Interreligious Dialogue in Israel and the Middle East

“The Other Peace Process: The Role of Interreligious Dialogue in Israel and the Middle East”

Sunday, October 26
4:00 pm
Kohlberg 116, Swarthmore College
Featuring Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish

Rabbi KronishFounder and Director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI) since 1992, Ron Kronish is also a noted rabbi, educator, author, lecturer and speaker. He has lived in Jerusalem for the past 35 years, serving as Director of the Israel Office of the American Jewish Committee, Director of Staff Development and later Co-Director for the Melitz Centers for Jewish Zionist Education, and lecturer in education at Tel Aviv University and at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dr. Kronish lectures to a wide variety of groups in Israel, including synagogue groups, Jewish community missions and Jewish, Christian and interreligious groups. In addition, he has been a scholar-in-residence in universities, synagogues and communities across the United States, Canada and Europe and in the Far East.

Educated at Brandeis University (BA), Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York (MHL, rabbinic ordination) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (doctorate in philosophy and history of education), Dr. Kronish has published articles and essays on Jewish politics, faith communities and the peace process, as well as education, culture and contemporary issues in America and Israel. He has represented ICCI at the Vatican and at many international conferences, and is frequently consulted by media representatives for background information and briefings. In addition, he blogs regularly for the Times of Israel and the Huffington Post.

Dr. Kronish is the editor of a new book,: Coexistence and Reconciliation in Israel: Voices for Interreligious Dialogue (2015). In addition, he has edited: Towards the Twenty-first Century: Judaism and the Jewish People in Israel and America, an anthology in memory of his beloved father, Rabbi Leon Kronish, Toward the Third Millennium and Pilgrimage in a New Millennium. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife Amy and is the proud father of 3 wonderful daughters (and 3 wonderful sons-in-law) and the even prouder grandfather of 4 fabulous grandchildren.

Please join us for a lecture followed by refreshments and a question-and-answer session.

Hosted by J Street U and the Israeli Cultural Society. Funded by the Forum for Free Speech and Peace and Conflict Studies.

Militant Buddhism, Nationalism, Ethnic Identity, and Politics in Sri Lanka

A Talk on Militant Buddhism, Nationalism, Ethnic Identity, and Politics in Sri Lanka

“The Politics and the Anti-politics of the Bodu Bala Sena in Sri Lanka”

Tudor_SilvaA Talk by Tudor Silva
Senior Professor of Sociology
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

4:30 Thursday October 30 2014
Bond Memorial Hall
Swarthmore College

Professor Silva’s talk will focus on a group of Colombo-based militant Buddhist monks the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), evolved in the aftermath of the military victory of the Government of Sri Lanka over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. In the backdrop of the resulting Sinhala Buddhist nationalist triumph and the tendency of the ruling elite to by and large ignore minority concerns and demands, the BBS articulates a populist Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarian position vis-à-vis ethnic and religious minorities in the country, including certain Muslim and Christian groups who the BBS claims are all out to destabilize the “Sinhala-Buddhist nation.” The demographic clustering of ethnic minorities in urban Sri Lanka and their apparent economic domination and visible presence in trade and commerce as well as in the religious and cultural landscape have enabled BBS to target them in their various propaganda campaigns. The movement presents itself as free of and opposed to party politics in is effort to represent Sinhala-Buddhist interests but seeks to expose whatever it identifies as harmful to the cultural integrity and wellbeing the majority community. Employing a range of propaganda techniques including public rallies, mass media, face book and rumor, BBS has managed to influence a section of the Sinhala public, including youth, business lobbies and public sector employees, shaping their opinions, perceptions and sentiments. The mistrust so generated has been instrumental in some recent outbreaks of ethnic riots in small towns in the Western coastal belt in Sri Lanka.           While the BBS shares a lot with earlier Sinhala Buddhist campaigns, the direct involvement of militant Buddhist monks as cultural border guards publicly inclined to take the law into their own hands represents a new development in post-war Sri Lanka. The presentation will explore the implications of BBS for social harmony, multicultural heritage, ethnic reconciliation and political developments in the country.

Kalinga Tudor Silva is a Senior Professor of Sociology at University of Peradeniya. He has regularly served as a member of the Intercollegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) Program teaching faculty in Sri Lanka for over twenty-five years. Professor Silva has published more than a dozen books and over fifty articles and book chapters. His research interests include ethnicity, caste, economic development, and social aspects of health. His latest book Decolonization, Development and Disease: A Social History of Malaria in Sri Lanka was published by Orient Blackswan in March 2014.

Sluiter to speak on theories of conflict resolution

From our friends in the Classics Department:

Please join us for the Annual Martin Ostwald Lecture

October 24th, 4:30 pm, Science Center 199, Swarthmore College

Ineke SluiterTOUGH WORDS, SOFT HEARTS
Ineke Sluiter, Leiden University

Sluiter will use theories of conflict resolution to examine ancient and modern debates on the right course of action and how they invoke arguments and rhetorical strategies derived from morality and self-interest. Examples will include Thucydides and the modern debate about the financial crisis in Greece.

 

Racialized-Gendered Partition and Dissensus in Bahrain’s Pearl Revolution

Frances S. Hasso, Associate Professor in Women’s Studies and Sociology at Duke University, will give a talk entitled:

“Racialized-Gendered Partition and Dissensus in Bahrain’s Pearl Revolution”

October 20, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
Science Center Room 199

This paper examines the co-production and “interarticulation” of racializing/sectarian and gendering dynamics in Bahrain as longstanding conflict between the majority of citizens and the ruling Al Khalifa regime intensified into the ongoing 14 February Revolution, also called the Pearl Revolution. These dynamics are stamped on and produced through the organization of bodies and space. Embodied and spatialized dynamics are highlighted by the small geographic area of Bahrain, its residential partitions based on sect, ethnicity, and citizenship status, and its post-1979 culture of gender segregation in street life inspired by the Iranian Revolution. Among the Pearl Revolution’s notable dimensions is a rise in women-led confrontational street politics that is not necessarily authorized by Bahraini opposition men and has produced sublimated tensions not captured by images of gender-segregated orderly marches. For their part, Bahraini state officials and their supporters strategically deploy conservative ideologies of sexual respectability and purity to discredit women and men activists. Sectarian discourse, racialized naturalization and policing policies, and gendered and sexual forms of violence and control intersect in marked ways. The Pearl Revolution is a point of historical rupture, I argue, for imaginaries, subjectivities, and how gendered bodies inhabit space.

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Co-sponsors: Departments of Sociology and Anthropology, Modern Languages and Literature (Arabic Section) and Political Science and programs in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Islamic Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies.

Daniel Hirschel-Burns '14

Daniel Hirschel-Burns ’14 awarded the 2014 Peace and Justice Studies Association Undergraduate Paper Award

We are thrilled to announce that, for the second year in a row, a Swarthmore peace and conflict studies special major has won the Peace and Justice Studies Association‘s Undergraduate Student Paper Award. Danny Hirschel Burns ’14 will receive this year’s award for his thesis, “Filling the Gap: Nonviolent Strategies for Civilian Self-protection during Mass Atrocities.” (Elowyn Corby won the award last year.)

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The PJSA is the primary professional association for peace and conflict studies educators and researchers in North America, and it is the North American affiliate of the International Peace Research Association.

Danny’s thesis was co-advised by Professors Krista Thomason and Lee Smithey.  The award will be presented at the association’s award ceremony on October 18, 2014 during the annual PJSA meeting at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. Danny’s award comes with a $500 travel stipend and an invitation to present his thesis at the conference.

Danny is currently serving as an atrocity prevention intern at Humanity United in Washington D.C.

Please join us in congratulating Danny (@DHirschelBurns) on his excellent work!

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 [due to lack of access to the internet], 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:

EQAT's 2014 07July Ann Y Memorial album on Photobucket

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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