The Arts of Conflict Resolution brings together a community of artists and scholars (dancers, musicians, writers, painters, film-makers, etc.) to investigate the ways in which arts collaboration and conflict resolution can work symbiotically to form a positive feedback loop.

Photo of Holly Handman-Lopez and Tom Lopez
The Arts of Conflict Resolution learning community will be led by instructors Holly Handman-Lopez and Tom Lopez. Photo credit: Dale Preston ’83

The Arts of Conflict Resolution

Offered Fall 2018

No one person is an island. We need each other for countless reasons, among them comfort, safety, inspiration, and learning. Yet, we often have such difficulty communicating, listening, and integrating diverse viewpoints.

Peter Senge, senior lecturer at MIT, writes, “In great teams, conflict becomes productive. The free flow of conflicting ideas is critical for creative thinking, for discovering new solutions no one individual would have come to on their own.”

The StudiOC learning community, the Arts of Conflict Resolution, will investigate the ways in which arts collaboration and conflict resolution can work symbiotically to form a positive feedback loop.  Conflict resolution practices will inform a sustainable collaborative artistic process, and the act of collaboration will develop the conflict resolution skillset needed to find synergy in difference.

During the semester, students will connect with on- and off-campus organizations involved in conflict resolution to learn best practices outside of the classroom. The learning community will also attend professional performances of exceptional multidisciplinary work at venues in nearby cities.

Students will study the art of collaboration across disciplines in the course Mixed Media Collaboration, and conflict resolution, through a somatic approach, in What Moves Us: Somatic Approaches to Conflict Resolution. These courses will reinforce each other and culminate in a public performance of collaborative projects.

Both TECH 360 and Dance 347 required for enrollment in this learning community.


Instructors 

Course instructors for this learning community are Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts Tom Lopez and Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Handman-Lopez.

Tom Lopez, instructor

TECH 360 Mixed Media Collaboration
Meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 3 p.m., 4 credit hours, enrollment 20.

Required as part of the Arts of Conflict Resolution StudiOC learning community.

Mixed Media Collaboration invites students from all disciplines (music, painting, sculpture, writing, movement, video, etc.) to collaborate with other artists. Beginning with relevant precedents as detailed in Vera John-Steiner’s book, Creative Collaboration, we will learn a common language to discuss our work.

To understand the viewpoints of our collaborators, we will investigate the creative processes of the disciplines in which we are less accomplished. 

This foundation will help us develop collaborative models for responding to aesthetic challenges and technical problems. At the end of the semester, our work will culminate in a transformative performance showcasing the StudiOC learning community. 

Holly Hamdan-Lopez, instructor

DANC 347 What Moves Us: Somatic Approaches to Conflict Resolution,
Meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1:30 p.m., 4 credit hours, enrollment 20.

Required as part of the Arts of Conflict Resolution StudiOC learning community.

When people say we “get in each other’s space,” “step on each other’s toes,” “dance around the issue,” are they referring to dancing or fighting? Interestingly, there is substantial common language used to discuss conflict resolution and dance movement. 

Moving through Conflict will approach the study and practice of conflict resolution with somatics. We will read texts, including “Getting to Yes” and “Difficult Conversations” to learn effective communication techniques and we will practice nonverbal communication through role-play, physical problem solving, and creative movement exercises.

This course is designed for all artists who want to move in a positive, peaceful manner.