Dancing through the dissonance

CREATIVE MOVEMENT AND PEACEBUILDING

Lesley Pruitt & Erica Rose Jeffrey

Conflicts are increasingly recognised as situated in local contexts with culturally specific elements playing important roles. At the same time, conflicts reflect and contribute to global dynamics. Seeking peace within this complexity requires curious, creative and critical approaches that can account for politics.

But how can peacebuilders account for unique local settings while also recognising multiple and diverse perspectives within and between them? Reflecting on this question, Dancing through the dissonance explores the relationship between peacebuilding and dance in pluralist societies, examining the practice of dance-focused peacebuilding programmes in Colombia, the Philippines and the United States.

Incorporating participant voices, critical political analysis and reflections on dance practice, the authors reveal the implications and nuances of arts-based peace initiatives.

This book offers a unique insight into the application, practice and analysis of dance-focused peacebuilding programmes, building on a critical understanding of the politics of integrating dance into peacebuilding and the ways in which these programmes fit into global debates around peace and conflict.

Dr Lesley Pruitt
Senior Lecturer

School of Social and Political Sciences
The University of Melbourne, Australia
E: lesley.pruitt@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Lesley Pruitt

Dr Lesley Pruitt has been dancing as often as possible since she could walk and hopes to continue doing so for many, many years to come. When she’s not dancing, Lesley keeps her mind moving in her role as Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. A Truman Scholar and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Lesley completed her Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) degree at Arkansas State University and her Master of International Studies (Peace & Conflict Resolution) & PhD (Politics & International Studies) degrees at the University of Queensland.

In her research, Lesley has long been interested in the ways young people participate in politics and peacebuilding, including work with programs using creative arts-based activities like music, dance, theatre, creative writing, and filmmaking to bring people together for positive social change.

Lesley’s other books include: Youth Peacebuilding: Music, Gender & Change (State University of New York Press, 2013); The Women in Blue Helmets: Gender, Policing & the UN’s First All-Female Peacekeeping Unit (University of California Press, 2016); and Young People, Citizenship and Political Participation: Combatting Civic Deficit? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), with Mark Chou, Jean Paul Gagnon, and Catherine Hartung.

Select Publications

Pruitt, Lesley J. 2020. “Rethinking Youth Bulge Theory in Policy and Scholarship: Incorporating Critical Gender Analysis.”International Affairs. 96(3): 711-728.

Lee-Koo, Katrina and Lesley Pruitt (eds) 2020. Young Women and Leadership  New York: Routledge.

Howell, Gillian, Laura Hassler, and Lesley Pruitt. (2019). “Making Music in Divided Cities: Transforming the Ethnoscape,” International Journal of Community Music, Special issue on “Community Music for Peace, Empathy and Conciliation.” 12(3): 331-348.

Dr Erica Rose Jeffrey
Director, Peace and Conflict Studies Institute Australia
Founder &  Director, Dance for Parkinson’s Australia
E: ericarose@peacemoves.org

Dr Erica Rose Jeffrey

Dr Erica Rose Jeffrey believes in the power of movement connected to positive social change. A ‘dance activist’ she seeks to create positive ways of seeing, participating and collaborating in, around, and through dance. Involved in multiple communities, she has worked internationally as a peacebuilder, facilitator, performer, educator, and arts leader. Originally from Montana, she is currently a Director of Peace and Conflict Studies Institute Australia (PaCSIA) in Brisbane, Australia. The first dancer to be selected as a Rotary World Peace Fellow, in addition to established peacebuilding approaches, she investigates the connections of dance, empathy and peace. Her research has included work in the Philippines specifically in Mindanao, Fiji, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and the United States. Erica Rose holds a PhD in Creative Industries focusing on Dance and Peacebuilding from Queensland University of Technology, a M.A. in International Relations-Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Queensland, and B.S. degrees in Dance and Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Indiana University as a Wells Scholar. She is an experienced facilitator, educator and researcher working in diverse cultural contexts. As a Director of PaCSIA, she is currently engaged in community level peacebuilding projects in Australia and internationally including Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Dr Jeffrey is deeply involved in PaCSIA’s work in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea which has supported the internationally recognised referendum on Bougainville’s future political status of 2019, and which has reached over 45,000 Bougainvilleans through the use of facilitated public dialogue.

www.pacsia.com.au

 

Dr Jeffrey is also the Director for Dance for Parkinson’s Australia and through working with the Mark Morris dance Group Dance for PD® program, was instrumental in starting Dance for Parkinson’s Australia, launching classes nationwide, and supporting development of programs in the Asia and Pacific regions.

www.dancepdau.org

This book offers a unique insight into the application, practice and analysis of dance-focused peacebuilding programmes, building on a critical understanding of the politics of integrating dance into peacebuilding and the ways in which these programmes fit into global debates around peace and conflict.

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