Ireland: May – June 2010

The overall unifying focus will be the chicken & egg relationship of culture and conflict: how cultural structures and assumptions create conflict, and how conflict creates and informs cultural norms and structures. We will study the conflicts (historical and current) and culture (history, religion, politics, literature, music, theater, etc.) in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, with the goal of developing an understanding of and empathy toward the people who have lived this distinctive reality. We will also focus on peace—the moment when conflicts are understood, absorbed, and transformed by adaptively creating and changing the group culture. We will use Ireland as a case-study to apply to our personal and group life — to examine how we each define ourselves within our culture(s) and how we deal with the conflicts that arise therein.

Students will be encouraged to explore their own processes of developing understanding, adapting to a different culture and empathizing with persons from that culture. Activities and assignments will include on-campus orientation, analytical journaling, group discussions and assignments, special projects in Ireland/Northern Ireland, and re-orientation to campus. The course will introduce concepts of conflict resolution and reconciliation and will explore the political, religious and cultural aspects of the conflict and the peace process in Northern Ireland. The planned schedule includes face-to-face discussion with selected political groups as well as groups working for sustainable peace on both sides of the Protestant/Catholic divide.

Estimated Cost: $6500 (subject to change)
Seminar Leaders: Gloria Rhodes and Mark Metzler Sawin
Enrollment: 22 students
Courses: CCSSC 201 Cross-cultural Social Science (3 SH); CCHIS 304 History, Heritage & Culture of Ireland (3 SH)

Recommended Immunizations

Immunizations and prescriptions may be obtained at the EMU Health Center by appointment.
Immunizations may also be obtained from your local health department or primary care provider.