Fight Club: Peace and Conflict Studies

We live in a world where conflicts are everywhere. It’s like we are living in constant state of being in a “fight club.” Conflicts regularly occur between people of different religious groups, political parties, ethnic identities, nationalities, economic classes, and even sports team affiliations. What is at the root of these clashes? Can we find ways to reduce these conflicts and tensions in order to create more peaceful communities? This course will examine the cultural basis of conflict in order to understand the dynamics that seem produce forms of oppression that are pervasive in our societies. Equally important, we will also study a variety of strategies that help us deal with conflicts in a more thoughtful and constructive way. And, unlike a fight club, we hope that what happens in the class won’t merely stay in the class.