Divided Societies Student Conference
October 25-27, 2012
National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland
Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland
The Divided Societies conference brings together American students studying abroad in Europe and students from European countries to learn about and discuss some of the most intractable conflicts facing people today.
Now in its fourth year, The 2012 Divided Societies conference is organized by Juniata College's Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies in association with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. This fall’s conference is also co-sponsored by AEGEE (European Students' Forum), the Institute for American Universities in France, and INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute) at the University of Ulster in Derry. BCA Study Abroad sponsored the previous three conferences.
The conference will as usual be divided into three parts: the initial part of the conference held at Maynooth in the Dublin suburbs in the Republic of Ireland, will be led by those with expertise on conflicts and their resolution; in the second part of the conference students will organize their own panels and group discussions to explore issues of concern; while the final part of the conference will be held in Derry in Northern Ireland culminating at The Playhouse for the opening weekend performance of the Theatre of Witness’ new production, “Release.”
Speakers from various parts of Europe and the United States also will provide overviews of various conflicts in divided societies, and on ways to institutionalize a “peace process.” Northern Ireland will provide the premier example of the challenges and difficulties associated with institutionalizing peace.
The deadline for receipt of applications to attend the conference is September 25, 2012. BCA students interested in attending the conference can download the application here.
About the 2011 Conference
The conference was divided into two parts:
- the initial part of the conference was led by those with expertise on conflicts and their resolutions
- the second part of the conference focused on student panels and group discussions to explore issues of concern.
This year's conference included a mini version of a performance by the Theater of Witness called "I Once Knew A Girl," as well as a screening of "Acting Together on the World Stage" produced by Theatre Without Borders and Brandeis University.
Speakers from various parts of Europe and the United States provided overviews of various conflicts in divided societies, and on ways to institutionalize a "peace process." Northern Ireland offers the premier example of the challenges and difficulties associated with institutionalizing peace.
In addition, there was a presentation from Jeff Helsing from the United States Institute of Peace, about the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding online course on "Conflict Analysis," which also awards a certificate from USIP if students successfully complete the course by the end of the calendar year.
U.S. students studying in Belgium, England, France, Germany, Spain, and Ireland, and nearly 70 others from across Europe, as well as University of Ulster students participated.
Our time together was not only informative but life-changing. It left me with many doors open for me to change the lives of others. Overall, the conference inspired me to look more into community development as a possible career goal and gave me such a great feeling of accomplishment. To be involved with such driven people who have such great ideas has really inspired me to work to make changes to help heal divided societies all over the world.
Reflection from Kaitlin Vanderhoff, Marist College (read more here)
At the end of the day, I learned a lot more about the Northern Ireland conflict; walked away with a much deeper appreciation of the role women play when it comes to peace building within divided societies; and made a lot of new friends with some of the coolest people in the world.
Reflection from Renjie Butalid
(to read Renjie's complete experience, go to his website).