminar will enable participants to gain a broader and deeper understanding of a variety of existing conflicts, to focus on a conflict that most interests them, to enlarge their understanding of approaches to conflict management by reading state-of-the-art materials, to engage with a number of important of issues such as globalization, immigration, minorities, genocide, inter-group relations, ethnic identity, and related issues, to explore similarities and differences in conflicts in different contexts, regions and countries, and to consider important policy issues.

In addition to chapters of the Handbook, participants will read, discuss, and critique some articles and book chapters, films, videos and other resources from Communication, Psychology, International Relations, Political Science, History and related fields. Course requirements include class contributions (discussions, suggestions of materials, comments, and presentations) and a seminar paper.

As a Founding Fellow of the International Academy for Intercultural Reseach, a member of the International Association for Conflict Management (both interdisciplinary organizations) and a member of both the Conflict Management and the International and Intercultural Communication Division of the National Communication Association, I want to encourage graduate students from different disciplinary backgrounds and different interests to register, and to produce papers that they might present at conferences or submit for publication. Our aim is to collectively further what is known about amelioration and prevention of such conflicts and to propose new ideas for theory, research, policy and practice. Collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas are very much encouraged.

For further information and/or to indicate your interest on the seminar, please contact Prof. R. Albert at alber001(at)umn.edu as soon as possible.

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