Department and Program Sponsored Sessions - concurrent, various locations
Communication - Speaker: Dagmar Kusa (via Skype)
Path to Peace Leads through the Past
Location: Schaap Auditorium, 1019 A. Paul Schaap Science Center
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” (W. Faulkner)
Common sense (and all mediation and negotiation trainings) advise to steer away from touching the sensitive past -- opening up old wounds and adding salt into them -- during the process of conciliation among communities with history of open violence. Conflicts of identities (ethnic, religious, communal conflicts), which are often at the core of such violence, however, cannot be successfully resolved without the difficult conversations about the past. When they are, peace tends to be a word on a paper, thrown into the wind when the nearest conflict arises. How to help communities build a sustainable, long-lasting peace and cooperation within the context of conflicts of identities? At the International Center for Conciliation and the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation, we have developed a model for a long-term community dialogue and development, which is founded on the engagement of collective memories and historical narratives of the given communities. This model follows a specific sequence of steps, inspired by practice in various communities around the world. In Israel, the first such sustained dialogue took place in the Northern Galilee, between the villagers of Yaad and descendants of a former village Mi’ar, and has been reproduced in several locations since. We will take a look at the model, at the dialogue process in Yaad and Mi’ar, and consider its impact and lessons to be learned for other contexts.
Dance - Speakers: Steven Iannacone and Angie Yetzke
The Body Speaks For Peace: Cultivating Community And Trust Through Movement
Location: Studio 207, 2nd floor, Dow Center
Professors Steven Iannacone and Angie Yetzke will conduct simple trust exercises and movement improvisations to facilitate authentic and compassionate non verbal communication. The movement experiences are for all comers: those with some, little or no experience who would like to move; non-dancers, students and community members; observers, note takers and the inquisitive. The activities will be followed by discussions and dialogue with a lens focused on resolution using the “speaking” body to build closeness and bridges rather than distance and disconnection. Can contemporary dance help understand the contemporary world? Dominant themes in contemporary conflict involve physical and body issues that have yet to be resolved: troops and “boots on the ground”, “kill or be killed”, terrorist attacks, political expediency, high tech/de-humanized bombing and killing, collateral damage. How does the artist help resolve or create ways to re-focus the negative and destructive forces involved with these issues?
Modern and Classical Languages - Speaker: Majd Al-Mallah
Learning Arabic in the United States: Prospects for Deeper Understanding
Location: Fried-Hemenway Auditorium, 135 Martha Miller Center for Global Communication
Learning Arabic in the United States has developed and evolved over decades of instruction at various American universities and colleges. How did teaching and learning Arabic evolve over time? What do our students expect and aspire to when they learn Arabic? The presentation will address these issues while also connecting them to the larger question of engaging the Middle East.
Peace and Justice Minor/A.J. Muste Memorial Lecture Series
Panel of Speakers: Rev John Kleinheksel, Rev. John Paarlberg, Paul Verduin
Strategies For Peacemaking In Israel/Palestine
Location: Winants Auditorium, 112 Graves Hall
(3-person panel) Peace talks over the past twenty years have failed miserably, Israeli colonization of the West Bank continues relentlessly, and the Palestinian people, whether Christian or Muslim, languish in despair under an oppressive forty-nine-year military occupation that appears to have no end. In spite of these grim realities three Hope College alumni, veterans of multiple fact-finding trips to Palestine and Israel, find reasons for hope and outline promising strategies for effective activism in the sacred cause of justice and peace for all.
Religion - Speaker: Stephen Kelley
Ancient Christians and Modern Terrorists: Are Christians and Christianity Becoming Extinct in the Middle East Today?
Location: Herrick Room, 244 DeWitt Student and Cultural Center