Tag Archives: Nobel

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, to speak at Swarthmore College

“Women in Peace and Conflict:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

A panel discussion with Jody Williams (1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative), and Wendy E. Chmielewski, George R. Cooley Curator, Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Moderated by Marjorie Murphy, James C. Hormel Professor in Social Justice

Date: September 28, 2015
Place:  Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College (Directions)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Open to the public, Reception to follow

Jody WilliamsJody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman – and third American woman – in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize.  Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights.

Williams chairs the Nobel Women’s Initiative and from 1992 she oversaw the growth of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines to over 1,300 organizations in 95 countries working to eliminate antipersonnel landmines. In an unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, she served as a chief strategist and spokesperson for the ICBL as it dramatically achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during a diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. Since 1998, Williams has also served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL.

She holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston where she has been teaching since 2003.  In academic year 2012-2013, she became the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Social Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Her memoir on life as a grassroots activist, My Name is Jody Williams:  A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize was released by the University of California Press in early 2013.

Wendy ChmielewskiWendy E.  Chmielewski is the George R. Cooley Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, a position she has held sine 1988.  Trained as a historian, she has specialized in the history of women, social movements, and social reform.  Chmielewski received her Phd in American History from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1989, and her dissertation explored issues of feminism and women’s roles in U.S. communal societies and utopian literature of the nineteenth century.    Parts of this work were published in a volume she co-edited Women in Spiritual and Communitarian Societies in the United States, Syracuse University Press, 1993. Chmielewski has since published several articles, essays, and books on the history of women, peace, and communal societies, with her most recent publication being a co-edited volume on Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Jane Addams: Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy, edited by Marilyn Fischer, Carol Nackenoff, and Wendy Chmielewski, University of Illinois Press, 2009.

Chmielewski’s most recent projects include work on  the role women played in both the in the nineteenth century British and American peace movement.   She is also one of the founders and directors of “Her Hat Was in the Ring:  U.S. Women Elected to Political Office Before 1920,” <www.herhatwasinthering.org>, a digital humanities project tracing over 5,000 women who campaigned for elective office before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.  For her work on this continuing project Chmielewski received two fellowships in 2013-2014 from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center on Women and Politics at Iowa State University.

Chmielewski has worked on the board of several institutions, including the Archives Committee of the American Friends Service Committee, the Communal Studies Association, the Centre for Peace History at the University of Sheffield, and the Peace History Society.  From 2002-2004 she was the president of the PHS.    In 2014 Chmielewski was invited to join the Advisory Council for the American Museum for Peace.  She has also served on the board of her local public library in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.


Marjorie MurphyMarjorie Murphy teaches courses on U.S. history, especially in the fields of working-class history, women and gender, and foreign affairs. Her other scholarly interest are in the history of the teachers union and educational reform.

Murphy earned her Ph.D. in History at the University in California at Davis in 1981, under the guidance of David Brody. She taught at Loyola College and Bryn Mawr College before coming to Swarthmore in 1983. Professor Murphy’s book, Blackboard Unions, came out in 1991.

Co-sponsors:
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College
President’s Office, Swarthmore College

(Williams’ bio was adapted from the website of the Nobel Women’s Initiative.)

Women and peacebuilding prioritized in Nobel Peace Prize selection

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Tawakkul Karman (Yemen); President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia); and Leymah Gbowee (Liberia). Leymah Gbowee spoke here in Philadelphia at Villanova University, and several Swarthmore Peace and Conflict Studies students went to hear her speak with Prof. George Lakey. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee praised the women “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”