All posts by Lee Smithey

LIVE panel with Ruth McDonough ’08, Sultana Khaya, and co. engaged in unarmed civilian protection and nonviolent struggle in Western Sahara

Ruth McDonough ’08 (Religion; Peace and Conflict Studies; Linguistics) is currently engaged in unarmed civilian protection in the home of the Khaya sisters, Saharawi nonviolent activists calling for an independent Western Sahara, who have been under de facto house arrest for more than 500 days.. Learn more.

On Wednesday April 20, we are hosting a hybrid in-person/online event to:

1.) learn more about Western Saraha
2.) join a LIVE panel from the Khaya sisters’ home.

Where: Join online (links below) or come to Kohlberg Hall Room 230

10:30 AM EDT – Primer on Western Sahara by Professor Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, Coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies, and co-author of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution.
Online: Register at https://bit.ly/wsahara

11:00 AM EDT – Join the live online panel with Ruth McDonough ’08 and the rest of the team.
Online: Register at https://bit.ly/3jIDzi4

Online participation by the public is welcomed.


Ruth McDonough

Ruth is a current member of the Unarmed Civilian Accompaniment based at the Khaya family home in Boujdour, Western Sahara. Ruth has been an Arabic teacher and strong proponent of cross-cultural understanding and peacebuilding and is the site Director of Middlebury College’s Jiran: Arabic Community Action Summer 2021 to present. Previously, she was head of the World Languages and Cultures Department at The American School in London–London, UK; Arabic Teacher at The American School in London, UK; Field Instructor at Where There Be Dragons, Amman, Jordan; Arabic Teacher at Arabic Summer Academy–Boston, MA, USA; Curriculum Consultant at One World Now, Seattle, Washington and Portland State University–Portland, OR, USA and Arabic Teacher at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School–Cambridge, MA, USA. Ruth served as co-founder/facilitator of Anti-Racism Enquiry Group at The American School in London, co-chair of the Upper School Diversity Committee and co-advisor to SHADES at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School–Cambridge, MA, USA. She is skilled at international and outdoor program management as Ecology Facilitator and Wilderness Trail Co-Leader at The American School in London, UK and an emergency wilderness responder. Ruth lived and traveled in many Arab countries and is proficient at several languages including English, Arabic, French and American Sign Language. She earned a BA in Religion at Swarthmore College with minors in Linguistics and Peace & Conflict Studies and a Certificate in Humanistic Integrative Counseling from CPPD Counseling School.

Sponsored by the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and the Department of Religion at Swarthmore College
Contact: Lee Smithey, lsmithe1@swarthmore.edu

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

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

Polarization as Possibility: The Justice Strategizing of Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The video of the event announced below is now available!


Our friends at the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College are sponsoring an exciting online 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.

Conflict is challenging for many of us, but the insights of King and Rustin offer hope.  King encountered violent conflict across America yet received the Nobel Peace Prize. His mentor Rustin urged “angelic troublemakers” to act more boldly.  What can we learn from the organizing leader behind much of the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin, who was born in nearby West Chester, PA, and raised in a Quaker household? How did King and Rustin’s theories of change leverage polarization toward possibility, and what does it mean for us in today’s environment? 

Read more and register.

We’re hiring! visiting assistant professor position

The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Swarthmore College, home of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, invites applications for a full-time three-year Visiting Assistant Professor position, beginning Fall 2022.

Please share widely. Thank you.


Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies
Swarthmore College: Peace & Conflict Studies Program

Location
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Description
The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Swarthmore College invites applications for a full-time three-year Visiting Assistant Professor position, beginning Fall 2022. Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Qualifications
Candidates should demonstrate expertise in peace and conflict studies. Applications from candidates in the humanities are encouraged. We welcome regional expertise in areas besides Europe. The successful candidate for the position will be expected to teach four courses per year in our interdisciplinary undergraduate program, which may include the introductory course and the senior capstone course for majors. We seek a candidate with a compelling classroom presence, 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. The strongest candidates will demonstrate a commitment to creative inclusive teaching and a research program that speaks to and motivates undergraduates from diverse backgrounds. A Ph.D. in peace and conflict studies or in another discipline should be in hand by September 2022, accompanied by intellectual and professional engagement in the field of peace and conflict studies.

Application Instructions
Please apply at https://apply.interfolio.com/99927   Direct inquiries to the program coordinator, Lee Smithey, at lsmithe1 at swarthmore.edu

Full consideration will be given to all applications received by January 24, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Candidates should send:

  • a cover letter, including teaching philosophy, teaching experience, and research agenda
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a writing sample
  • three letters of recommendation.
PCS students peace sign

Spending our carbon budget

Professor Smithey has been teaching his course, “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” again this semester, and right now the second of two delegations of Swatties are on their way to Glasgow Scotland to observe the COP26 meetings (read their daily blog), so many of us have been thinking in considerable detail about the pace of climate disruption, who is responsible, impacts with respect to positive and negative peace, how to steer a global economy into an unprecedented turn, and more.

For reference, we want to just leave this carbon countdown clock right here:

Vanessa Julye to deliver Cary Lecture at Pendle Hill: “Radical Transformation: Long Overdue for the Religious Society of Friends”

We are happy to share an important invitation from our friends and neighbors at the nearby Pendle Hill Quaker Retreat Center (in walking distance, just on the other side of Crum Wood).

This year’s Stephen G. Cary Memorial Lecture will be delivered on September 13, 2021 by Vanessa Julye. Her talk is titled “Radical Transformation: Long Overdue for the Religious Society of Friends”

Vanessa Julye (Courtesy of Pendle Hill)

How have Friends collaborated with and sustained the global system of White Supremacy? George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends envisioned a revolutionary religion which professes the belief that every person has a direct relationship with God. Early Friends proclaimed our capacity for spiritual wholeness comes from the seed of God planted in our hearts. What structures are preventing Friends from living into these beliefs and growing God’s seed?

This year’s lecture is online and free to the public, and we think it will be of interest to some in our peace and conflict studies program. Many thanks to Pendle Hill for their programming and hospitality

Please register for the event and read more about Vanessa Julye and the lecture on the Pendle Hill website…