Ukraine achieved independence in 1991, and conflicts around national identity and history have profoundly affected the society. The “Orange Revolution” and Euromaidan demonstrated the strong longing of a young nation for democracy and European future. However, Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 followed by the war in eastern region turned Ukraine into a conflict zone and a place for millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Violence continues and 2016 saw an increase in casualties while 2017 has kicked off with a flare-up of fighting.
This three-credit course led by Dr. Karina Korostelina will explore current situation in Ukraine, including the complicated nation building process in the midst of war, and the development of resilience among Ukrainian population. In Kiev, students will meet with a range of local and international organizations working on a ground, refugees from the conflict zone, academics and government officials. The course participants will learn about the experiences of people building their nation despite the ongoing Russian conflict. Participants will engage with a trans-disciplinary range of social theories of social identity, conflict and resilience and will learn how to conduct research in societies affected by violence.
Students will gain valuable international experience with issues of identity, nation building, resilience and conflict, as well as a deep theoretical grounding in the analysis and resolution of gendered conflicts. Through interviews with a range of local and international organizations, academics and practitioners students will gain new perspectives on the dimensions of conflict and nation building, as well as an understanding of diverse strategies for social resilience.
Students will have the opportunity to learn field research in a different cultural context through conflict analysis, research design, data collection processes, data analysis, entry and exit. In addition to understanding their own preference of research styles, students will strengthen their skills and ability to work in the ebb and flow of real conflict as a member of a conflict research team. As a research team, students will actively participate in research that includes developing and conducting interviews, data analysis, and preparing a final report for stakeholders in the Ukraine conflict. Students will engage in research projects with multiple stakeholders and institutions, involved in the conflict in Ukraine. Dr. Korostelina will participate as a member of all teams to provide knowledge, skills, guidance and risk management for the project.
Credits Offered (3 Credits of One of the Following);
CONF 385: International Field Experience
CONF 398: Special Topics in Advanced Techniques and Practice
CONF 610: Conflict Inquiry
CONF 695: Selected Topics
This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University.
Students will be housed together in small, modest hotels in Kiev. Students will be housed in double rooms with private bathrooms, with each student sharing a room with a same-gender roommate. Breakfast will be provided by the hotel.
Program Cost:(Summer 2018): $3,150
Application Deadline: Friday, April 20, 2018 Deposit Deadline: $500 deposit due Friday, May 4, 2018 Final Payment Deadline: Friday, June 8, 2018