This semester, professors Gardner and Crossan have been teaching a new course offering that lies at the intersection of Peace and Conflict Studies, Environmental Science, and Japanese history. From nuclear fallouts to natural disasters and the respective social movements they spawned, the class provides a comprehensive overview of the past and present traumas grappled with in Japanese society as well as avenues towards social change. Students will collaborate virtually with local community partners and peace activists on projects related to the studied topics. For students interested in taking this course, it is listed also for the Spring 2023 semester. The complete course description is quoted below:
“This course will explore the history, contemporary situation, and future possibilities regarding the interlinked realms of the environment, historical trauma, and social movements in Japan. Topics will include the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and the subsequent peace and anti-nuclear movements, the environmental movement in Japan, and the “triple disaster” earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima and Northeastern Japan. We will also discuss how environmental issues intersect with other current social issues such as rural depopulation, an aging population, and gender and economic inequality, and study a variety of contemporary approaches to addressing these issues. Under the guidance of Lang Professor for Social Change Denise Crossan, we will study the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change and explore applications of this model in Japan. In addition, throughout the semester we will engage with community partners in Japan, particularly in the Hiroshima area, through online exchanges and collaborative projects related to contemporary environmental and peace activism.”
We are thrilled to celebrate the fact that the Global Nonviolent Action Database, housed here in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College, reached 1,000 cases this summer!
Even more, we can announce that PEAC 071B. Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle (Cross-listed as SOAN 071B) will be offered during the Spring Semester 2015.
Professor Smithey will be instructing the course, and Professor Lakey will return in a supporting role during the beginning of the semester. (Professor Smithey’s course, Gun Violence Prevention, will unfortunately not be offered in the spring).
This one-credit research seminar involves working and updating the Global Nonviolent Action Database which can be accessed by activists and scholars worldwide at http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu. The database was built at Swarthmore College and includes cases of “people power” drawn from dozens of countries. The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace.
Students will be expected to research a series of cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a 2-3 page narrative that describes the unfolding struggle. In addition to research/writing methods, students will also draw on theories in the field. Strategic implications for today will be drawn from theory and from what the group learns from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.
This writing (W) course has a limited enrollment of 12 students.
You can learn more by visiting a collection of posts about the database in the Peace and Conflict Studies blog.
In this video, Professor Lakey introduced the launch of the database in 2011.
Students in the course PEAC 077 “Peace Studies and Action” partnered with the local gun violence reporting organization, guncrisis.org over the spring semester 2013. In the spirit of “process journalism” that guncrisis journalists employ, our class made announcements, shared resources, and offered comments on gun violence prevention over the course of the semester using a #swatpsa hashtag on Twitter.
Advising week is here, and we know you are planning your spring schedules. Our upper-level Peace and Conflict Studies course, “Peace Studies and Action” PEAC 077, will be offered by Prof. Lee Smithey during the spring semester.
Peace Studies and Action aims to bridge the gaps between peace research, theory, and implementation by encouraging students to move between each as we study nonviolent ways of conducting conflict and the challenges of developing and sustaining peace work. Emphasis will be placed on getting close to the experience of peacemakers and activists by reading autobiographical writings, visiting local peace organizations, and dialogue with invited guests. As a class, we will seek an opportunity to contribute to the work of a local organization. Discussion about the readings and exploration of peace studies literature will also be emphasized. This course will encourage collaboration and active participation in delivering the content of the course.
“Education without social action is a one-sided value because it has no true power potential. Social action without education is a weak expression of pure energy. Deeds uninformed by educated thought can take false directions. When we go into action and confront our adversaries, we must be as armed with knowledge as they. Our policies should have the strength of deep analysis beneath them to be able to challenge the clever sophistries of our opponents.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. Where Do We Go from here: Chaos or Community? (p. 155)
The class will meet on Tuesdays 1:15-4:00 in the Lang Center Seminar Room (#106).
(“Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies” is a pre-requisite for this course.)