Omar Offendum: hip-hop, poetry, and peace

Omar Offendum will be coming to Swarthmore on Thursday, November 20th to give a hybrid performance/lecture.

Omar Offendum

In addition to performing some of his songs, he will speak about connections between the artistic community and the Arab uprisings, with a special focus on hip hop.  Omar will also discuss his efforts to use art and music to raise humanitarian relief funds for Syrian refugees. Opening performance by OASiS.

Thursday November 20, 2014
4:30-6:30 p.m.
Science Center 101
Swarthmore College (directions)

Omar is a Syrian American hip-hop artist, designer, poet and peace activist. He was born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington, DC, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He tours the world performing at international music festivals, lecturing at major academic institutions, and fundraising for humanitarian relief organizations. Most recently, Offendum has been involved in creating several critically acclaimed songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa. He is also working on several new collaborative projects while touring to promote his solo work.

This event is sponsored by the Arabic Section (MLL), the Intercultural Center, the William Cooper Foundation, the Islamic Studies Program, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, the Department of Music and Dance, and the Muslim Students Association.

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh November 19th and 20th, 2014

Join the Womyn’s Resource Center and artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh in conversation around street harassment and art in activism.

Stop Telling Women to Smile

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Poster installation with the artist
November 19th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
meet in Kohlberg coffee bar at 1pm

Artist’s lecture and reception
November 19th 7:00 pm – 8:30pm
Science Center 101

Catered Lunch and Discussion
November 20th 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Scheuer Room
limited space, please RSVP at
++open only to women and trans folks++

Sponsored by: Forum for Free Speech, the Serendipity Fund, Interpretation Theory, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Art Department, Peace and Conflict Studies, Department of History, and Dean Henry’s Office.

Stop Telling Women to Smile Fazlalizadeh

Global Nonviolent Action Database research seminar offered Spring 2015

We are thrilled to celebrate the fact that the Global Nonviolent Action Database, housed here in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College, reached 1,000 cases this summer!

Even more, we can announce that PEAC 071B. Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle (Cross-listed as SOAN 071B) will be offered during the Spring Semester 2015.

Professor Smithey will be instructing the course, and Professor Lakey will return in a supporting role during the beginning of the semester.  (Professor Smithey’s course, Gun Violence Prevention, will unfortunately not be offered in the spring).

Global Nonviolent Action Database banner


This one-credit research seminar involves working and updating the Global Nonviolent Action Database which can be accessed by activists and scholars worldwide at The database was built at Swarthmore College and includes cases of “people power” drawn from dozens of countries. The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace.

Students will be expected to research a series of cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a 2-3 page narrative that describes the unfolding struggle.  In addition to research/writing methods, students will also draw on theories in the field.  Strategic implications for today will be drawn from theory and from what the group learns from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.

This writing (W) course has a limited enrollment of 12 students.

You can learn more by visiting a collection of posts about the database in the Peace and Conflict Studies blog.

In this video, Professor Lakey introduced the launch of the database in 2011.


Premiere of Peace Talks for Chorus and Orchestra by James Matheson ’92

Founders Day Concert with the Swarthmore College Chorus and the Swarthmore College Orchestra

December 5, 2014; 8:00 p.m.
Lang Music Building
Swarthmore College (directions)
(Universal moment of silence at 8:00 PM EDT)

Featuring the premiere of Peace Talks for Chorus and Orchestra by James Matheson ’92, commissioned for the Swarthmore Sesquicentennial


The program will also include works for orchestra by Sibelius and Fauré, and choral works from a variety of American composers and traditions.

This event is one of several planned during the 2014 calendar year to celebrate Swarthmore’s Sesquicentennial

Peace drama performed 100 years ago on campus

This story in The Phoenix, Swarthmore College’s student newspaper, from October 27, 1914, only three months after the start of World War I, was brought to our attention this week.

The clipping below reports on the performance of a Founders’ Day “peace drama” about one soldiers’ struggle with the horrors of war, his return home, and a vision for “an era of peace, unsullied by the sword.”

Swarthmore is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year.

article part 1

article part 2

Science and Compassion: John W. Thompson’s Trajectory From Swarthmore to the Nuremberg Trials

Science and Compassion: John W. Thompson’s Trajectory From Swarthmore to the Nuremberg Trials

A lecture by Paul Weindling
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Kohlberg Hall, Scheuer Room
Swarthmore College (directions)
John W. Thompson
John W. Thompson taught as professor of Physiology and Anatomy from 1929 to 1932.

Paul Weindling’s lecture will focus on his research contained in his new book, John W. Thompson: Psychiatrist in the Shadow of the Holocaust (University of Rochester Press) is the biography of a doctor whose revulsion at Nazi human experiments prompted him to seek a humane basis for physician-patient relations. As a military-scientific intelligence officer in 1945, Thompson was the first to name “medical war crimes” as a category for prosecution. His investigations laid the groundwork for the Nuremberg medical trials and for the novel idea of “informed consent.” Yet, Thompson has remained a little-known figure, despite his many scientific, literary, and religious connections. Thompson has a connection to Swarthmore College having taught as professor of Physiology and Anatomy from 1929 to 1932.

Paul Weindling is Wellcome Trust Research Professor for the History of Medicine at the Centre for Medical Humanities at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He has served on historical commissions on Nazi science including the Max Planck Society’s Presidential Commission for the Kaiser Wilhelm Society under National Socialism, and is a Trustee of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA) which originally rescued many scientists from Nazi persecution.

book cover

Sponsors: Sesquicentennial Events, Peace and Conflict Studies, Department of Biology