Category Archives: Peace and Conflict Studies

Swarthmore Students for a Democratic Society attend the the annual vigil to close the School of the Americas

Father Roy Bourgeois, Dennis Kucinich and others at the School of Americas vigilIn November 2008, Swarthmore Students for a Democratic Society joined peace activists from across the country at the annual vigil to close the School of the Americas, a purported training academy for mercenary armies serving repressive regimes in Latin America, at Fort Benning, Ga. You can view a video covering their trip.

Peace and Conflict Studies lectures at Haverford College

Several upcoming talks at our sister college, Haverford, may be of interest:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jill Stauffer

??Human Rights:? What is in the Law, Who is the Subject???

4:30PM Gest Center 101

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keith Brown

“The sum of tiny things: Fieldwork, democracy and The Ugly American in post-conflict Macedonia, 2001-2008”

4:30 pm Gest 101

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Leslie Dwyer

“Post-Traumatic Politics: Humanitarianism and the Negotiation of Political Subjectivity in Indonesia”

4:30 pm Gest 101

Tuesday, Feb 10

Rosellen Roche

“‘It keeps it peaceful, if ye know what I mean’: perceptions of paramilitary control in ‘post-conflict’ Northern Ireland”

Gest 101; 4:30 pm

Thursday, Feb 12

Elizabeth Drexler

“Securing the Insecure State: Corrupt Histories, Imagined Enemies and Impunity”

Gest 101; 4:30 pm

Prof. Ellen Ross, Quakers, and the Friends Historical Library

The following is excerpted from The Newsletter of the Swarthmore College Library. Spring 2009. Vol. 11, no. 2. Professor Ross’ course, “Living in the Light: Quakers Past and Present” (Religion 23) counts toward a Peace and Conflict Studies minor.

Ellen Ross: Living in the Light: Quakers Past and Present

Some assignments take advantage of the rich special collections available on campus. In Living in the Light: Quakers Past and Present (Religion 23), taught by Ellen Ross, students are invited to use the Friends Historical Library and the Peace Collection to complete their final research paper. The assignment is open-ended, on any topic related to the Quakers, and students work closely with Professor Ross to craft their topics and discover their sources. For example, when a student wrote about 19th century Quaker women and peace efforts, Professor Ross and the student deciphered the flowery script of letters from the Peace Collection written by Lucy Biddle Lewis, who was active in Quaker postwar relief work and was the national Chairman of the Women??s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Other students were immersing themselves in diaries and journals that bring the past to life or deriving inspiration from the experience of working in an archive. One student said, “After talking to the librarians in special collections, I changed my topic. It helped me to get more focused on what I like.”

This personal investment in the research process is one of Professor Ross’s goals for the assignment. Not only does it allow students to explore world-class collections, but it also entices many of them into the library to engage in research and writing on a topic that sparks their interest. As Professor Ross notes, “Some students never darken the doors of the library,” but the guest book at FHL is filled with her students’ names.

Swatties Respond to the Mumbai Attacks

On November 26 in Mumbai, India, terrorists attacked several prominent Mumbai landmarks. Over the course of a three-day siege, over 170 people lost their lives. On December 2 and 3, vigils were held for the victims of these attacks and on December 12, an open Shabbat service will honor the memory of those lost. In a series of interviews with the Daily Gazette, several members of the Swarthmore community reflect on the attacks and the implications of moving forward. … more from the Daily Gazette.

STAND urges abstention from luxuries in anti-genocide campaign

This week, SwatSTAND, the Swarthmore chapter of STAND, A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, has been encouraging the Swarthmore community to participate in a nation-wide STAND fast to raise money for and awareness about genocide. ??We are asking that for a period of time, be it for one day or for the entire week, students give up one luxury item and donate the money they would have spent toward that item,?? Neena Cherayil ??11, an officer of SwatSTAND, said. Also, in an initiative unique to Swarthmore, SwatSTAND is collaborating with the local co-op in a further effort to raise funds. For the next three weeks, students have the option of donating their ten percent co-op student discount to the cause. … more from The Phoenix

Controversial activist promotes vegetarianism, peace

Can vegetarianism reduce the likelihood of war? Since 1980, Food Not Bombs has been arguing that it can. One of the organization’s co-founders, Keith McHenry, gave a lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 25, focusing on the history of Food Not Bombs and its major goals: supporting vegetarianism and redirecting military expenses to providing food. … more from The Phoenix

Co-sponsored by Peace and Conflct Studies

Peace and Conflict Studies in Northern Ireland

During the spring semester of 2008, Swarthmore College launched an innovative community-based study abroad program in Northern Ireland, and two Peace and Conflict Studies (PCS) students, Reina Chano ’09 and Maurice Weeks ’09, were the first to complete the inaugural semester. A third PCS student, Jessa Deutsch ’10, participated in a summer internship this past summer. Cecelia Osowski ’10 (also a PCS student) and Andrew VanBuren ’10 are currently participating in the program in Derry/Londonderry.

Lee Smithey recently sat down with Reina, Maurice, Jessa, and two of the program’s in-country facilitators, Dr. Denise Crossan and Ms. Adree Wallace at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

You can listen in on the conversation and learn more about the Northern Ireland semester via this podcast:


from left to right: Jessa Deutsch ’10, Maurice Weeks ’09,

Lee Smithey, Reina Chano ’09, Denise Crossan,

Adree Wallace


For more information on Peace and Conflict Studies and the Northern Ireland semester, please contact Lee Smithey or the Office for Foreign Study.

Nonviolent Action and the Struggle for Land: Experiences in India and Brazil

“Nonviolent Action and the Struggle for Land: Experiences in India and Brazil”

Kurt Schock (Associate Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University)

Monday, November 24, 2008, 4:30 p.m.

Scheuer Room

Kohlberg Hall

Swarthmore College

Prof. Kurt Schock is author of Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies (University of Minnesota Press). “He is currently researching land reform and land rights movements in the global south. He is examining how various methods of civil resistance, such as protest marches and land occupations, are being used to promote a more equitable distribution of land and resources. He is also interested in how constructive programs such as rural cooperatives and small-scale sustainable agriculture are being used to promote agrarian reform. More broadly his research seeks to understand how methods of nonviolent action and ‘people power’ movements are able to successfully challenge state domination and economic exploitation.”

Light refreshments will be provided.

Campus maps and directions to Swarthmore College are available at

A .pdf flyer is available at

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology with the Peace and Conflict Studies, Asian Studies, and Latin American Studies programs.

Post Election Reflection

Lang Professor Lecture

George Lakey

Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Peace and Conflict Studies Program

Swarthmore College

“Post Election Reflection”

November 17, 2008

4:15-5:45 p.m.

Scheuer Room

Kohlberg Hall

Swarthmore College

Now that we know who the next U.S. President will be, what are some options for people who want major change in national policies both domestic and foreign, in the direction of justice, peace, and environmental sustainability?

George Lakey will present a multi-dimensional strategic framework for radical change.? Based on research but guided by vision, the framework offers meaningful actions for the next four years for people with diverse gifts and backgrounds seeking unity of collective strength.

Lakey is in his third and final year as Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change.? In a fifty-year span he has authored seven books, facilitated1500 workshops on five continents, and led social change projects on local, national, and international levels.? A Quaker, he was first arrested for a civil rights sit-in in Chester, PA.


George Lakey

George Lakey began his career as a trainer at the Martin Luther King School for Social Change, and has since gone on to lead over 1000 workshops on five continents. He has run trainings for coal miners, therapists, homeless people, prisoners, Russian lesbians and gays, Sri Lankan monks, Burmese guerrilla soldiers, striking steel workers, South African activists, and others. Trained as a sociologist, he has taught at the college and graduate level and is the author of six books. He consults regularly with a wide range of nonprofit groups.

George has given leadership to a number of social change movements. In late 1989 he led a team of Westerners in Sri Lanka who for 24 hours a day accompanied human-rights activists at risk of assassination. He has done neighborhood organizing, once successfully preventing tree-cutting and another time creating a neighborhood festival to celebrate ethnic diversity. He co-founded the Movement for a New Society, which for nearly 20 years specialized in organizational innovation. He founded and directed the Philadelphia Jobs with Peace Campaign, a coalition of labor, civil rights, poverty and peace groups. He was a designer of and staffed the Campaign to Stop the B-1 Bomber and Promote Peace Conversion, which mobilized sufficiently to gain cancellation of the B-1 in 1977 and raise the visibility of the concept of economic conversion. He was director of A Quaker Action Group when it assisted Puerto Rican nationalists in stopping the U.S. Navy from using the inhabited island of Culebra for target practice. He was also a founder of Men Against Patriarchy, which organized pioneering projects for the early men’s anti-sexism movement of the mid-’70s.

George has taught peace studies at Swarthmore and Haverford Colleges, Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn he brought the program from 11 students in one class to 105 in three sections; the administration lauded the program for the way it reached out to students of color. He also created a group dynamics lab at Penn for training men in new leadership styles under a federal grant for feminist education.

George’s sixth book is on organizational development: “Grassroots and Nonprofit Leadership: A Guide for Organizations in Changing Times” (1996). He is author or co-author of five previous books: “A Manual for Direct Action” (often called the “Bible” of direct action by Southern civil-rights activists of the ’60s); “In Place of War, Moving toward a New Society”; “No Turning Back: Lesbian and Gay Liberation for the ’80s”; and “Powerful Peacemaking: A Strategy for a Living Revolution.” His publications have been translated into Swedish, German, Danish, French, Japanese and Thai.

On the personal side, George is a Quaker, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather in an interracial family. He received the national Giraffe Award (1992) for “sticking his neck out for the common good,” and the Ashley Montague Peace Award (1998) from the International Conference on Conflict Resolution.

bio from

Seeking Justice and Digging Up Bones: The Plight of Mayan Survivors in Guatemala

Seeking Justice and Digging Up Bones: The Plight of Mayan Survivors in Guatemala

A Talk by Manuel Calel Morales

Monday, November 17, 2008

7:00 p.m.

Kohlberg 115

In Guatemala, anthropologists and villagers are uncovering the past. They unearth secret graves containing remains of victims of the mass murders carried out by Guatemala???? military and death squads (backed by the U.S. military). Manuel Calel Morales is a villager from El Quich?Î?. After serving against his will in the Guatemalan Army, Calel Morales became a human rights activist, a mass grave finder, and a community leader. He directs the K????malb???? Rech Tinamit Ixium Ulew, a group seeking justice for the survivors of the massacres.

The Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, based in Washington, DC, invited Calel Morales to conduct a speaking tour to inform the public about the plight of so many. Calel Morales has also spoken before the U.S. Congress and the United Nations.

Sponsored by: Forum for Free Speech, Latin American Studies, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Peace and Conflict Studies, and the Provost’s Office.