A huge congratulations to PCS affiliate Dr. Barbara Milewski, a Polish music specialist, who has been awarded the Joyce and Arthur Schechter Fellowship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. The fellowship will enable her to spend four months working with the Holocaust Museum’s collections to finish her book on the culture and impact of music-making practices by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
As we enter the fall semester, the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies is excited to welcome Dr. L Fahn-Lai (they/them) as our Communications and Creative Consultant. This is an inaugural part-time position for the 2023-2024 academic year.
L comes to us from Harvard University, where they completed a PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in 2021, and more recently a Gates Foundation-funded postdoctoral project looking at hidden structural and behavioral influencing behind tuberculosis and COVID-19 care delivery. As a proud member of the trans/non-binary community who has balanced their academic work with a decade-long freelance career in visual and interactive design, L embodies the department’s commitment to bridging silos of theory and practice in the pursuit of peace.
Prior to their doctorate, L completed their undergraduate education as a double concentrator in International Relations and Human Biology at Brown University, before continuing on to complete an master’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, also at Brown. Years working in the spaces between disciplines has impressed on them the importance of openness, curiosity and a willingness to take a step back and re-frame basic norms and assumptions when communicating and collaborating across different communities of practice and inquiry in pursuit of a shared purpose.
L will be supporting the department with communications and creative strategy, and will also be drawing on their experience as a visual designer to advance a series of projects.
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Fahn-Lai to the Peace and Conflict Studies community at Swarthmore!
George Fujii explains in the SHAFR blog that “The 2023 Anna K. Nelson Prize for Archival Excellence honors an archivist who has demonstrated both exemplary expertise as well as outstanding and dedicated service over time to the community of scholars of the history of U.S. foreign relations and international history.” Dr. Chmielewski helped co-found the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College in 1991 and served on its faculty committee until her retirement in 2021.
Fujii writes of Dr. Chmielewski, “A scholar of women’s history and peace movements, Dr. Chmielewski is honored for her leadership as the George R. Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection for over twenty years. In that role, she oversaw the expansion the collection’s records, made detailed finding aids for many of them available on the internet, highlighted many of its print and graphic materials on its website, and added a public history component to this archival repository. In these ways and others, she has been a driving force in making the Swarthmore College Peace Collection (SCPC) an indispensable resource for scholars of the American peace movement and the history of U.S. foreign relations more broadly. Beyond the peace collection at Swarthmore, Dr. Chmielewski has also been a member of the advisory committee of the American Museum for Peace, the Jane Addams Papers Project at Ramapo College, and the Centre for Peace History at the University of Sheffield. SHAFR recognizes her for this work and her multiple contributions to the study of U.S. foreign relations.”
Reflecting on the award, Dr. Chmielewski graciously offered, “As my work for the Peace Collection was always a collaborative effort with other SCPC staff members over many years, I think this award really belongs to the SCPC.”
We are thrilled for Wendy and her colleagues, and we join SHAFR in acknowledging and honoring her work.
In 1958, an intrepid crew of (mainly) Quakers attempted to sail the small ship the “Golden Rule” to the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific, to try to “get in the way” of massive nuclear tests the United States was planning there. They were arrested in Honolulu, but they left a lasting legacy connecting peace and environmental justice concerns. Now, a new crew from Veterans for Peace is using the same ship to campaign against the MAD-ness [Mutually Assured Destruction] of nuclear weapons. Read more about the campaign in the Global Nonviolent Action Database at Swarthmore College.
The Golden Rule, a 34-foot wooden ketch, will visit the Delaware Valley May 9-14, 2023 as part of a 15-month voyage around the eastern half of the USA, making 100 ports-of-call.
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)
Title: Iraq Afterwar(d)s: Epistemic Violence and Collateral Damage Speaker: Sinan Antoon, Iraqi novelist and poet. Date & Time : April 25th, Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:30 pm Location: KohlbergScheuer Room *This event is open to the public.
This talk will address the genealogy of the destruction of Iraq and its ongoing effects. While most accounts begin in 2003, the talk will trace it back to the first Gulf War of 1991 and throughout the economic sanctions (1990-2003). In addition to material destruction, the talk will discuss the epistemic violence of U.S wars and its effects on knowledge production in and about Iraq.
Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, translator, and scholar. He was born and raised in Baghdad where he finished a B.A in English at Baghdad University in 1990. He left for the United States after the 1991 Gulf War. He earned a doctorate in Arabic literature from Harvard in 2006. He has published two collections of poetry and five novels. His most recent wok is The Book of Collateral Damage. Sinan returned to his native Baghdad in 2003 to co-produce and co-direct a documentary film about Iraq under occupation entitled About Baghdad. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Guardian, al-Jazeera and various Arabic-language outlets. His scholarly works include a book on the pre-modern poet, Ibn al-Hajjaj, and articles on Sa`di Youssef, Sargon Boulus, and Mahmoud Darwish. He is an Associate Professor at New York University and co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.
Sponsored by: the Arabic Section of MLL, the Islamic Studies Program, the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, the Department of Peace & Conflict Studies, and the Department of Sociology & Anthropology.
Title: The Living Dead or the Sonic Story of Male Bodies Behind Bars in Egypt Speaker: Dr. Maria Frederika Malmström, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Research Fellow; The Aga Khan University, London Date & Time : April 19th, Wednesday, 4:30 pm Location: Kohlberg Hall 228
This talk tells a story of the aftermath of the ‘failed revolution’ in Egypt through the prism of sound and gendered political prisoner bodies. It created embodied reactions among Cairene men—years after their lived prison experiences—in which depression, sorrow, stress, paranoia, rage, or painful body memories are prevalent. Affect theory shows how sonic vibrations—important stimuli within everyday experience, with a unique power to induce strong affective states—mediate consciousness, including heightened states of attention and anxiety. Sound, or the lack thereof, stimulates, disorients, transforms, and controls. The sound of life is transformed into the sound of death; the desire to disappear in order not to disappear again produces ‘ghost bodies’ alienated from the ‘new Egypt’, but from the family and the self too.