Probably like many readers of this blog, I have been so busy with many things at work that I rarely have taken the time to study something in depth unless it was necessary for some work project.  For many of us, the last time we really did so was when we were in school as students ourselves.

If you would like to deepen your understanding of negotiation, here’s a unique opportunity to do so.  Participate in the annual symposium of Missouri’s DR Center entitled “Moving Negotiation Theory from the Tower of Babel: Toward a World of Mutual Understanding,” which will take place on October 7, 2016, from 9 am to noon, Central Time.

It will be live-streamed and posted on YouTube, so you can watch it at home in your PJs if you like.

Modern negotiation theory is overwhelming. There is a wide range of concepts, issues, perspectives, and applications from many different disciplines with little consensus in the field. Our symposium speakers will analyze this and other problems with negotiation theory and suggest possible solutions.

We assembled an incredible multi-disciplinary team of scholars – Rishi BatraAdrian BorbélyNoam EbnerRafael GelyRebecca Hollander-BlumoffChris HoneymanSanda KaufmanJohn LandeRoy LewickiMichelle LeBaronDavid MatzLinda Putnam, and Andrea Schneider – to analyze these issues.

The speakers collaboratively developed this annotated reading list to provide a common base of knowledge for the symposium.   As you will see, it includes classics in the field, boundary-stretching ideas, and a wide assortment of perspectives.  So, over the summer, you can leisurely read some of the best and freshest ideas in our field.

The symposium itself should be fun as well as educational, featuring conversation between the speakers and audience rather than a series of formal presentations.

So you can take part in it as a very short mini-course featuring a fabulous team of faculty – with no grading of or by you.

If you are teaching negotiation or a related course next fall, you might build the symposium into your syllabus.  Indeed, teaching a course is a very common way that teachers learn new things themselves.  In addition to having students watch the symposium, you could assign them to read some of the sources in the reading list and write a paper about negotiation.

Missouri and Marquette are jointly conducting a student essay competition in connection with this symposium, so students can earn some cool cash for their intellectual labors.  Students who are enrolled this calendar year are eligible, so students who graduate this year can enter.

If you would like to write a piece that will be published in the symposium issue of our Journal of Dispute Resolution, I would be happy to talk with you about that.

We are very fortunate because intellectual entrepreneurs Noam Ebner, Chris Honeyman, and Andrea Schneider helped plan the symposium and will take part in it.  We are also very fortunate to have the active support and participation of the wonderful director of our Center, Rafael Gely.

For more information, see the symposium website.

In another post, I describe the genesis of the symposium and what I hope we will accomplish.

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, at the University of Missouri, School of Law. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an avid writer and contributor to Indisputably.org