Ted Herman, an important figure in the development of Peace Studies, recently passed away. Prof. Herman lived not far from Swarthmore and was well known in the area. We would like to share this tribute from another major peace studies scholar, Dr. Ian Harris, and express our appreciation and condolences to Prof. Herman’s friends, family, and colleagues.
Ted Herman (1913-2010)
Ted Herman was a pioneer in the peace studies community. He was one of many Quaker scholar/midwives who helped nurture the field of peace studies in the 1960s. He founded a peace studies program at Colgate University at the height of the Vietnam war. This program now has both a minor and a major in peace and conflict studies.
Ted Herman grew up in West Philadelphia and was a soccer star in his youth. He did his undergraduate work at Swarthmore (graduating in 1935) and completed a Ph.D. in geography at the University of Washington. In the interim he taught in China. He joined the faculty at Colgate University as a professor of geography in 1955 and founded there in 1971 one of the earliest peace studies programs in the United States. He inspired many students to take seriously the study of nonviolence and to pursue careers devoted to peace. Largely because of Ted the Colgate program has a unique emphasis upon geography and trouble spots in the world–like the Middle East, Central America, Africa, or Central Asia–integrating trans-disciplinary academic approaches to war and peace with the study of particular regional conflicts.
Ted Herman was a fantastic mentor. He mentored me and many other young professors in the nineteen eighties who were attracted to the field of peace studies in response to the growing nuclear threat. I remember well meeting with him at COPRED (Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development) and International Peace Research Association (IPRA) conferences. His calm determination and self confidence convinced many of us that we could leave the shelter of our traditional disciplines and walk down the path of peace. Ted Herman understood well how the study of peace could enhance the academy and made it his life’s mission to promote it.
Ted Herman devoted considerable time to bringing together enemies on multiple sides of the Balkan conflict. In his retirement he often visited the Balkans trying to get Serbs to talk to people from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He helped establish a peace studies program in Macedonia. I remember him coming to Milwaukee in 1995 and meeting with an important Serbian bishop in the orthodox church and leaders from the Bosnian community.
Towards the end of his life Ted Herman became convinced that the best way to promote peace studies was through peace research. He threw his considerable talents behind the International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF) a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1990 to further the purposes of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) and enhance the processes of peace. With his support IPRAF has carried out peace research projects in the Balkans and the Middle East. It offers women from developing countries scholarships to study peace at the graduate level and provides small peace research grants to further the field of peace research. (For more information see http://www.iprafoundation.org/) Ted Herman reveled in the rich exchanges that took place at IPRA conferences where scholars from around the world shared their insights into ways to generate peace.
Ted Hermann is held in the hearts of hundreds of peace educators and social activists, like myself, who have been inspired by his quiet determination to promote nonviolence. His memorial service will take place Jan 22, 2011 at 1 p.m. at Lancaster Friends Meeting in Lancaster, PA. I would like encourage those of you who live in the area to consider attending this service to honor an important pioneer in the field of peace and conflict studies.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee