It is the last week of classes. Peace and Conflict Studies students (and those interested in majoring or minoring) are almost there! Of course, the exam period follows, but it is traditional for us to take a moment to catch our breath together during the reading period. You deserve it!
Let’s gather together on Monday, May 1, to catch up, enjoy some ice cream, and hopefully bask in some fine May weather. Bring a frisbee or beach ball or board game if you like. See you then! (Details below)
Here in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore we are excited to welcome Prof. Sa’ed Atshan back this summer, and students at Bryn Mawr are helping us get warmed up by hosting him on their campus!
Please join Bi-Co Students for Justice in Palestine for a presentation by Dr. Sa’ed Atshan on “Palestinian Christians: Past, Present, Future.” Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you there!
Dr. Atshan is a well-respected professor and public academic. He is a Swarthmore Alum (BA 2006), he earned his Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard-Kennedy School in 2008, his Masters in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 2010, and his PhD in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 2013. Dr. Atshan served as an associate professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College (2015-2022) before being recruited to Emory University where he serves as an associate professor of Anthropology and Director of Undergraduate Studies. In the Fall of 2023, Dr. Atshan will return to Swarthmore as the Chair of the Peace and Conflict Studies Department.
Dr. Atshan has also written or co-authored three books: “Reel Gender: Palestinian and Israeli Cinema,” “Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique,” and “The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians.” His research focuses on contemporary Palestinian society, global LGBTQ+ movements, and Christian minorities in the Middle East.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Atshan’s research and work, consider visiting his website: https://atshan.net/.
Thank you for joining us in giving Dr. Atshan a very warm welcome to Bryn Mawr College!
Documentary Film Screening and Q&A Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life Wednesday, March 29, at 7:30pm in Science Center 101
The film’s director Patrice O’Neill (Not in Our Town, https://www.niot.org/) will screen the film and answer questions. Please come join us.
Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Lifedocuments a community’s response to hate in the aftermath of the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. Eleven congregants lost their lives on October 27, 2018 in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. Through the voices of survivors, family members, and members of diverse communities, the film shows unity in a moment of crisis, the resilience of a vibrant city, and a community working together to understand what it means to be “stronger than hate.” Repairing the World shows how a traumatized city works to heal and confront the threat of antisemitism, racism, hate speech, and gun violence.
Contact Bob Weinberg (rweinbe1 at swarthmore . edu) for additional information.
Please join the Peace and Conflict Studies Department for its Spring 2023 Film Series. Five films will explore the evolution of militarism and the role of art and personal narratives in overcoming violence, trauma, and conflict.
All film screenings will be held at Singer 033 starting at 4:30 p.m. The screenings are followed by debrief discussions with faculty and guest debriefers. Pizza, salad, and drinks will be provided during the screenings! Open to all Trico colleges (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore).
Below are the trailers and synopses for the films included in this Spring 2023 Peace and Conflict Studies film series.
Exterminate All the Brutes EP.3 February 15 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“Exterminate All the Brutes, is a four-part hybrid docuseries that provides a visually arresting journey through time, into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism — from America to Africa and its impact on society today.”
Dawnland February 22 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“The feature-length documentary DAWNLAND follows the TRC to contemporary Wabanaki communities to witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.”
Coexist March 1 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“In Coexist, Rwanda’s unprecedented social experiment in government-mandated reconciliation is revealed for the first time through the eyes of a diverse range of survivors: victims, perpetrators, and those who bore witness to the 1994 genocide. What they share is breathtaking, heartbreaking, and inspired.”
500 Years March 15 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“500 Years tells the epic story that led Guatemala to a tipping point in their history from the genocide trial of former dictator General Rios Montt to the popular movement that toppled sitting President Otto Perez Molina. Focusing on universal themes of justice, racism, power and corruption, 500 Years tells the story from the perspective of the majority indigenous Mayan population, and their struggles in their country’s growing fight against impunity.”
The Art of Un-War With Director Maria Niro March 22 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer Hall Room 033 Swarthmore College
“The Art of Un-War is an in-depth exploration of the life and work of renowned artist Krzysztof Wodiczko. The film features Wodiczko’s artistic interventions that he creates as powerful responses to the inequities and horrors of war and injustice. Throughout the film, the artist’s powerful interventions become examples of how art can be used for social change and for healing.”
Come watch the films (with pizza, salad, and drinks) and stay for discussions.
Location: Scheuer Room Roundtable: Thursday, February 9th, 4:30-6pm Reception to follow until 7pm
Dr. Megan Brown is Assistant Professor of History at Swarthmore College, specializing in modern Europe with a focus on France. Her book, The Seventh Member State: Algeria, France, and the European Community (Harvard), was published in 2022.
Dr. Cindy Ewing is the Assistant Professor of Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto. She specializes in histories of decolonization and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia. Her in-progress book examines how Asian and Arab diplomats imported indigenous ideas about rights and sovereignty into the burgeoning international human rights system at the United Nations.
Dr. Kesewa John is a historian of Caribbean radicalism and intellectual history particularly interested in the intersections of Black feminist and Black radical histories of early twentieth century Caribbean activism. Dr. John is a Lecturer in Caribbean History in the Institute of the Americas at University College London and the current Chair of the Society for Caribbean Studies, the UK’s only learned society focused on promoting scholarship about the Caribbean and its diasporas.
Dr. Angela Zimmerman is professor of history at George Washington University. She is the author of Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton, 2010) and the editor of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Civil War in the United States (International Publishers, 2016). She is currently writing a history of the Civil War as an international anti-slavery revolution with roots in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. It will be called “A Very Dangerous Element.”
Sponsored by the Aydelotte Foundation and the Swarthmore College Libraries.
Co-Sponsored by the Asian Studies, Black Studies, French, Global Studies, History, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Political Science Departments at Swarthmore College
We are thrilled to welcome our former colleague and Lang Professor, George Lakey, back to campus to help launch his latest book, a memoir, Dancing With History: A Life for Peace and Justice. Join us for this public TriCollege book talk sponsored by departments at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges. A reception and book signing will follow.
Date: January 31, 2023
Author-Student Meet-and-Greet Time: 4:30 p.m. Location: Lib Lab in McCabe Library at Swarthmore College
George Lakey is a scholar, writer, activist, trainer, and formerly a Lang Professor in Peace and Conflict Studiesat Swarthmore College, where he founded the Global Nonviolent Action Database. He has taught or trained at all three Trico colleges (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore). Since the age of 19, he has been a tireless leader in peace, justice, and civil rights movements, studying and engaging in nonviolent campaigns for social change. A prominent Quaker, Lakey founded Training for Change here in Philadelphia, and his work can be traced across the anti-Vietnam War movement, gay liberation, Movement for a New Society, Men Against Patriarchy, Jobs with Peace (a labor coalition), climate justice movements, and more.
A prolific author throughout his career, his book include Toward a Living Revolution; How We Win; and Viking Economics. Copies of Dancing with History are available in the Campus Bookstore and can be purchased at the event.
George Lakey is a national treasure, whom I met when I was 22. Dancing with George was a blast. His unstoppable, thoughtful, contagious approach to democratic action has inspired my life’s work.
Frances Moore Lappé, Director, Small Planet Institute.
In his memoir, George Lakey recollects his past and current experiences, layer by layer, narrating a life of building peace and justice through one’s actions.
George Lakey’s memoir is an important book, for Friends and for the wide radius of activist groups his life of witness has influenced. It is a testament to the adage that the personal is political, and the political is personal. One can hear eighty years of American culture pulsating through his body and spirit – not simply as unreflected zeitgeist, but as spiritually discerned and focused by a resilient concern for actionable analysis and strategy for a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.
Doug Gwyn, author of A Sustainable Life: Quaker Faith & Practice in the Renewal of Creation.
Co-sponsors: Peace & Conflict Studies (Swarthmore); The Peace Collection and Friends Historical Library (Swarthmore);Swarthmore Friends Meeting;Peace, Justice, & Human Rights (Haverford); Peace, Conflict, & Social Justice Studies (Bryn Mawr); Sociology and Anthropology Department (Swarthmore); The Lang Center; Gender & Sexuality Studies
It is with great pleasure and anticipation that we share that Dr. Sa’ed Atshan will return to the faculty of Swarthmore College and that he will serve as Chair of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies in the fall semester. We are so excited that future generations of students will benefit from his exceptional teaching and mentoring.
Dr. Atshan (Swarthmore ’06), a renowned anthropologist and peace and conflict studies scholar, has extensive teaching experience at institutions including Birzeit, Brown, Emory, MIT, Swarthmore, Tufts, and UC Berkeley.
He joined our program in 2015 and contributed mightily to its development as a department. His popular classes included the introductory course; Crisis Resolution in the Middle East; Gender, Sexuality, and Social Change; Humanitarianism; and more. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict course included five consecutive and transformational embedded study trips to Israel/Palestine, not to mention a related and well-attended annual film series. He also co-organized a large conference on resisting anti-Semitism with Rabbi Michael Ramberg, Swarthmore’s Jewish Advisor.
Dr. Atshan returns to us from the Anthropology Department at Emory University, where he is a tenured professor and the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies. His reputation as a beloved mentor precedes him. While at Swarthmore, he not only supported prospective students, current students, and alums in their academic and vocational pursuits, he also served as the Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program. He himself, as an undergraduate at Swarthmore, was both a Lang Scholar and the first Arab-American in the nation to receive a MMUF scholarship.
We hope you can tell why we are excited about Dr. Atshan’s rejoining our department. He brings outstanding experience in so many respects that fit seamlessly with Swarthmore’s and our department’s missions.
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
“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.