Tag Archives: Peace and Conflict Studies

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.

Beshara Doumani, Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University, to visit Swarthmore PCS on Monday, March 26, 2018

Join the Progam in Peace & Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College for a lecture presented by Prof. Beshara Doumani.

Date: Monday, March 26, 2018

Time: 4:30-6:00 PM

Location: Kohlberg 228

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 2.04.38 PM

Between House and Orchard: Family, Shariʿa and the Making of the Modern Middle East

In writings about Islam, women, and modernity in the Middle East, family and religion are frequently invoked but rarely historicized. Based on a wide range of local sources, Beshara Doumani argues that there is no such thing as the Muslim or Arab family type that is so central to Orientalist, nationalist, and Islamist narratives. Rather, one finds dramatic regional differences, even within the same cultural zone, in the ways that family was understood, organized, and reproduced. In his comparative examination of the property devolution strategies and gender regimes in the context of local political economies, Doumani offers a groundbreaking examination of ordinary people and how they shaped the modern Middle East.

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Beshara Doumani is the Joukowsky Family Professor of Modern Middle East History and Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University. His research focuses on groups, places, and time periods marginalized by mainstream scholarship on the early modern and modern Middle East. He also writes on the topics of displacement, academic freedom, politics of knowledge production, and the Palestinian condition. His books include Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900, Academic Freedom After September 11 (editor), and Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property and Gender (editor). He is the editor of a book series, New Directions in Palestinian Studies, with the University of California Press.

This event is sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, Arabic, Gender & Sexuality Studies, History, Islamic Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

 

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.

Prof. Krista Thomason: Faculty Lecture Tomorrow

Krista Thomason, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Member, Peace and Conflict Studies Faculty Committee

Tuesday, Feb. 13th, 4:15PM
McCabe Library Atrium
Child Soldiers and Moral Responsibility
“It is common to think that child soldiers cannot be morally responsible for the violence they commit: not only are they underage, they typically are forced to join paramilitary units, they suffer psychological and physical abuse, and they participate in combat only under threat of harm or death. Yet when we examine the first-person accounts of former child soldiers, we find that they see themselves as responsible for their actions. It is tempting to think that their feelings are simply misguided or a result of their trauma. I argue instead that child soldiers, like adult ex-combat soldiers, suffer moral injury and their feelings of responsibility are part of the process of redrawing the boundaries of their moral selves.”

Krista Thomason

 

Spring 2018 Course Offerings

The Peace and Conflict Studies program at Swarthmore College is happy to share its course offerings for the Spring 2018 semester.

21 courses are eligible for program credit, including 4 courses taught within the Peace and Conflict Studies program and 17 cross-listed courses.

Click here to download the list of eligible courses.

More information on Peace and Conflict Studies Courses:

PEAC 003: Crisis Resolution in the Middle East

PEAC 003

PEAC 043: Gender, Sexuality, and Social Change

PEAC 043

PEAC 049: Be the Change! Social Entrepreneurship in Principle and PracticePEAC 049

PEAC 135/SOCI 135: Social Movements & Nonviolent Power

PEAC 135

UPCOMING WORKSHOP — Weaving the Threads: Intersectionality, Sustainability & Environmental Justice

How do we identify and address intersectional concerns (e.g. from racism, to poverty, to militarism, to homelessness, and more) in our sustainability work and activism? How do we connect our various initiatives within a framework of environmental justice? How do we communicate these visions with others?
On Monday, November 20, join Peace and Conflict Studies and Environmental Studies for a workshop with Prof. Randall Amster, former Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.Workshop Flyer

Weaving the Threads: Intersectionality, Sustainability & Environmental Justice

The confluence of contemporary crises represents a direct threat to human existence, yet also a remarkable opportunity to implement alternatives and cultivate visions for a more just and sustainable world. The framework of “climate justice” increasingly subsumes many of these issues and possibilities, providing a basis for transforming our thinking and acting in relation to essential resources including food, water, and energy production. Likewise, critical issues of equity, access, and distribution are brought to the fore, with the nexus of environmental justice and peacebuilding offering potential avenues for change. What theories and actions are informing current movements and responses? How can policymaking and the lived experiences of people and communities equally inform the discourse? How can we promote an ethos of responsibility in both senses of the word, as a form of accountability and a locus of empowerment? Drawing upon examples from local to global scales, this session will seek to spark a collaborative dialogue for cultivating resilient responses to today’s most pressing challenges.

Randall Amster

Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., is Director and Teaching Professor in the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University. He serves as Editor-in- Chief of the Contemporary Justice Review. He teaches and publishes widely on subjects including peace and nonviolence, social and environmental justice, political theory and movements, and the impacts of emerging technologies. His recent books include Peace Ecology (Routledge, 2015), Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB, 2008); and the co-edited volume Exploring the Power of Nonviolence: Peace, Politics, and Practice (Syracuse University Press, 2013). His current research interests include environmental peacebuilding, climate justice, intersectionality and ecology, community and sustainability, and the justice implications of contemporary technology.

 

Peace Ecology Book Cover

The workshop begins at 4:15 pm and will take place in Kohlberg Hall, Room 116.

This event is sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, Environmental Studies, the Provost’s Office, the President’s Office, and the Office of Sustainability.

From Enemies to Partners: Vietnam, the U.S. and Agent Orange – A Book Talk with the Authors

On Thursday, November 2, Peace and Conflict Studies will welcome the authors of From Enemies to Partners- Vietnam, the U.S. and Agent Orange. The lecture will take place at 4:15 PM in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall.

Flyer for Book TalkDownload and print a flyer.

Dr. Charles Bailey (Swarthmore ’67) is Director Emeritus of the the Aspen Institute Agent Orange in Vietnam program. Dr. Bailey was the Ford Foundation representative in Vietnam from 1997-2007.

Dr. Le Ke Son is the former Vice Director-General of the Vietnam Environmental Administration. He is also a medical doctor with a PhD in toxicology and served as a medic in the Peoples Army for 25 years.

The authors will cover a range of topics, most notably the great power of technology and military hubris to alter the environment and impact humans even decades later. 

Book cover

Download Information on the Book Release

This event is cosponsored by Asian Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement, Environmental Studies, and the Global Affairs Program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. 

 

 

Provost of Brown University, Dr. Richard Locke, Will Visit Swarthmore on November 3, 2017

Rick Locke Flyer

Richard M. Locke is provost of Brown University and professor of political science and public and international affairs. At the time of his appointment as provost in July 2015, Locke served as the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown.

Locke is an internationally respected scholar and authority on international labor relations and worker rights, comparative political economy, and corporate responsibility. He has published five books and numerous articles on economic development, labor relations, and corporate responsibility. For his ongoing research on fair and safe working conditions in global supply chains, Locke was named the 2005 Faculty Pioneer in Academic Leadership by The Aspen Institute. He is a member of the ILO-IFC Better Work Program Advisory Committee, and from 2013-2016, he served as chair of the Apple Academic Advisory Board, a group of independent academics who worked with Apple to improve labor conditions among the company’s suppliers.

This lecture, titled Making Globalization Work For All, is sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, the President’s Office, and the Provost’s Office.