December 2013, Issue 20

Dear Friend,

I hope you are managing to keep warm as the nights draw in and the days grow cold. It is my pleasure to update you on an eventful autumn at the Dialogue Society.

This last month has seen the launch of the very first issue of a peer-reviewed academic Journal of Dialogue Studies. The Journal will be published twice a year and will feature papers exploring the theory and practice of dialogue from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives. The call for papers for the second issue of the Journal is now online and our paper submission deadline is 7th February 2014. We look forward to another batch of high quality submissions. [To download first issue of Journal click here]

We are also currently accepting abstracts for an academic workshop through which a second volume of Dialogue Theories will be produced. The second volume, like the first, will consist of short chapters, each introducing the ideas of a significant dialogue thinker and the relation of his/her ideas to dialogue in practice. We have extended the deadline for abstract submissions until 23rd January 2014. Full details can be found here.

Both these publications projects now fall under the remit of the Institute of Dialogue Studies, a new subsidiary body of the Dialogue Society. In November we launched this Institute and a Centre for Community Engagement as part of a restructuring process intended to enhance the coherence and focus of its work in different areas.

Another exciting recent development for us was the opening of a new branch office in Brighton, which will bolster the dialogue work carried out by Regional Director Mahmut Gunaydin and his dedicated team of volunteers in Brighton and in other towns and cities in the South of England.

Success Schools have been running once again both in London and in Southampton. Recent guest speakers have included Eastenders actor Nina Wadia, barrister Can Yeginsu and professional performance coach Kiki Murray OBE. A number of book launches have also taken place around the country over the last months, and have proved great opportunities for stimulating dialogue.

During the last month, at our branches around the country staff and volunteers have been bringing together neighbours and diverse cultural groups, organisations and local stakeholders around the tasty Anatolian Muslim tradition of Noah’s Pudding.

In the New Year we plan to put new community dialogue projects into action, including a new ‘Connecting Families’ project as well as Connecting Communities Circles discussions to be held out in the community in various locations. In Birmingham we look forward to a panel discussion series on the theme of ‘Examining the extremes: exploring the causes of and connections between violent “religious” extremism and extreme right wing movements.’

Finally and in closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those celebrating it, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. In hope and prayer that the new year will bring us all a little closer together.

Warmest Regards
Ozcan Keles
Executive Director
Dialogue Society

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Announcements

Launch of the Journal of Dialogue Studies

11.11.2013 - The Dialogue Society is delighted to announce the release of the inaugural issue of the Journal of Dialogue Studies, a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed, biannual academic journal which will shine the light of academic scrutiny on the theory and practice of dialogue. The Academic Editor of the Journal is Professor Paul Weller and the Editorial Team are proud to have the support of a distinguished and multidisciplinary Editorial Board. The Journal is published by the Institute for Dialogue Studies, the academic platform of the Dialogue Society, responsible for research, co-delivery of the MA in Dialogue Studies, academic workshops and publications.

The first issue helps to set the parameters for ‘dialogue studies. It is available online here, along with guidance for contributors. The Journal is also available in print format.

Submissions are now invited for the second issue. Please see the call for papers here. For further information or to subscribe email journal@dialoguesociety.org.

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Dialogue Society Launches the Institute of Dialogue Studies and the Centre for Community Engagement

18.11.2013 - In its effort to effectively connect communities, empower people to engage and contribute to the development of ideas on dialogue and community relations, the Dialogue Society’s work spans a range of sectors including but not restricted to community, academia and policy. In order to provide greater coherence and focus to the work of the Society in these sectors the Dialogue Society is restructuring its existing work under a tripartite model comprising the following bodies: the Institute for Dialogue Studies, covering academic projects, the Centre for Community Engagement, covering community work, and the forthcoming Centre for Policy Outreach which will develop the Dialogue Society’s engagement with policy on our particular areas of interest and expertise.

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Publications Appeal

01.11.2013 - The Dialogue Society continues to seek funds for its publications appeal. In 2012 we produced 11 publications to help give community groups and young people the confidence to actively engage with people of different cultural and ideological backgrounds. We have distributed thousands of these publications around the country, but the postage and packaging costs quickly mount up, and we have thousands more that we cannot afford to send. To help us send out more copies of our Community Dialogue Manuals and Dialogue in Islam book, please donate here, or simply text DSDS22 £3 to 70070. To find out more please click here.

You can also support the Dialogue Society as you shop online, without spending a penny, through shop2fundraise.co.uk! When you go to an online retailer via a link from the shop2fundraise site, your chosen charity (e.g. us!) receives a small commission. There is no need to register and there are good discounts on the site. Every penny helps! For more information and to get started click here.

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Dialogue Society Launches Branch Office in Brighton

22.10.2013 - In October the Dialogue Society was delighted to launch a brand new Branch Office in Brighton. The office will serve as a regional headquarters for Dialogue Society work and projects run in the South of England. The new office was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local residents, supporters and the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Denise Cobb.

In her speech, the Mayor said: “There is an increasing need for initiatives that bring people together and build understanding and trust between people of different cultures, religions and ideologies. The Dialogue Society’s work to advance cohesion by connecting communities, empowering people to engage and contributing to the development of ideas on dialogue and community building will help us in Brighton to build a better future for local communities.”

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EVENTS - LONDON

Noah’s Pudding Events in London

Noah’s Pudding Events in London

15.11.2013 - November saw a series of community outreach events organised by East London Community Connector Tamer Yigit around the tradition of the Noah’s Pudding. Noah’s Pudding, a dessert traditionally prepared by Anatolian Muslims around the Muslim festival of Ashura and shared with neighbours, has long been used by the Dialogue Society as a way of connecting neighbours and bringing together different communities and stakeholders through the simple pleasure of sharing food. As well as reminding those of the Abrahamic faiths of common ground by the reference to Prophet Noah, who features in each of those religious traditions, the pudding is a fitting symbol of a healthy multicultural society: the many different ingredients retain their own flavours and textures in the finished pudding and the combination tastes great, just as in a thriving diverse society different people retain different traditions and beliefs while being part of a harmonious whole. During November (and national Interfaith Week), Noah’s Puddings were shared at an Ilford police station, at the Greater London Assembly, at Islington Town Hall’s Interfaith Networking Event and at an intercultural community event arranged at Amity Community Centre in Ilford.

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The Dialogue Society Book Group continues

The Dialogue Society Book Group continues

07.11.2013 - The Dialogue Society’s new book group has continued through the autumn, with two informal, sociable meetings among small but diverse and enthusiastic groups. At the second meeting, in September, the group shared their responses to Zadie Smith’s internationally best-selling debut, White Teeth, which follows the fortunes of the families of wartime friends Samad Iqbal and Archie Jones. At the third meeting the group explored the Booker Prize winning Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, discussing its vivid, sometimes bizarre symbolism and discussing its themes of hope, faith and the power of stories. Both books gave ample scope for engaging and entertaining discussion. The next meeting, in December, will explore Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul.]

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Success School – Week 2: with Jessica Huie, Entrepreneur and Publicist

Success School – Week 2: with Jessica Huie, Entrepreneur and Publicist

21.10.2013 - The second session of this autumn’s London Success School saw entrepreneur Jessica Huie tell her exceptional story of determination and of succeeding against all odds. At eighteen, she explained, she was a new mother, living in a hostel, with very few qualifications and little purpose in life. She decided to defy the pervasive stereotypes of young single mothers and through unremitting hard work completed her education to degree level and went on to start up and develop a now internationally successful greeting cards company, as well as her own PR company. After giving an interview on her story Jessica responded to a broad range of questions from an enthralled audience.

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Success School – Week 1: with Nina Wadia, Actress

Success School – Week 1: with Nina Wadia, Actress

07.10.2013 - The Dialogue Society’s third London Success School began in style with an inspiring and entertaining session with Nina Wadia. At this first of six sessions a diverse young audience heard Nina tell her story of growing up in India, Hong Kong and then the UK and of establishing an acting career despite family opposition, lack of funds and the fierce competitiveness of her chosen field. Nina responded to a broad range of questions and participants stayed to chat over refreshments.

The Success School aims to broaden the horizons and raise the aspirations of young people (16-21). It offers seminars with inspirational ‘role-model’ speakers and practical sessions providing expert advice and help on building confidence and setting and reaching goals.

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Other Events

  • 25.25.2013 | Success School – Week 4: 'Compassion and Resilience' with Dr Chris Irons
  • 02.12.2013 | Success School – Week 5: with Can Yeginsu, Barrister
  • 04.12.2013 | The Muslim World and Politics in Transition Book Launch in London
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    Forthcoming

  • 26.06.2014 | Academic Workshop and Book Chapter Call for Papers: Dialogue Theories, Volume II
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    EVENTS - BIRMINGHAM

    Dialogue Theories and The Muslim World and Politics in Transition Book Launch in Derby

    Dialogue Theories and The Muslim World and Politics in Transition Book Launch in Derby

    08.10.2013 - Hosted by the Multifaith Centre at the University of Derby, this event saw the launch of two new books associated with the Dialogue Society. The Muslim World and Politics in Transition was edited by Dialogue Society adviser Professor Paul Weller together with Professor Greg Barton and Dr Ihsan Yilmaz and published by reputable publishing house Bloomsbury. Comprising edited papers from a Dialogue Society conference it explores the role and contribution of the Gulen Movement in Muslim-majority countries. Dialogue Theories, by Dialogue Society research fellows Frances Sleap and Dr Omer Sener, edited by Paul Weller and published by the Dialogue Society, aims to advance theoretical and practical engagement with dialogue by introducing the work of ten individuals who have made important and insightful contributions to thought in this area. The launch event comprised presentations from the editor and authors, insightful responses from reviewers Professor Alison Scott-Baumann and Dr Phil Henry, a highly stimulating question and answer session and further discussion over refreshments.

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    Forthcoming

  • 29.01.2014 | Examining the Extremes, Panel Discussion 1 - Coming to terms with the terms: what do we call violent Al-Qaeeda-type extremism?
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    EVENTS - BRIGHTON

    The Muslim World and Politics in Transition Book Launch in Brighton

    The Muslim World and Politics in Transition Book Launch in Brighton

    03.12.2013 - The Dialogue Society, Brighton Branch, was proud to host a launch event for The Muslim World and Politics in Transition at the recently opened branch office. Published by reputable publishers Bloomsbury, the book, an edited volume of papers presented at a 2007 Dialogue Society conference, discusses how the dialogue and education movement inspired by Fethullah Gülen has positioned itself and has sought to contribute within societies - including the movement's home country of Turkey - in which Muslims are in the majority and Islam forms a major part of the cultural, religious and historical inheritance. Two of the book’s editors, Professor Paul Weller of Derby University and Dr Ihsan Yilmaz of Fatih University, Istanbul, gave an overview of the book’s content and themes. Dr Fabio Petito and Prof Filipo Osella of the University of Sussex gave insightful comments on the book and the movement it examines. The panel then responded to a range of thoughtful questions from the audience. Discussions continued over book signing and refreshments.

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    Other Events

  • 11.25.2013 | Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Brighton and Hove
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    EVENTS - HULL

    Thematic Dinner with Ruth Drake and Dean Davis, Hull City Council

    01.08.2013 - The Dialogue Society’s new Hull Branch were delighted to welcome Ruth Drake and Dean Davis of Hull City Council for the first of a series of thematic dinners. Dialogue Society branches hold thematic dinners to in order to create a space for productive dialogue on local issues of mutual interest between staff, volunteers and supporters and diverse local stakeholders. The guests had a tour of the community centre which provides a base for Dialogue Society activities and were introduced to the Dialogue Society and its work. Guests and hosts chatted and discussed their respective local projects and plans over dinner.

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    Noah’s Pudding Events in Hull

    11.18.2013 - During November, the Dialogue Society Hull Branch shared the Anatolian Muslim tradition of Noah’s Pudding with six hundred and twenty-five people all around the city. Staff and volunteers visited Hull City Council, Hull CVS (Community and Voluntary Services) and HANA (Humber All Nations Alliance) to give out puddings and explain the tradition and how the Dialogue Society likes to use it to bring people together while celebrating diversity. Branch representatives also visited seven schools to share the pudding and talk with the students about this particular tradition and Turkish culture more generally. The month’s activities concluded with a sociable and educational community event attended by Diana Johnson, Councillor Simone Butterworth and a group of families from different cultural backgrounds. Marbling artist Erbu Bade displayed her work and Turkish coffee was served, with an explanation of the Turkish proverb, ‘a cup of coffee is remembered for forty years’.

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    Other Events

  • 11.09.2013 | City Councillor visits the Dialogue Society in Hull
  • 28.11.2013 | Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Hull
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    EVENTS - SOUTHAMPTON

    Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Kent

    Noah’s Pudding Celebration in Kent

    27.11.2013 - The Dialogue Society Southampton Branch organised four community Noah’s Pudding gatherings in November at locations across the South of England. These events are based around the Anatolian tradition of making and sharing a special dessert called Noah’s Pudding around the Muslim festival of Ashura. The last of these events was held in Borstal village hall, in Kent. The venue was packed for a sociable event featuring a speech from Cllr Mrs Josie Iles, Mayor of Medway. Dr Omer Sener, Dialogue Society Project Coordinator and Research fellow, gave an explanation of the tradition and told the story of its adoption by the Dialogue Society as a tool for building cohesion. Guests enjoyed one another’s company over puddings and other refreshments prepared by local volunteers.

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    Southampton Success School - Week 1: with Kiki Maurey OBE

    Southampton Success School - Week 1: with Kiki Maurey OBE

    23.10.2013 - Following a successful pilot in the spring, in October the Dialogue Society Southampton Branch launched another Success School series at Richard Taunton College. The first session was an interactive workshop with Kiki Maurey OBE, who got students thinking together about the attitudes and practices conducive to success and fulfilment. Kiki drew on her own highly inspiring story; she started her life in care, became a single parent very young and struggled to support her family as a cleaning lady before, at twenty-eight, developing a new and exciting career. She was awarded an OBE this year for services to women and minorities in business. Students participated actively and produced their own list ‘top tips for a successful life’.

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    Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Southampton

    Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Southamptons

    17.10.2013 - The Dialogue Society Southampton Branch arranged a launch event for Dialogue Theories by Frances Sleap and Omer Sener, edited by Paul Weller, published by the Dialogue Society this year. The event, held at Southampton University, began with presentations from the editor and authors and insightful, constructive and at times musical responses from two reviewers, Dr Paul Hedges, Programme Leader in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Winchester, and Prof June Boyce-Tillman MBE, Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester. The panel then responded to questions from the audience and guests continued to discuss the value of dialogue and its challenges in practice over an impressive array of refreshments provided by local volunteers.

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    Other Events

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    In this issue


    FORTHCOMING

    LONDON

    BIRMINGHAM

    Other news

    Past & Forthcoming Events

    Visit our Events page to see the number and range of work carried out by the Dialogue Society. Users can view the events in categorical or chronological order.

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    Internship at the Dialogue Society

    The Dialogue Society is currently offering volunteering placement opportunities for candidates from all backgrounds and interests. We provide a unique, dynamic and stimulating work experience where volunteers are encouraged to plan, build and deliver their own projects whilst contributing to other ongoing projects and tasks.

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    Support the Dialogue Society

    Regardless of your means and time, there are a number of ways you can support the Dialogue Society. Click below for some practical suggestions.

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    Feedback

    The Dialogue Society would appreciate any feedback or ideas you can provide on its work. Please visit the website to send us any comments you would like to make.