The third and final Rethinking Peace Studies (RPS) seminar was held in Kandy, Sri Lanka from November 13-14, 2015. The seminar, which was held on the lush University of Peradeniya campus, brought together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners to examine the relationship between dialogue and peace studies.

The lovely, verdant campus of the University of Peradeniya.

The lovely, verdant campus of the University of Peradeniya.

Hosted by our esteemed colleagues at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Peradeniya, a diverse group of participants from ICU, Rutgers University, UC Berkeley, New York University, the University of Manchester, and the Japan ICU Foundation gathered to explore the theme of dialogue as it relates to peace. In a tragic coincidence, the participants awoke on the second day of the seminar to the news of the shocking attacks in Paris. This horrific violence against civilians served to underscore the extensive analysis and discussion on the various readings on peace from distinguished authors such as Johan Galtung, Hannah Arendt, Mahatma Gandhi, and others.

Professor Alex Hinton of Rutgers University, Professor Giorgio Shani of ICU, and Program Director Mark Flanigan of the Japan ICU Foundation at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) in Kandy.

Professor Alex Hinton of Rutgers University, Professor Giorgio Shani of ICU, and Program Director Mark Flanigan of the Japan ICU Foundation at the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) in Kandy.

The three Rethinking Peace Studies (RPS) seminars were held in 2014 and 2015. The seminars each convened up to 15 participants with diverse academic, practical, and geographic backgrounds. The seminars each revolved around a theme, all of which were interdisciplinary, and were intended to allow seminar participants to approach Peace Studies from a diversity of perspectives. The first seminar focused on the theme translation, the second memory, and the third dialogue. The three seminars were held in Tokyo (on the ICU campus), New York City, and Kandy, respectively. Select participants from each of the three seminars will join and present papers for the culminating conference at ICU this coming June.

The RPS Conference is the culmination of this three-year program, and will be held from June 1-5, 2016 at the ICU Dialogue House in Tokyo. Participation in the RPS Conference will be contingent upon the submission of an abstract and paper. The proceedings will follow the format of a traditional academic conference, with short paper readings followed by feedback from the audience. There will be ample time built in for dialogue among conference participants as well. One of the key outcomes of this conference will be a published, edited volume made up of a selection of RPS conference papers.

Future blog posts will provide updates on the various conference preparations and activities of several participants as we draw closer to the RPS Conference dates. 

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AuthorMark Flanigan