The Arab Spring, Four Years Later: Hope or Despair?

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The Arab Spring, Four Years Later: Hope or Despair?
Lecture by Dr. Sean Yom, Temple University

Monday, Oct. 6, 4:30 p.m., Kohlberg Scheuer Room

Four years on, the Arab Spring had generated wildly contrasting outcomes. From democratization in Tunisia to authoritarian revival in Egypt to civil war in Syria, the regional wave of popular protest has certainly washed away the foundations of the old order.

Can democratization spread to other countries without incurring the risk of war? This lecture aims to answer this question, giving a bird’s eye view of different processes and events from a political scientist’s perspective.

Sean Yom is Assistant Professor of Political Science (comparative politics). His research broadly focuses on authoritarianism and development, and he is now finishing his first book on state-building and political order in the post-colonial Middle East.

Sponsored by the Islamic Studies Program.

Job opening: Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College

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The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Swarthmore College invites applications for a full-time three-year position at the assistant professor level, beginning Fall 2015. Swarthmore College is committed to excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitment to a more inclusive society and world. Racial minorities and others from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Candidates should have expertise in peace and conflict studies and either conflict analysis and transformation / conflict resolution and / or social justice studies. The successful candidate for the position will be expected to teach five courses in our interdisciplinary undergraduate program, one of which will include the program’s introductory course, and assist in the coordination of the program. We seek a candidate with strong teaching and research skills and a knowledge and passion for peace studies that will support student advising and contribute to the development of a dynamic program. We also seek a candidate who is committed to fostering an inclusive classroom environment. A Ph.D. in peace and conflict studies or in another discipline accompanied by extensive intellectual and professional engagement in the field of peace and conflict studies is required.

Consideration of applications will begin on October 10, and we expect to begin interviewing candidates in early November. Candidates should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing samples, and three letters of recommendation.
(The cover letter should address teaching philosophy, experience, and research agenda.) Please apply at https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/4550. If unable to submit online, send your materials to: Anna Everetts, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1397 peacestudies @ swarthmore.edu. Direct inquiries to the program coordinator, Lee Smithey, at lsmithe1 @ swarthmore.edu

 

 

 

The big picture on nonviolent resistance and global peace

A couple of interviews that address the big pictures of nonviolent action, militarism, and peace praxis have appeared online.  See them here!

Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, the authors of the award-winning book, Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Works were interviewed on NPR on August 21, 2014

Peace researcher Jan Oberg recently conducted a half-hour interview on RT.

Note from Lee Smithey: There is lots of useful thought here, though his labeling the Ukrainian resistance in Kiev a Western coup is unlikely and unsubstantiated in the interview.

 

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Gratitude for Ann Yasuhara

We have learned that one of our Swarthmore alums, Ann Yasuhara, passed away on June 11,2014. Ann, a Quaker, had become a strong influence in the direct action organization, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), working to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Friends lovingly referred to her as their “Mountain Woman”. EQAT recently honored Ann as one of their Elders at a special ceremony at the Friends Center on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.

Others gathered for a memorial service and outdoor reception in Princeton:

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We encourage you to read all of the obituary published in Princeton’s Town Topics, but we offer a few excerpts here:

A logician and computer scientist, she was known for combining her Quaker faith with action focused on peace, social justice, racial equality, and the environment. Her life balanced her love for the sacredness of all life, the compassionate concerns of a Quaker activist for the world and the local community, her delight in music, gardening, and art, and her generosity to friends and family. Ann Yasuhara belonged to the living tradition of Quaker spirit-led peace and justice activists. Unflagging in her resistance to war and violence, she studied the philosophy and methods of non-violent resolution of conflict with George Lakey, the noted Quaker peace activist. In turn, she led training groups for inner city children.

Most recently she enthusiastically supported — and went on protests with — the nonviolent direct action group, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which works to end mountaintop removal coal mining. On her 79th birthday she protested on a strenuous mountain climb in West Virginia mining country. In January, just before she was diagnosed with cancer, the Philadelphia-based group honored her as one of its outstanding “wise elders.”

“Ann was a leader in the Quaker faith and an inspiration to all of us. She set the bar very high and gave us confidence to fight for a better world,” says Janet Gardner, a documentary film maker at the Gardner Group and a member of Princeton Friends Meeting.

We appreciate Ann for her profound influence on so many pursuing peace and justice.

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Dr. Vincent Harding to speak at Pendle Hill on Monday, May 5, 2014

Pendle Hill First Monday Series: Vincent Harding, former distinguished visiting faculty member at Swarthmore 1985-86, Honorary Degree Swarthmore 1987, speaks on “Loved into Life: An Autobiographical Reflection”

May 5, 2014
7:30-9:00 pm
The Barn at Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA

Free and open to the public; no reservations required.
Vincent-Harding-from-On-Being_1.jpgDr. Harding will be introduced by Professor Keith Reeves, Swarthmore College, Department of Political Science.

Join activist-teacher-historian Vincent Harding in an evening of dialogue and exchange about what it means to be loved into life — how the call to love one another speaks to our deepest humanity and draws us forth to stand against injustice and all that diminishes our world community.  Vincent Harding has returned to Pendle Hill to work on his memoirs after a lifetime of teaching and activism.  He invites you to join him as he shares reflections on how he has been loved into life — and to share your stories of how you have responded to love’s call.

A native of New York City, Vincent Harding holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. Harding and his late wife, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, worked as full-time teachers, activists, encouragers, and negotiators in the Southern Freedom Movement in the 60’s and were Friends and co-workers with such leaders as Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer. (Harding provided the initial draft for King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in New York City.) He chaired the History and Sociology Department at Spelman College in Atlanta for several years, and in 1968 became the director of the Martin Luther King Memorial Center and chair of the nationally televised CBS Black Heritage series. Harding was one of the organizers and the first director of the Institute of the Black World, founded in Atlanta in 1969. After holding several research positions and visiting professorships (including two years on the staff of Pendle Hill), he served as professor of religion and social transformation at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver for nearly a quarter of a century and is now professor emeritus and a trustee at Iliff.

For more information, contact John Meyer at 610-566-4507 ext. 129.

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Quakers and Abolition

Quakers and Abolition, a book just released by the University of Illinois Press, includes essays by Ellen Ross (Religion), J. William Frost, (Professor Emeritus) and Christopher Densmore (Friends Historical Library). The book was edited by Geoffrey Planck (Swarthmore graduate) and Brycchan Carey, with an acknowledgement to the Cooper Foundation for its support of the 2010 Quakers and Slavery Conference.

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Fall Semester 2014 Courses in Peace and Conflict Studies

Advising for fall 2014 registration is underway, so let us draw your attention to the course offerings that can be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. Visit http://bit.ly/1oKHc6Q to see the list of courses. (Please remember that any courses marked with an asterisk require the approval of the instructor and the program coordinator.  The necessary form is available at http://bit.ly/1hf9Hob )

Our Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies course (PEAC 015) will meet on Mon/Wed/Fri 9:30-10:20. You can view and download a flyer at http://bit.ly/intropeaceflyer (Click the gear icon at the bottom of the screen.)

Let Lee Smithey know if you have any questions!  His office hours during advising are available at http://bit.ly/Smithey_office_hours

P.S. Lee Smithey will be teaching Social Movements and Nonviolent Power (SOCI 035C) on Fridays 2:00-5:00.  You can also view and download a flyer for that course at http://bit.ly/socmovsnvflyer

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TODAY: Learn about Joshua Evansc an active Quaker abolitionist

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Joshua Evans Event at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

Wednesday, April 9, 4:30 PM

Ralph Greene of New England Yearly Meeting will present a program on Joshua Evans (1741-1798). Evans was considered “singular” even by the Quakers. He was an early and active abolitionist, traveling as far South Carolina to bear testimony against enslavement, he worked on behalf of the Native Americans in New Jersey, his scruples against any support of slavery led him to wear undyed clothes, because the dyes used at the time were produced by slave labor, and he criticized the worldliness of Quakers of his time, suggesting among other things that the wearing of shoe buckles, where a simple lace would do, was vanity.

The manuscript Joshua Evans Journals at Friends Historical Library are being digitized and transcribed as part of a Digital Humanities Program.

Ralph Greene is very active in New England Yearly Meeting and the Friends Church in South China, Maine.

All are invited to Friends Historical Library, just inside McCabe Library, to hear more about the life and witness of Joshua Evans. Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested.

Iraqi cultural production after the invasion and occupation

The William J. Cooper Foundation and the Arabic section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Swarthmore College invite you to “Debris and Diaspora: On Iraqi Culture”, a lecture by Iraqi writer and filmmaker Sinan Antoon

6:00 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Science Center 101

Swarthmore College

sinan_antoonSinan Antoon, associate professor at the Gallatin School of New York University and fellow of the university’s Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, has authored The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf and many essays on the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book, In the Presence of Absence, was published by Archipelago Books in 2011 and won the 2012 National Translation Award given by the American Literary Translators Association. Antoon is also a poet and a novelist. He has published two collections of poetry in Arabic and one collection in English titled The Baghdad Blues. His novels include I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody and The Corpse Washer, nominated for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. His essays and creative writing have appeared in major Arab and international journals and publications, including The Nation, Middle East Report, Banipal, Journal of Palestine Studies, World Literature Today, Ploughshares, Washington Square Journal, and the New York Times. He is co-founder/co-editor of Jadaliyya.

In this lecture, Antoon will give a bird’s-eye view of Iraqi culture today. This lecture asks: What has become of Iraqi cultural production since the invasion and occupation? What are the major dynamics or cultural institutions, if any, regulating or influencing cultural production? What sort of cultural hegemonies are in place? Have the cultural practices of the previous era disappeared or re-emerged under a new guise?