This blog is designed to help tutors who want to engage with the the theme of “Voices of Conflict” in their WEA sessions.
Voices of Conflict originated as a response to commemorations marking 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. The dominant narratives that emerged in the UK during 2013-14 tended to describe, and perpetuate, a polarised world-view – one of heroism and cowardice, friends and enemies, ‘us’ and ‘them’ – which is counter to the WEA’s vision of a better world – equal, democratic and just. We therefore wanted to explore how we could promote WEA activity which would engage critically with the subject of the First World War – and the theme of ‘conflict’ in general.
Between 2013 and the present, the WEA has delivered a number of courses which have taken a critically engaged approach to the study of the First World War. Courses in history – family, community and world history – art history and literature, as well as a small number of creative courses, have explored the subject with imagination and critical purpose. We wanted to build on this activity, both by broadening involvement across the curriculum and by engaging people in wider consideration about conflict. The WEA seeks to widen participation in education for people with a diversity of skills, interests and experiences: we hope that providing opportunities to engage on themes and subjects from a range of perspectives – whatever the subject or the background of the students – and the ideas and resources here will enable more people to get involved in learning to which all can contribute and from which everyone can build awareness, knowledge and skills.
The site is divided into sections that challenge the reader to think about “what is conflict” both historically and in a philosophical way and provides ideas for activities and within each page are lots of links to resources on the internet that will hopefully lead you on a journey of discovery. Wherever there is a link text will appear underlined when your mouse is placed over it. (To open the links in a separate tab right click and select new tab)
Wherever it takes you there are opportunities to join a discussion via the blog using the comment boxes at the bottom of each page or via the Discussion Board.
What is Conflict? How can we define conflict? Where does this lead us in terms of discussion?