Course Syllabus

Global Inequalities and Conflict Resolution
CR 407/507, Summer 2008
Instructor: Mary Lind

Feel free to contact the instructor by email: maryelind@gmail.com

Course Description:

This course is designed to increase awareness of the global context that situates and defines our lives in many ways, including our access to resources and our world views. . It relies on the principles and practice of collaborative, dialogic learning. Drawing on contributions from talented filmmakers, theorists, scholars and community members, students and instructors will explore the dynamics of systematic connections and relations between people of the Global South and North. We will take an especially close look at the following; 1) The dynamics and impacts of our global economy, 2) mobility and migration in relation to inequities, and 3) the link between the distribution of the world’s resources and conflict across the globe. In addition, exploring poverty and inequity will mean reflecting on our own privileges and considering the question: are those of us who benefit from global systems responsible for/to those who are disadvantaged?

Course Objectives:

o Students will practice critical reading, critical thinking and analysis.
o Students will engage in dialogue, bringing awareness to individual assumptions and to our collective thinking.
o Students will explore their unique worldview in its national and global context.
o Students will increase their understanding of globalization and its impacts.
o Students will explore micro/macro connections, relating their own lives with course topics.
o Students will practice conflict-mapping skills, applying this model to a case example.

Requirements:

Attendance and Participation: Dialogue is a process of collective thought, exploration, and discovery, which relies on the full participation of individuals. The attendance and attention of every class member is important to this process. We hope to receive the benefit of your engaged presence for the duration each class session.

Required Readings: Your instructor has chosen to not require that you purchase texts or packets for this course. However, there are readings that can be found at https://maryelind.wordpress.com. Here you will find readings that you can read online or download and print. All students will need to read a minimum of 3 articles of your choice. (You will hear a short description of each reading on the first day of class). Graduate students will need to read a minimum of 4 readings. In addition, you will be required to read a set of briefs and articles related to a country in conflict, which will be disseminated in class for a small group assignment. General course material, as well as web resources pertaining to course subjects, can also be found on the online site.

Assignments:

1. Conflict Mapping (Group Project): In small groups, students will assess a conflict through the use of conflict mapping. A model for mapping, based on Paul Wehr’s work, will be presented through lecture and case study prior to the beginning of group work. Students will then be given class time to map a conflict, paying especially close attention to dimensions that relate to inequity. On the last day of class student groups will be asked to present their conflict map. Undergraduate students may choose to do this in the form of a report. Graduate students will need to incorporate a class discussion or participatory exercise into their presentation format. Creativity in your presentation format is encouraged. Specifications and assessment criteria will be discussed in class.

2. Reflection Paper: The purpose of this assignment is to engage deeply with readings and other course material and to reflect on the whole of your experience and learning in this course. I encourage you to write this assignment in the form of a letter, to a friend, to an imaginary person from a different region than you, or to any person with whom you might meaningfully share your learning. Your essay or letter should include 1) a discussion of at least 3 readings of your choice that demonstrates an understanding of the main point of the article. Beyond this, you are invited to reflect on whatever stood out to you about the course experience, including peer statements, information presented, films, etc. Graduate students are expected to present multiple perspectives on one or more issues in your essay or letter. Paper length: 3 – 5 pages for undergraduate students; 5 – 7 pages for graduate students (double spaced Times New Roman 12 pt. font). Assessment criteria will be discussed in class.

Grading:

40% Class Participation
40% Final Reflection Paper
20% Group Project: Conflict Mapping

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