Tag Archives: conflict

Press Release for Tombs lecture on the Cross and Sexualized Violence

The Scandal of the Cross: Sexualised Violence, Silence and Crucifixion

SWARTHMORE – 20 November, 2013 How contemporary reports of torture and sexualised violence can offer new understanding of the crucifixion will be explored at a public talk at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013  at 4:15 p.m. in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall.

Prof. David Tombs
Prof. David Tombs

In a lecture entitled The Scandal of the Cross: Sexualised Violence, Silence and Crucifixion, Dr David Tombs, Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity’s cross-border campus in Northern Ireland, will use both ancient and modern sources to examine crucifixion as a form of state terror torture and sexualised violence.

Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Tombs commented: “St. Paul’s description of the cross as ‘a scandal’ (1 Cor. 1.23) is widely known. Christians around the world are familiar with it, and many recall it each year on Good Friday. But what exactly made the cross a scandal, and why is it relevant to a Christian response to sexualised violence in conflicts today?”

“In this lecture I will present 15 years of research on why the cross was so scandalous in the ancient world. I will look at why the most critical element in the scandal has been unspeakable for two millennia, and why this has profound relevance to a church concerned about sexualised violence in conflicts around the world today.

Crucifix“My research suggests that ‘the scandal of the cross’ is a scandal of sexualised violence, and it is also scandalous for theologians and churches to have been silent on this for so long. In in response to reports of widespread conflict-related sexualised violence (including Central America in the 1980s, Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last decade) the central symbol of Christianity needs to be seen in a new way. The cross challenges theologians to break the silence and taboo of sexualised violence, and yet do so in a way that affirms the dignity of victims past and present. The lecture points to how this might be done in three areas of theological thought: the humanity of Christ; the unspoken memories of Eucharist; and the good news of resurrection.”

Co-sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, Department of Religion, Provost’s Office, Off-campus Study, The Northern Ireland Semester, Gender and Sexuality Studies

 

Public Conversation with mural artist Dee Craig

We would like to thank the crowd of over 50 swarthmore faculty, staff, and students who attended the public conversation with Dee Craig on Thursday afternoon in McCabe Library.  We appreciated the thoughtful dialogue and we look forward to much more of the same over the coming weeks of Dee’s residency at the Tri-Colleges.

Many thanks to Susan Dreher, Tom Bonner, and Annette Newman who worked so hard to make the exhibit a reality.

For more information about the residency, visit http://bit.ly/swatcraig and follow the residency as it develops at http://bit.ly/craigstory

Bethlehem Blues: Humanitarian Politics in the Palestinian Territories

Professor Sa’ed Atshan (Swarthmore class of 2006), Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown University, will give a talk on campus entitled:

“Bethlehem Blues: Humanitarian Politics in the Palestinian Territories”

atshan_saed_06Wednesday, October 30, 4:30 p.m.

Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

Swarthmore College

Directions to campus

The population of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) is among the highest recipients of international humanitarian aid per capita in the world. This lecture will analyze changes in the political economy of the OPT that have led to increased dependence on foreign assistance and the impact of that dependency on contemporary Palestinian society. With the West Bank governorate of Bethlehem as the base for this examination, we will trace the “social life of aid” in the OPT and explore how international aid shapes the subjectivity, space, and social fabric of Palestinians.

Dr. Atshan formerly taught in the Peace and Justice Studies program at Tufts University, and we are thrilled to have him back on campus soon.

Sponsored by the Departments of Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science, Modern Languages and Literature (Arabic Section), Islamic Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies

Follow the Tri-College Creative Residency via Storify on our blog.

You can follow developments in the Tri-College Creative Residency via this blog post. More information about the residency, including upcoming events is available at http://bit.ly/swatcraig.

You may also follow the residency directly at http://bit.ly/craigstory

 

Human rights in the Occupied Territories

Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine will host Sunjeev Bery on campus Tuesday, October 22 at 4:30 in Kohlberg 116.

Sunjeev BerySunjeev BeryBery will talk about Israel’s violations of human rights in the Occupied Territories including the Gaza student blockade, Nabi Saleh village, and other human rights issues.

Sunjeev Bery is the Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa for Amnesty International USA. AmnestyInternational is a Nobel Peace Prize winning human rights organization with over 3 million members. Sunjeev Bery has attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, has worked at the ACLU, and frequently writes articles on human rights issues.

The event is sponsored by Political Science, Islamic Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Forum for Free Speech, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Transforming Ethnopolitical Conflict course aligns with visiting mural artist residency

Drop-add has begun, and spots are available in Professor Lee Smithey’s course, Transforming Intractable Conflict (SOCI 025B).  This course is registered in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology but can also be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

How can long-term deadly conflicts between groups with opposing ethnic identities change in ways that diminish violence and open up opportunities for more constructive forms of conflict in democratic and civil society? This course operates from an assumption that one must often dig deeply into the psychological and cultural dynamics that underpin division in ethno-political conflicts. Northern Ireland will serve as the primary case study for this kind of deep exploration.

"No More" mural, Northern Ireland

The course will include a unique opportunity in Fall 2013 as funding has been secured from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to bring a mural artist, David “Dee” Craig, from Belfast for a month-long residency beginning after Fall Break in October. Our class will have the opportunity to explore with the artist the role of mural making in conflict, division, peacebuilding, and community relations in Northern Ireland. We hope we will also be able to participate in the painting of a mural on campus! For photos of some of the artist’s work, visit http://bit.ly/14iiDUH

The course description for SOAN 025B reads:

This course will address the sociology of peace processes and intractable identity conflicts in deeply divided societies. Northern Ireland will serve as the primary case study, and the course outline will include the history of the conflict, the peace process, and grassroots conflict transformation initiatives. Special attention will be given to the cultural underpinnings of division, such as sectarianism and collective identity, and their expression through symbols, language, and collective actions, such as parades and commemorations.

Eligible for PEAC credit.

1 credit.

Smithey.

This course can serve as a pre-requisite for students wishing to study in Northern Ireland as part of the college’s Northern Ireland Semester program. See http://northernireland.swarthmore.edu

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the instructor, Lee Smithey at lsmithe1@swarthmore.edu

 

New History courses may be counted toward Peace and Conflict Studies minor

Enrollment for fall courses is coming up on Monday, and we are happy to announce that, with the hire of a new faculty member in the History department, Rosie Bsheer, three new courses may be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Please note that the last course listed below may only be counted with special permission. See more information about special-permission courses at http://www.swarthmore.edu/academics/peace-and-conflict-studies/academic-program/courses-by-semester.xml

HIST 001N. First-Year Seminar: Oil and Empire

This course examines the political and social history of oil since the late nineteenth century, looking at oil’s impact on the rise and fall of empires, the fates of nation-states, its role in war, as well as its varied impact on social and cultural life. This course addresses global trends and processes, from Venezuela to Indonesia and the Niger Delta, but the primary focus will be on the Middle East.

Writing course.

1 credit.

Fall 2013. Bsheer.

May be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies

HIST 017. Social Movements in the Arab World

May be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies

HIST 006B. The Making of the Modern Middle East*

This survey course is designed at once to introduce students to the broader historical narratives and historiographical debates associated with major local, regional, and global events and processes that have most profoundly affected the political, social, cultural, and intellectual realities, past and present, of the modern Middle East. We will draw on readings from various disciplinary areas, including history, anthropology, politics, and literature.

1 credit.

Spring 2014. Bsheer.

This course can be counted toward a Peace and Conflict Studies minor with special permission.  See more information about special-permission courses at http://www.swarthmore.edu/academics/peace-and-conflict-studies/academic-program/courses-by-semester.xml

Tahrir Square
Photo: Amobasher CC license

THURSDAY Information Session: Northern Ireland Semester

Interested in conflict and peacebuilding? Social entrepreneurship and sustainable organizing?

Come learn about the Northern Ireland Semester, a study abroad program of Swarthmore College. We will hold an orientation session on Thursday, September 20th at 3:30 in SC145. Dr. Denise Crossan (Trinity College Dublin), our in-country supervisor and instructor, will join us via Skype.

The program provides students a unique opportunity to study conflict, ongoing peacebuilding efforts, and social entrepreneurship in local communities in Northern Ireland, a region in a critical transition after 30 years of violent political and ethnic struggle. Students work (for supervised credit) within local community organizations while studying conflict, peace, and reconciliation at the Irish School for Ecumenics of Trinity College at its Belfast campus. Community placements can be tailored to fit your particular academic interests (e.g. theatre as peacebuilding, culture and conflict, transitional politics, segregated education, cross-border economics, etc.)

The Northern Ireland Semester is based in two geographic locations, Derry / Londonderry or Belfast, but student involvement with community groups may take place elsewhere in Northern Ireland. Students may register for one semester or two, and further possibilities for summer research and /or service work may arise.

Visit the Northern Ireland Semester website where you can read more about the program, including student contributions to the program’s blog.

All students are welcome to participate in the program. For Peace and Conflict Studies students, all four credits may be applied toward the minor.

Download, print, and hang a flyer, and invite your friends!

Information for this and other programs is available in the Off-Campus Study Office Visit the OCSO web site.

Contact: Lee Smithey at lsmithe1 or Rosa Bernard at rbernar1

 

Culture and conflict in Northern Ireland. Photo credit: Lee Smithey
Bonfires and national flags, such as this Union Jack and the Tricolour on the hill, assert political claims and identities in Northern Ireland

Student Conference on Democracy and Ethnic Conflict

Student Conference on Democracy and Ethnic Conflict

Monday, November 28, 1:15-4pm, Trotter 301

The final meeting of Pols 79: Democracy and Ethnic Conflict is a conference in which students will present concrete findings from their larger research projects-in-progress. In addition to presenting evidence from a wide variety of cases of ethnic conflict, the conference will seek to identify common themes and patterns, and generate discussion and questions about the cases.

Panel presentations will be followed by comments and a brief Q&A period. Students, faculty, and any other interested parties are welcome to attend all or part of the conference. Refreshments will be provided.

1:15 pm, Migration, Minorities, and Integration

Jeewon Kim: Muslim Integration in France

Natalie Litton: Roma Integration in Western Europe

Josh Gluck: Resources, Migration, and Ethnic Conflict

2:00 pm, Managing and Responding to Ethnic Conflict in Africa

Wen Huang: Post-Genocide Justice Mechanisms

Lorand Laskai: Resource Conflict and Ethnic Identity

Katerina Stampouloglou: Liberation Movements, Democratization, & Ethnic Conflict

BaLeigh Harper: Federalism, Leadership, and Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria

3:00 pm,

Ben Geselowitz: Institutions and Ethnic Conflict in New Democracies

Hanna Kozlowska: International Intervention and Ethnic Conflict – Bosnia and Kosovo

Amalia Feld: Humanitarian Intervention and China

3:45 pm, Final Comments and Open Q&A

Discussants will include:

Matt Murphy, Political Science

Lee Smithey, Peace & Conflict Studies

Seminar students from Pol 110: Identity and Conflict

Contact: mmurphy1

Nicholas Kristof to speak at Swarthmore on November 14

From our friends at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility:

“A Call to Action: Encouraging People to join the World’s Fight.”

Nicholas Kristof

Monday, November 14, 2011

7:30 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center

Swarthmore College

(maps and directions)

A Harvard graduate and former Rhodes Scholar, Kristof is a Pulitzer-prize winning author and one of the New York Times‘ most popular columnists.

Drawing from his experiences as a foreign affairs reporter that have taken him to six continents and 140 countries, Kristof will talk about covering such historic events as the protests in Egypt that led to Hasni Mubarak’s resignation, the genocide in Darfur, the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square.

His talk will also by informed by his most recent best-seller, written with his wife Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women World-wide. There they make a brilliantly-argued case that support for global women’s rights should be the human rights movement of our era, and that it will be where we find the solutions to the world’s poverty.

Sponsored by the Cooper Foundation and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Contact: langcenter@swarthmore.edu   (610) 690-5742