Conflict Transformation: New Course!

In the Conflict Transformation (CT) Collaborative, we are building a new curriculum where students can learn about and then practice skills in moving conflicts from destructive binaries to productive engagements. The pilot version of this course is being offered in Winter 2023. More information below!

WHAT: The course, INTD 1259, will introduce to students to a variety of approaches to conflict transformation (CT), including intercultural competence, mediation, restorative practices, and structured dialogue. CT skills enrich classroom learning and prepare students to be effective citizens in a polarized public square. See the description in the Middlebury catalogue here.

WHO: The course has three sections led by faculty facilitators practiced in various areas of conflict transformation, and we will be joined by local, national, and global experts.

  • the faculty facilitators: Julian Portilla is a teacher and international mediator who works with the UN, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and more. Steve Viner was co-director of the Engaged Listening Project, a dialogue initiative, and studies human rights and the international law of conflict. Sarah Stroup is director of the CT Collaborative, scholar of international NGOs, and dialogue facilitator.
  • the guest experts: Bruce Dayton teaches and practices conflict transformation at SIT. David Campt is founder and principal of The Dialogue Company and creator of the White Ally Toolkit. sujatha baliga is a restorative justice practitioner and 2019 MacArthur Fellow. Francisco Diez is an Argentine mediator and senior mediation advisor at the United Nations. Eliza O’Neil develops curriculum at the Constructive Dialogue Institute and associate at Essential Partners. April Chatham-Carpenter teaches at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and works with Braver Angels. Gastón Aín Bilbao is dispute resolution coordinator at the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • HOW: Each section of the course covers the same themes but provides the chance for smaller, more intimate discussions. We will have big meetings together to hear from leading outside experts to teach new content about these CT skills. The faculty will then convene smaller group discussions to reflect on these talks and discuss course materials. Students will have time to practice these new skills together in and out of class.

WHY: To transform conflict, we must first understand the nature of conflict and then develop tools to build healthy relationships and communities – locally, nationally, and globally. These tools include new skills as well as the cultivation of important dispositions – things like curiosity, creativity, risk-taking, and a commitment to deep and continuing relationships.

WHERE TO PRACTICE CT SKILLS: Students who take the course may be eligible for a series of internships and experiences supported by the CT Collaborative. If you can’t take the Winter 2023 version of the course, there will be another version offered in future semesters.

For any questions, please reach out to Sarah Stroup, sstroup@middlebury.edu.