Dawson College’s Inspire Solutions Seeks Submissions on the Theme of Resistance

By David J. Smith, June 20, 2016


Inspire Solutions is currently seeking submissions to its peace education resource inspire_solutions_logo2collection for 2016-2017. Inspire Solutions is a multi-faceted peace and nonviolence project created at Montreal’s Dawson College, which includes a rich online collection of over 50 short articles ideal for the college classroom. Some are very personal in nature, such as author Judith Kalman’s reflections on giving testimony on behalf of her half-sister at Oskar Groening’s war crimes trial, or Catalyst for Peace’s Libby Hoffman’s recounting of what happened when a film on forgiveness and reconciliation was shown to 60 ex-combatants in Sierra Leone. Others are more academic, addressing a variety of issues, including empathy, othering, truth and reconciliation, violent video games, and gender and peacebuilding. Our theme for 2016-2017 is Resistance, and we are seeking contributions from both students, teachers and activists. Our deadlines are in late October and early April; we are flexible on format, but all should be aimed for a general audience.

Our 2016-2017 Theme: RESISTANCE

Of course, we mean nonviolent resistance as, in a world that believes so much in violence, what is more threatening to the status quo than the proposal that nonviolence is not only more ethical, but also more effective? While nonviolent action is typically dismissed as naive and linked to passivity and weakness — indeed, the very lack of a word for nonviolence except as something that is not suggests its marginal role, its supporters argue that nonviolent struggle is rooted in a real understanding of the sources of power in society and argue that the use of violence is actually evidence of weakness.  In our next collection, we will examine whether nonviolent resistance has the potential to bring real change and challenge the power of those who rely on the instruments of violence. Our focus goes beyond the traditional idea of mass civil disobedience to include the often small-scale actions of individuals, who resist by becoming conscientious objectors, unarmed bodyguards or by taking actions to draw attention to the more subtle means by which we are encouraged to accept violence in all its multiple forms.

We are thus interested in receiving submissions that address the following:

  • a reflection on the ideas of some of the most influential nonviolent thinkers and activists, including Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Gene Sharp
  • an analysis of a particular nonviolent campaign or group (including nonviolent resistance to war and militarism, racism, sexism, poverty, etc.) or a nonviolent action, such as conscientious objecting or nonviolent forms of intervention in conflict zones
  • a discussion of the limits to the use of force and the potential of nonviolent resistance in our contemporary world
  • a look at how artists and members of the gaming community are working to subvert the cultural promotion of violence.

These are just a few ideas, and we welcome yours. If you are interested in contributing to our next collection of articles or simply have a query, then send an email (and submission) to Inspire Solutions editor, Pat Romano, at promano@dawsoncollege.qc.ca. We post both original and previously-written texts, as long as all copyright requirements are met. We are committed to creating an accessible, diverse, and provocative collection of short articles that are ideal for serving as a basis for classroom discussion.

This piece was submitted by Pat Romano of Dawson College. Contact Inspire Solutions for more information. Dawson College is a community college in Montréal, Québec.  

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