Dr. Juan Masullo Lecture On “Refusing To Cooperate With Armed Groups” – December 1

We are excited to be a co-sponsor of this event featuring Dr. Juan Masullo, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. Read more about the event below, and we hope to see you there.

REFUSING TO COOPERATE WITH ARMED GROUPS:
Civilian Agency and Nonviolent Resistance in the Colombian Civil War
Thursday, 1 December 2022
4.15-5.30 pm, Science Center 199

Swarthmore College (directions)

How do communities living amidst violence activate their agency and organize nonviolent resistance to protect themselves from armed groups’ violence and rule? In this talk, Dr. Masullo will explore the conditions that led ordinary and unarmed civilians in Colombia to collectively refuse to cooperate with heavily armed groups. 

Juan Masullo is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. He is also a co-editor of Qualitative & Multi-Method Research, the biannual publication of APSA’s Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section, and associate editor of the International Studies Review. 

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Latin American and Latino Studies, and the Peace and Conflict Studies Department.

4 Little Girls: A Film by Spike Lee

Fifty-eight years ago, a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, was destroyed by white supremacists in an act of terrrorism on a Sunday morning in September.

Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
Sproul/Intercultural Center Dome Room
Swarthmore College (map)

Join us for a screening and community-wide discussion of the academy-award nominated documentary by Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls, this Saturday.

The film commemorates the church bombing that claimed the lives of four African American girls during a profound period of upheaval in the struggle for social justice. The documentary revisits the moment that catalyzed civil rights in the US and traces the lives of those who would become some of the youngest martyrs in the emerging global peace movement for racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual equality: Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Rosamond Robertson.

Come watch the film and stay for discussion. #SayTheirNames

Applying Lessons from the Life of Bayard Rustin to Quaker Work at the UN

Our friends nearby at the Pendle Hill Quaker center are announcing their annual Stephen G. Cary Memorial lecture, and this year’s speaker is Sarah Clarke, Director of the Quaker UN Office in New York. She will talk about “Applying Lessons from the Life of Bayard Rustin to Quaker Work at the UN.” A number of Swarthmore students and alums have served as interns at the Quaker UN Office, so this could be a unique opportunity for you to learn more about the organization and experience the beautiful Pendle Hill campus!


“As we approach the 75th anniversary of Quaker work at the UN, we have an opportunity to reflect on those in our community who have taught us valuable lessons about the Quaker traditions of non-violence and direct engagement with those who hold power. The wisdom and life of Quaker civil rights activist Bayard Rustin offers insights and lessons that continue to guide us today and as we look into the future.”


Prof. Smithey plans to provide transportation to the lecture, which will take place on Monday, September 12 at 7:30pm-9:00pm Eastern Time.

In-person spaces are limited. If you would like to travel the short one mile to Pendle Hill in a college van, please RSVP using this form by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, September 7. If seats are still available then, we will request them.

People who choose not to travel to Pendle Hill can register to watch the event via Zoom.


Also see this recent piece in Waging Nonviolence by our own Prof. George Lakey.

Prof. Margaret MacMillan to offer Cooper Series Lecture: “Friend or foe? War and Society” – September 7, 2022

We are excited to be a co-sponsor of this Cooper Series event featuring Professor Margaret MacMillan, emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. Read more about the event below, and we hope to see you there.

“Friend or Foe? War and Society”
Wednesday 7th September 2022
7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Science Center’s Chang Hou Auditorium 101
Swarthmore College (map)
Reception to follow

Download a flyer

War is one of the most fundamental driving forces of human civilization. Today, prominent voices claim that we live in the most peaceful era in human history, but contemporary technologies such as artificial intelligence and cyberwar pose potentially existential threats. We should not turn away from the subject of war, however abhorrent we may find it. Rather, we must understand war to mitigate its effects, but also, vitally, because it is integral to understanding who we are.

Professor Margaret MacMillan is one of the world’s preeminent scholars of international relations. A best-selling author and frequent commentator in the media, she is known for her unparalleled grasp of her subject – war and peace – as well as her gift for vivid and powerful storytelling.  Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001) is widely regarded as a masterpiece and was awarded the Duff Cooper Prize, Hessell-Tiltman Prize, and Samuel Johnson Prize. Other works include: Women of the Raj (1988); Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World (2006); The Uses and Abuses of History (2008); The War that Ended Peace (2014); History’s People (2015) and War: How Conflict Shaped Us (2020).   She is emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford, former Warden of St Antony’s College (University of Oxford) and visiting distinguished historian at the Council on Foreign Relations (2020-21).  In 2021, MacMillan won the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. 

This event is co-sponsored by the departments of History, Political Science, and Peace and Conflict Studies.

Prof. Wilson Becerril Brings New Courses in Fall 2022

In a recent blog post, we announced the arrival of Prof. Mike Wilson Becerril, who will offer TWO NEW COURSES in Peace and Conflict Studies for the fall semester 2022. We hope you will check them out and share with your friends:

  • PEAC 030: War in Lived Experience
  • PEAC 045: Peace and Conflict in Latin America

Find course descriptions below. These courses can be ADDED NOW through MySwarthmore.


PEAC 030: War in Lived Experience
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:30 am – 11:20 am

Protestors
      in front of riot police

What is violence, and how do we learn to think of it? What is war and why is it started? How can it be avoided? How do we know when we are safe, or what insecurity is? How does media treat war and different forms of violence? How does war end? What are the links between war and everyday life? This course centers on these open questions to develop a framework to make sense of, and critically engage with, issues of conflict, violence, war, and peace. In history books, the news, and our language, violence and war seem to be pervasive. To understand and confront them, we must explore in-depth how they are experienced, interpreted, remembered, institutionalized, normalized, and challenged by everyday people. Exploring diverse approaches to war and peace “from below” and across different contexts, we will build tools to recognize and transform different forms of violence.

PEAC 045: Peace and Conflict in Latin America
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 11:30 am – 12:20 pm

Most people in Latin America live under various forms of “violent peace.” Although most states are not at war formally, the means of violence have not receded despite several “waves of democratization,” and in fact, these have become normalized or concealed in everyday relations. Latin America today is reported to have the highest rate of homicides, worst levels of economic inequality, deadliest settings for environmental defenders, highest levels of police-committed killings, and highest levels of gender-based violence in the world. Likewise, it showcases a wide range of political plurality and representation, cultural and biological diversity, and rich historical trajectories often marked by successful struggles for alternative worlds, social justice, and international peace. This interdisciplinary course centers on a comparative, thematic, and chronological study of Latin America to understand the layered meanings and forms of violence, different methods and challenges of promoting justice, and lessons from attempts to build durable peace.


We are excited about these new courses and the opportunity to expand our department’s offerings. Thank you Prof. Wilson Becerril!

Prof. Michael Wilson Becerril
Professor Michael Wilson Becerril

Film Screening: Angels are Made of Light

Wednesday, March 3
4:15-6:30 p.m.
Science Center Room 199
Swarthmore College

Please join us for a screening of Angels are Made of Light, a documentary that traces the lives of young students and their teachers at a school in the old city of Kabul. The film interweaves the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, offering an intimate and nuanced view of Afghan society in Kabul. The screening will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Peace & Conflict Studies Professor Amy Kapit

Pizza will be served!

Sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, and Asian Studies

PEACE AND RECONCILIATION IN UKRAINE AND POLAND: Past and Present of the Refugee Crisis

Tuesday, March 29, 4:30 p.m.
Singer Hall Room 033
Swarthmore College

In recent weeks Poland has welcomed a greater number of refugees from Ukraine than any other country, often with striking warmth and generosity, although the relationship between the two nations has been complex over time. Swarthmore College faculty members Allen Kuharski and Barbara Milewski will speak about the cultural, historical, and diplomatic context for the extraordinary outpouring of grassroots support for Ukrainian refugees in Poland over the last month and about the other complexities of these current events.

Bob Weinberg, Isaac H. Clothier Professor of History and International Relations, will host the event; there will be a chance to ask questions after the presentations, in person or via the Zoom “chat.” For more information, contact Sibelan Forrester at sforres1 <at> swarthmore.edu.

Mvs.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To attend via Zoom, register in advance using this link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Co-sponsored by the Programs and Departments of Global Studies, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music and Dance, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Theater.

Rebecca Subar on When to talk and when to fight (book talk)

Please join us for a book talk by a compelling author, educator, and practitioner.

Rebecca Subar
When to Talk and When to Fight: The Strategic Choice Between Dialogue and Resistance
Thursday, March 24, 2022
4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
Lib Lab (McCabe Library Room 104)

When to Talk and When to Fight is a conversation between talkers and fighters. It introduces a new language to enable negotiators and activists to argue and collaborate across different schools of thought and action. Weaving beautiful storytelling and clear analysis, this book maps the habits of change-makers, explaining why some groups choose dialogue and negotiation while others practice confrontation and resistance. Why do some groups seemingly always take an antagonistic approach, challenging authority and in some cases trying to tear down our systems and institutions? Why are other groups reluctant to raise their voices or take a stand, limiting themselves to conciliatory strategies? And why do some of us ask only the first question, while others ask only the second? Threaded among examples of conflict, struggle, and change in organizations, communities, and society is the compelling personal story that led Subar to her community of practice at Dragonfly, advising leaders in social justice organizations on organizational and advocacy strategy.

“Rebecca Subar’s rich personal background and distinguished career advising political negotiators, organization-builders, and movement strategists have positioned her as one of the world’s leading voices on conflict management. Here Subar combines profound insights from both practitioners and theoreticians, offering her readers invaluable paradigms on conflict transformation. When to Talk and When to Fight is the book many of us having been waiting for!”
— Professor Sa’ed Atshan

This event is free and open to the public. Please see and follow the College’s COVID policies on vaccination and masking. You can find directions and a    campus map on the College’s website.

Sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies Program and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology

30th Anniversary Event: Preparing for Peace, Building Social Justice

Join us online on Tuesday February 22 at 4:15 pm EST to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Peace & Conflict Studies program at Swarthmore College! The virtual event will reflect on the past three decades of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore and the ways that program alumni have integrated peace and conflict studies to their careers.

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Please register to attend at https://bit.ly/330ZWuw

Allison Oman Lawli, '91
Deputy Divisional for Nutritional Operations, Analysis, and Integration, World Food Programme

Maurice Weeks, '08
Co-Executive Director of the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) Coordinator

Jasmine Rashid, '18
Director of Impact at the Candide Group

Jerry Frost
Howard M. and Charles F. Jenkins Professor Emeritus of Quaker History and Research and Former Peace & Conflict Studies Program Coordinator

Lee Smithey
Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies and Sociology and Peace & Conflict Studies Program Coordinator

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2022

A few years ago, the College began celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday, so the College is closed, and classes don’t begin until tomorrow!

MLK Day is always an important one for our program given our commitment to studying and understanding the powerful and nonviolent pursuit of more just and collaborative relations, as well as the structures of power and inequality that inhibit lives well-lived.

As Dr. King’s Day reminds us, the work can be both dramatic and slow, with the work bearing fruit for decades and more. I just returned recently from visiting family in Nashville , Tennessee and read this morning in the New York Times that a statue of the Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest on Interstate 65 near my home has finally come down. I also learned that the plaza in front of Nashville’s courthouse has been named after Diane Nash, and the city’s newest high school will be named after Dr. James Lawson, both instrumental in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins and other campaigns during the civil rights movement.

Moreover, inequality and militarism remain dominant in American society. On this MLK Day I would like to re-share the video reading of Dr. King’s Riverside Speech that students, faculty, and staff organized earlier this year. In this powerful speech King warns us about the intersecting dangers of racism, militarism, and materialism.

Let me also remind us of this week’s event on January 21, 2022 titled “Polarization as Possibility: The Justice Strategizing of Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King, Jr.” featuring our own George Lakey and Professor Terrance Wiley of Religion and Africana Studies at Haverford College. I hope to see some of you there.

Lee Smithey, Coordinator, Peace and Conflict Studies Program

poster featuring an image of Bayard Rustin