Conflict in America: Case Studies in Peace Making
Contemporary America seems more divided than ever before—how do we move forward as a society plagued by these divisions? This was the guiding question behind “Conflict in America: Case Studies in Peace-Making” as groups of students and professors from across the United States came together weekly to discuss and research local examples of conflict—and resolution.
“Conflict in America” was an online course offered as part of the Mellon Foundation-funded COPLAC-Digital initiative in Fall 2017. Dr. Jessica Wallace (Georgia College & State University) and Dr. James Welch (University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) co-taught the class and mentored the student research. In the first half of the semester, students from five different campuses met twice per week via videoconference for an introduction to conflict resolution and preliminary discussions of their chosen research projects. They also started using digital media tools like timelines and maps and kept weekly blogs. In the second half of the semester, students from each campus worked on original research projects highlighting an historical or contemporary examples of conflict in their local area, analyzing not only the conflict but also attempted resolutions to the issues at stake. Their research took them from western Massachusetts in the 1780s to Virginian desegregation in the Civil Rights era to contemporary conflicts over Pennsylvania fracking, Illinois railroads, and New Hampshire pumpkin festivals.
This site serves as a gateway to the websites that were the final product of this student research. It also links back to the original course site, including the blogs on which students recorded their research process and mulled over the challenges and rewards of conflict resolution. Student websites can be found in the menu to the right or in the “about” section of the header.