Tag Archives: featured

September 16, 2018 Symposium hosted by Swarthmore College Peace & Conflict Studies — Resisting Anti-Semitism: Past and Present, Local and Global

ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM

“Resisting Anti-Semitism: Past and Present, Local and Global” is a symposium to be held at Swarthmore College’s LPAC Cinema on September 16th, 2018, co-hosted by Dr. Sa’ed Atshan of Peace and Conflict Studies and Rabbi Michael Ramberg of the Interfaith Center and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. The subject of anti-Semitism has sparked heated debate in colleges and universities and we hope to model productive dialogue and engagement on this important issue.

Modern anti-Semitism, invented in 19th century Europe drawing on millenia of anti-Judaism, has caused incalculable harm to Jews. The harm it has caused is not limited to Jews, though. Modern anti-Semitism has also indirectly harmed other vulnerable groups, by misdirecting these groups’ anger towards Jews when in fact others bear responsibility for these groups’ oppression. After the Holocaust many people and institutions committed to oppose anti-Semitism and the cynical misuse of it, but in recent years anti-Semitism has experienced a public revival and committed anti-Semites and opportunists willing to exploit anti-Semitism have come to hold positions of power around the world. While it has proven frustratingly resilient, wherever it has arisen, anti-Semitism has encountered resistance and its opponents have found effective means of opposing it.

“Resisting Anti-Semitism: Past and Present, Local and Global” aims to seriously engage with the topic of anti-Semitism – the forms it has taken in the past and the forms it takes now, the ways it has been successfully opposed in the past and the ways it is being successfully opposed now. We will bring together academics, rabbis, activists, and artists, among others, with expertise in three regions – North America, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa – and engage them in conversation with each other and the Swarthmore community. Enriched by diverse perspectives of our distinguished panelists, symposium participants will gain a deeper understanding of the form of prejudice and violence, an enhanced commitment to opposing it, and a strengthened ability to do so.

Sponsored by Swarthmore College Peace and Conflict Studies Program; Andrew Mellon Foundation; Swarthmore College Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility; and Swarthmore College Office for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development.

SCHEDULE

A summary of the schedule is posted first, followed by a more detailed schedule.

Schedule Summary:

9:00 – 9:30: Registration and Opening Remarks

9:30 – 11:00: United States Panel

11:00 – 11:30: Break

11:30 – 1:00: Europe Panel

1:00 – 2:30: Break

2:30 – 4:00: Middle East/North Africa Panel

4:00 – 4:30: Break

4:30 – 5:45: Keynote

5:45 – 6:00: Closing Remarks

Detailed Schedule:

9:00 – 9:30: Registration and Opening Remarks by Rabbi Michael Ramberg, Jewish Advisor, Swarthmore College

9:30 – 11:00: United States Panel Moderated by Dr. Gwynn Kessler, Associate Professor of Religion, Swarthmore College 

United States Panelists: 

M. Dove Kent, Executive Director, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Dr. Laura Levitt, Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender, Temple University

Eric Ward, Executive Director, Western States Center

11:00 – 11:30: Break

11:30 – 1:00: Europe Panel Moderated by Dr. Robert (Bob) Weinberg, Isaac H. Clothier Professor of History and International Relations, Swarthmore College

Europe Panelists: 

Dr. Jonathan Judaken, Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities, Professor of History, Rhodes College

Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Project Manager, Open Skåne Social Cohesion Initiative; Teacher, Lund University (Malmö, Sweden)

Dr. Laurie Marhoefer, Assistant Professor of History, University of Washington

1:00 – 2:30: Break

2:30 – 4:00: Middle East/North Africa Panel Moderated by Rabbi Helen Plotkin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion and Director, Beit Midrash, Swarthmore College

Middle East/North Africa Panelists: 

Dr. André Aciman, Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Author of Call Me by Your Name

Dr. Orit Bashkin, Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Chicago 

Dr. Israel Gershoni, Professor of Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University

4:00 – 4:30: Break

4:30 – 5:45: Keynote by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

5:45 – 6:00: Closing Remarks by Dr. Sa’ed Atshan, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College

HOW TO ARRIVE

The symposium will be held at Swarthmore College’s Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema on September 16th, 2018 and will be open to the public.

Swarthmore College is located at 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA, 19081. Free visitor parking is available in the Benjamin West Parking Lot on Chester Road (#5 on the Swarthmore Campus Map). The symposium will be held in Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema (#34 on the campus map).

From the Benjamin West Parking Lot, walk towards campus until you reach the large, tree-lined path (Magill Walk). Continue up the path until you reach the end of the path, then turn left and turn right at the end of the large building. The symposium location will be straight ahead.

The World that Created Boko Haram: Gender and the Islamic Revolution in Northern Nigeria

Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM — Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall

The World that Created Boko Haram: Gender and the Islamic Revolution in Northern Nigeria


Starting in 1999, twelve northern Nigerian states began the process of reimplementing full shari’ia penal codes in response to massive grassroots demand. A few years later, the process was widely considered a failure and attention was turned to battling the ascendancy of Boko Haram. In 2002, a peasant woman named Amina Lawal was sentenced to death by stoning for committing the crime of zinā, or illegal sexual activity. A year later she was acquitted before attentive eyes worldwide. This lecture examines the historical and cultural factors at work in the call to reimplement sharia penal codes in Northern Nigeria, examines the stoning punishment in the Islamic tradition, and analyzes the questions of gender and the western reaction to Amina Lawal’s case.

Eltantawi Event Poster

Dr. Sarah Eltantawi is a scholar of Islam. She is Member of the Faculty in Comparative Religion and Islamic Studies at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA (Associate Professor), and a Research Scholar at the Middle East Center of the University of Washington . She earned her PhD in the Study of Religion in 2012 from Harvard University, where she was the Jennifer W. Oppenheimer Fellow and Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has academic fellowships at Brandeis University, UC Berkeley, and at the Forum Transregionalle at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin as well as the Freie Universität in Berlin. She obtained an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University and a BA in Rhetoric and English literature from UC Berkeley.


Her recently released book Sharia on Trial: Northern Nigeria’s Islamic Revolution (University of California, 2017), examines why Northern Nigerians took to the streets starting in 1999 to demand the reimplimentation sharia law. She uses the stoning punishment and the trial of Amina Lawal for committing adultery as her primary lens of inquiry.

Dr. Eltantawi is currently at work on a new book that takes up the rise of the of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1928 – the present, focusing on the question of the group’s “political theology” and its place in traditions of political theory. Dr. Eltantawi has also published on issues ranging from early Shi’ite jurisprudence to perceptions of “post-modernity” in Nigeria to the revolution in Egypt.

She is also a political analyst, writer, and radio show host. Before taking up scholarship she had a career as policy and communications director of two American Muslim civil rights organizations in Los Angeles, Washington DC and New York City. She has been published in the New York Times, Reuters, Newsweek and more, and has appeared on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and is a regular news commentator for Al Jazeera English. From 2011-2015 she published a regular column in Die Tageszeitung, Germany’s fourth largest newspaper, and she hosts the radio show Contemporary Islam Considered for Marginalia Review of Books, a channel of the Los Angeles Times Review of Books. She has also been selected for the 2016-2018 speaker’s bureau of Humanities Washington, a National Endowment of the Humanities sponsored public program dedicated to sparking conversation and critical thinking in the state of Washington.

This event is open to the public.

Sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Islamic Studies, the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, and the Department of Sociology & Anthropology.

Pádraig Ó Tuama to Visit Swarthmore: The Art And Soul Of Peace – Poetry, Story and Complications from Northern Ireland’s Peace Process

The Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore is thrilled to announce the upcoming visit of Pádraig Ó Tuama to campus.

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 2:30 PM
McCabe Library Atrium at Swarthmore College
Maps and Directions
Download a flyer

O Tuama Poster

The Art And Soul Of Peace – Poetry, Story and Complications from Northern Ireland’s Peace Process

Poet, theologian and group worker, Pádraig Ó Tuama has worked with groups in Ireland, Britain, the US and Australia and currently serves as the Community Leader of the Corrymeela Community,  an historic ecumenical center on the north coast of Northern Ireland. With interests in storytelling, groupwork, theology and conflict, Pádraig lectures, leads retreats and writes both poetry and prose. We are thrilled that he will join us for a poetry reading and discussion about Northern Ireland’s peace process. This event comes at a tenuous time for Northern Ireland as plans for Brexit (the divorce of the UK from the EU) collide with the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement. Padraig’s  ability to perceive and articulate the humanity and spirituality of peacemaking is rich and not to be missed.

Sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, English Literature, the Interfaith Center, and the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.

Climate Justice and Civil Rights

Please mark your calendar for an exciting event serving as the capstone for Black History Month and the opening for Women’s History Month:

March 2, 2018

Public Lecture
“Climate Justice and Civil Rights”
1:30-2:30pm: Swarthmore Meeting House

Reception and Gathering
3:30-5:00pm: Black Cultural Center

You are invited to a public lecture and conversation with Jacqueline Patterson, the Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program.

Jacqueline Patterson NAACP poster

 

 

 

A national leader who bridges civil rights and environmental justice, Patterson heads the NAACP’s initiatives to advance an inclusive, “just transition” to a renewable, green economy. At the heart of this initiative is Patterson’s commitment to ensuring that communities of color and those who are the most impacted by the harmful effects of climate change are at the center of the movement to create an equitable and sustainable future. Patterson’s long history of leadership has led her to serve as coordinator and co-founder of Women of Color United, and to advocate for the intersection of issues relating to women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice.

This event is co-sponsored by: Environmental Studies, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Black Studies, Black Cultural Center, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Development, Religious Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology & Anthropology, Office of the President, Health & Societies Initiative, and the Sustainability Office.

Quakers, African Americans and the Myth of Racial Justice

Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans and the Myth of Racial Justice

Please join us for a lecture by Vanessa Julye
Monday, February 26th at 4:15 pm
Black Cultural Center

Fit for Freedom

Ms. Julye is a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and she is Friends General Conference’s Coordinator for the Committee for Nurturing Ministries focusing on  Racism and Youth Ministries.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Department of Religion, Program in Black Studies, Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, Program in Islamic Studies and the Black Cultural Center

NEW Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary course on refugees and art

As part of the College’s Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary project, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Peace and Conflict Studies program will sponsor a related half-credit course in the spring.

  • In what ways can engaging with art inspire conversations, change perspectives, or increase empathy?

  • How might sharing personal experiences through the process of making art about migration, displacement or refuge increase our senses of belonging?

  • How might historic stories of displacement impact understandings of our current moment?

In this half-credit engaged scholarship course,  taught by College Librarian Peggy Seiden and Dr. Katie Price (Lang Center), students will (a) conduct primary and secondary research related to resettled individuals (refugees) living in Philadelphia, (b) conduct archival research related to questions of displacement, empathy, and belonging, and (c) conduct primary and secondary research on artists’ books. Additionally, students will be required to volunteer for at least one book artist workshop (taking place on Sundays in Philadelphia, exact dates and times TBD) during the term. This course is tied to Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary, a two-year project funded by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage that brings renowned book artists into conversation with Syrian and Iraqi individuals who have resettled to Philadelphia. Students will be working with and learning directly from project collaborators, and their work will be shared publicly on the Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary website and may also be published or exhibited in Spring 2019.

Seats are limited. If you are interested in taking this course, please email a short paragraph about why you are interested to kprice1 and pseiden1.

Faculty Votes Unanimously to Approve Regular Major in Peace and Conflict Studies

Following the unanimous vote of the faculty, the College has now formally approved a Regular Major in Peace and Conflict Studies here at Swarthmore. Toward the end of the 19th century (1888 to be exact), the first course in peace studies anywhere in the world was taught here at Swarthmore, and our program was established in 1991. The Peace Collection and Friends Historical Library have been supporting peace research since 1930 and 1871 respectively. Now, the study of peace and conflict has been formally incorporated into the College’s curriculum!

Congratulations!

Human Rights Hummus: A Podcast Produced by Peace and Conflict Studies Alumni

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 9.53.56 AM

Swarthmore Peace and Conflict Studies recent graduates Lily Tyson and Marissa Cohen have already produced three episodes of their new podcast, “Human Rights Hummus: Voices of the Holy Land.”

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 9.41.51 AM

 

Lily and Marissa interview Israelis and Palestinians and record their stories, teaching listeners “what their lives are like and about what is going on with this occupation today, as they experience it.”

Swarthmore College, the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility,  and Prof. Sa’ed Atshan of the Peace and Conflict Studies program all proudly support Lily and Marissa on this project!

Check out their website here.

Swarthmore Peace and Conflict Studies Students in the News

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 10.13.24 AM

Peace and Conflict Studies special major Maria Castaneda ’18 and Peace and Conflict Studies minor Michael Nafziger ’18 were recently featured in the news.

Read Maria’s story related to President Trump’s order ending the DACA program here.
“From Mexico to Swarthmore, a dream now in danger”

Follow Michael’s involvement in our community in the wake of the alt-right controversy in Charlottesville, VA here.
“Swarthmore Community Reflects on Charlottesville at Collection”