Video: Dr. David Tombs lecture on sexualized violence and crucifixion

We want to extend our profound thanks to Dr. David Tombs for his excellent well-researched lecture on “The Scandal of the Cross: Sexualised Violence, Silence and Crucifixion” on November 20, 2013. You can view the lecture below.

In addition to his lecture, David visited Lee Smithey’s class on “Transforming Intractable Conflict” and offered an information lunch session on the Northern Ireland Semester Program.

Tombs_Swat_11-20-2013 from Swarthmore Peace Studies on Vimeo.

Video of Dee Craig mural installation on campus

A few weeks ago, we posted a video of the collage installation by Dee Craig and Paul Downie on the second floor of Kohlberg Hall. Now, there is also a video of the mural installation on the side of the Science Center that was part of Craig’s Mellon Creative Residency this semester.

Dee Craig Mural Installation at Swarthmore College from Swarthmore Peace Studies on Vimeo.



Jim MacMillan on Peace Journalism

Jim MacMillan, Assistant Director of the Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple University and Editor for the GunCrisis Reporting Project, spoke in our Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies course today about peace journalism. In the convergence journalism style for which he is known, Jim lectured from a Storify page, which we are all able to review:

Press Release for Tombs lecture on the Cross and Sexualized Violence

The Scandal of the Cross: Sexualised Violence, Silence and Crucifixion

SWARTHMORE – 20 November, 2013 How contemporary reports of torture and sexualised violence can offer new understanding of the crucifixion will be explored at a public talk at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013  at 4:15 p.m. in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall.

Prof. David Tombs
Prof. David Tombs

In a lecture entitled The Scandal of the Cross: Sexualised Violence, Silence and Crucifixion, Dr David Tombs, Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity’s cross-border campus in Northern Ireland, will use both ancient and modern sources to examine crucifixion as a form of state terror torture and sexualised violence.

Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Tombs commented: “St. Paul’s description of the cross as ‘a scandal’ (1 Cor. 1.23) is widely known. Christians around the world are familiar with it, and many recall it each year on Good Friday. But what exactly made the cross a scandal, and why is it relevant to a Christian response to sexualised violence in conflicts today?”

“In this lecture I will present 15 years of research on why the cross was so scandalous in the ancient world. I will look at why the most critical element in the scandal has been unspeakable for two millennia, and why this has profound relevance to a church concerned about sexualised violence in conflicts around the world today.

Crucifix“My research suggests that ‘the scandal of the cross’ is a scandal of sexualised violence, and it is also scandalous for theologians and churches to have been silent on this for so long. In in response to reports of widespread conflict-related sexualised violence (including Central America in the 1980s, Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last decade) the central symbol of Christianity needs to be seen in a new way. The cross challenges theologians to break the silence and taboo of sexualised violence, and yet do so in a way that affirms the dignity of victims past and present. The lecture points to how this might be done in three areas of theological thought: the humanity of Christ; the unspoken memories of Eucharist; and the good news of resurrection.”

Co-sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, Department of Religion, Provost’s Office, Off-campus Study, The Northern Ireland Semester, Gender and Sexuality Studies


Northern Ireland study abroad interest lunch with David Tombs



Semester in Northern Ireland Program

Please join Professor David Tombs for lunch

Thursday, November 21st, Noon, Sharples #5

Prof. David Tombs
Prof. David Tombs

Professor David Tombs, Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation for the Irish School of Ecumenics, will meet with interested students and answer questions.

The program provides students a unique opportunity to study conflict, ongoing peace building efforts, and social entrepreneurship in local communities in Northern Ireland, a region in a critical transition after 30 years of violent political and ethnic struggle. Students work (for supervised credit) within local community organizations while studying conflict, peace, and reconciliation at the Irish School for Ecumenics of Trinity College at its Belfast campus. Community placements can be tailored to fit your particular academic interests (e.g. theatre as peace building, culture and conflict, transitional politics, segregated education, cross-border economics, etc.)

The Semester in Northern Ireland is based in two geographic locations, Derry / Londonderry or Belfast, but student involvement with community groups may take place elsewhere in Northern Ireland. Students may register for one semester or two, and further possibilities for summer research and/or service work may arise.

Visit the Northern Ireland Semester website where you can read more about the program, including student contributions to the program’s blog.  Also visit the new program website.

All students are welcome to participate in the program. For Peace and Conflict Studies students, all four credits may be applied toward the minor.

Contact Professor Lee Smithey at lsmithe1 or Rosa Bernard at rbernar1

Mural launch at Swarthmore College

Mellon Creative Residency Mural Launch

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

12:00 Noon

Science Center Wall closest to DuPont Parking Lot (Directions)

Photo credit: Annette Newman

The large mural being painted on Swarthmore’s campus by Mellon Creative Resident, David “Dee” Craig, will be launched on TUESDAY, November 12 at 12:00 NOON on the southeast corner of the Swarthmore College Science Center (next to the DuPont Parking Lot).

The planning and creation of this mural has actively involved students, faculty, and staff. Come join us in thanking the artist and many others who have made this project a success. Light food will be available in the studio tent at the wall (where we will gather in the event of rain).

Dee Craig, an experienced artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, specializes in large-scale mural projects and has been involved in community art for over 20 years. Throughout the month-long residency, Craig has visited with classes across the Tri-College Community (Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr) and displayed an exhibit of his work and mural art in Northern Ireland in McCabe Library.

Craig’s mural marks this year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of Swarthmore College, and the celebration of 125 years since the first higher education course in Peace and Conflict Studies was taught at Swarthmore College.

The Mellon Creative Residency Mural Launch event and the exhibition of his work in the atrium of McCabe Library are open to the public. For more information about the residency, visit To follow the residency as it develops, visit

Dee Craig-15_sm
Photo credit: Annette Newman