Tag Archives: Peace and Conflict Studies

30th Anniversary Event: Preparing for Peace, Building Social Justice

Join us online on Tuesday February 22 at 4:15 pm EST to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Peace & Conflict Studies program at Swarthmore College! The virtual event will reflect on the past three decades of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore and the ways that program alumni have integrated peace and conflict studies to their careers.

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Please register to attend at https://bit.ly/330ZWuw

Allison Oman Lawli, '91
Deputy Divisional for Nutritional Operations, Analysis, and Integration, World Food Programme

Maurice Weeks, '08
Co-Executive Director of the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) Coordinator

Jasmine Rashid, '18
Director of Impact at the Candide Group

Jerry Frost
Howard M. and Charles F. Jenkins Professor Emeritus of Quaker History and Research and Former Peace & Conflict Studies Program Coordinator

Lee Smithey
Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies and Sociology and Peace & Conflict Studies Program Coordinator

We’re hiring! visiting assistant professor position

The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Swarthmore College, home of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, invites applications for a full-time three-year Visiting Assistant Professor position, beginning Fall 2022.

Please share widely. Thank you.


Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies
Swarthmore College: Peace & Conflict Studies Program

Location
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Description
The Peace and Conflict Studies Program of Swarthmore College invites applications for a full-time three-year Visiting Assistant Professor position, beginning Fall 2022. Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Qualifications
Candidates should demonstrate expertise in peace and conflict studies. Applications from candidates in the humanities are encouraged. We welcome regional expertise in areas besides Europe. The successful candidate for the position will be expected to teach four courses per year in our interdisciplinary undergraduate program, which may include the introductory course and the senior capstone course for majors. We seek a candidate with a compelling classroom presence, strong teaching and research skills, and a knowledge and passion for peace studies that will support student advising and contribute to the development of a dynamic program. The strongest candidates will demonstrate a commitment to creative inclusive teaching and a research program that speaks to and motivates undergraduates from diverse backgrounds. A Ph.D. in peace and conflict studies or in another discipline should be in hand by September 2022, accompanied by intellectual and professional engagement in the field of peace and conflict studies.

Application Instructions
Please apply at https://apply.interfolio.com/99927   Direct inquiries to the program coordinator, Lee Smithey, at lsmithe1 at swarthmore.edu

Full consideration will be given to all applications received by January 24, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Candidates should send:

  • a cover letter, including teaching philosophy, teaching experience, and research agenda
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a writing sample
  • three letters of recommendation.
PCS students peace sign

New Course: SPAN103 – Trauma, afecto y derechos humanos en la literatura centroamericana

We are excited to share a new course coming in Spring 2022! Professor Nanci Buiza’s will begin teaching honors seminar SPAN 103: Trauma, Afecto Y Derechos Huamnos en la Literatura Centroamericana. This course is an elaborated companion to her course PEAC 038: Civil Wars and Neoliberal Peace in Central America. We congratulate Professor Buiza on receiving a Mellon Course Development Grant to create this new course.

What’s the difference between PEAC 038 and SPAN 103?

Prof. Buiza writes, “The PEAC038 course focuses on the sociopolitical and historical causes and consequences of armed conflict in Central America (1960s-early 1990s), the transition to peace and democracy, and the implementation of neoliberal economic reforms that came with the arrival of peace in the mid 1990s. The course, however, really does not study the cultural production (literature, film, art, music) related to these decades of instability in the region. My honors seminar in Spanish will focus on the cultural production of the region and how it relates to and engages with the above mentioned sociopolitical and historical forces.

The focus will be on the Central American region, mostly the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The seminar will incorporate theory to discuss issues of ethics, social justice, and human rights in a war-torn society. It will allow students to weave together critical and theoretical concepts of peace and conflict studies that they have learned in the program and apply them to our analysis and study of how cultural representations engage with sociopolitical turmoil; how performance artists engage with issues of social justice in nonviolent ways; and how cultural production as whole invites people to think about other possibilities to violence and state repression.”

Here is the course description. We highly recommend Peace program students consider registering for SPAN 103.

This honors seminar studies contemporary Central American literature and culture with a focus on theories of trauma to discuss cultural representations of human suffering, empathy, and pain. The seminar explores the social disintegration and legacy of violence left by decades of civil wars, genocide, and revolution in the region, as well as theories of trauma, memory, affect, aesthetics, philosophical cynicism, and human rights. These theoretical approaches will help us reflect on the relation between literature and human rights; the sociopolitical upheavals and their cultural representations; and how cultural production engages with issues of peace and conflict in the neoliberal era. We will pay special attention to representations of social disaffection, political disillusionment, and survival in a postwar context shaped by socio-economic precarity. In addition to reading literary works by some of the main authors in the region, we will analyze scholarly debates surrounding Central American literature, as well as watch films and performances that probe into the issues of ethics, historical truth, social justice, reconciliation, historical memory, and the human predicament in a postwar society.

Ramiro Hernandez ’23 Participates in Harvard Kennedy School Public Policy Leadership Conference

Ramiro Hernandez

Ramiro Hernandez ’23 started his fall break off with a bang, taking part in the Harvard Kennedy School’s 2021 Public Leadership Conference earlier this month.

One of just 68 undergraduates from across the U.S. chosen, Hernandez relished the chance to build community with his fellow attendees.

“Hearing all of the projects, initiatives, and change-making that other students are pursuing at campuses across the country was inspiring,” says the honors medical anthropology, peace & conflict studies, and educational studies special major from Hidalgo, Texas, “and I found comfort in sharing a virtual space in which everyone was vulnerable enough to discuss our fears and aspirations.”

The mission of the conference is to inspire student leaders — particularly those from historically underrepresented and underserved communities — to pursue careers in public service. Participants learn what it means to study public policy in a graduate school environment and have opportunities to connect with current Harvard Kennedy School students, faculty, and staff as well as their fellow attendees

“I also really enjoyed hearing from the representatives of various public policy programs, as I learned a lot about financial aid opportunities and fellowships that I was not aware of,” Hernandez says. “I finished the weekend with the confidence that pursuing a career within the field of public policy is the path I’m meant to take.”

After missing the cut for the conference two years ago, Hernandez was nervous about opening the notification email for this year’s event. But being selected at this time proved fortuitous.

“I’ve become much more grounded in my politics, my beliefs, and the multiple truths I hold dear,” he says, “and I feel much more confident in my change-making abilities.”

Among Hernandez’s activities at Swarthmore are serving as student body vice president, a programming intern with the Intercultural Center, campus treasurer of the Petey Greene Program, and co-chair of the League of United Latin American Citizens Federal Training Institute Partnership. Earlier this year, he was chosen as a reporting fellow for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

A first-generation college student, Hernandez has a broad interest in public service that is grounded in his experience as a second-generation immigrant growing up in a border community in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He is intent on using every opportunity he receives to move resources where they are most needed, ensuring that future generations have everything they need to live well in their communities.

Reflecting on the conference, Hernandez points to the excitement of “meeting 67 other folks who come from backgrounds similar to mine and are just as passionate as I am about improving the conditions of various communities around the world.”

[This blog post was reposted from the Swarthmore News and Event page and was written by Ryan Dougherty.]

Swarthmore Community Comes Together for King Speech Reading in collaboration with Breaking the Silence

A number of major civil rights organizations, including The Fellowship of Reconciliation, the SNCC Legacy Project, and the Highlander Center, came together this month to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s April 4, 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” in which he for the first time publicly advocated for an end to the U.S. war in Vietnam. Dr. King was assassinated exactly one year later after delivering the speech. The nation-wide webinar, “Breaking the Silence: An Intergenerational Call for Unity” occurred on the anniversary of the speech and consisted of its public reading as well as a panelist discussion.

The event organizers also invited groups to host local readings of the King speech–a call readily taken up by the Swarthmore community. Professor Lee Smithey (Peace and Conflict Studies) in cooperation with Professor Edwin Mayorga (Educational Studies) coordinated Swarthmore College’s reading. The project included a full gamut of community voices, including students, faculty, administrators, alums, and more. The video recording of the college’s reading can be found below.

From https://kingandbreakingsilence.org/

Cosponsors at Swarthmore College include: Educational Studies Department; Peace and Conflict Studies Program; Black Studies Program; Intercultural Center; Women’s Resource Center; The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility; Department of Sociology and Anthropology; TriCo Asian American Studies; Department of Religion; History Department; Beit Midrash; The Interfaith Center; Student Government Organization; ENLACE; Intercultural Center Interns; QuestBridge; Swarthmore Queer Union; Petey Greene Program.

Two Swatties Earn National Award for Work in Peace & Conflict Studies

— by Ryan Dougherty via Swarthmore News and Events, January 8th 2021

Vanessa Meng ’20 (left) and Lucy Jones ’20 were honored at Peace and Justice Studies Association’s annual meeting, held remotely in November.

For the first time in its history, the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s (PJSA) award for best paper went to two students this year — and they’re both Swarthmoreans.

The selection committee honored both Lucy Jones ’20, who explored the experiences of Central American migrant women on the U.S.-Mexico border for her thesis, and Vanessa Meng ’20, who examined the debates surrounding colonialism in contemporary Chinese-African relations.

The students, who graduated in May with high honors, were honored at PJSA’s annual meeting, held virtually in November.

For Jones, it was an opportunity to properly celebrate her thesis, “Resistance, Resilience, and Survival: Central American Refugee Women Across the U.S.-Mexico Border,” which she completed while in quarantine during the pandemic.

“It was a huge honor, and very exciting to have my work recognized and to be able to talk about it with peace scholars from around the country,” says Jones, who majored in peace & conflict studies at Swarthmore and is now a legal assistant at an immigration law firm in Philadelphia.

For Meng, it was particularly rewarding to be recognized for her thesis, “The Middle Kingdom Dreams: Understanding and Reframing China-African Relations,” at what she considered a time of heightened hostility from the Western media toward her native China.

“I hoped to show that there is an opportunity for peace between the U.S. and China, because the values and ideas that I was taught at Swarthmore, specifically the American revolutionary dream from activists in the United States, are in fact aligned with the dream of the country I grew up in,” says Meng, who majored in peace & conflict studies and has been writing a children’s book on environmental science. 

Both students expressed gratitude for the faculty and students of the Peace & Conflict Studies Program, citing its depth of collaboration and support. They follow PJSA thesis award winners from Swarthmore in 2013 and 2014.

“Research and writing are important in our program, so we are understandably thrilled when colleagues in our field recognize that our students are doing important and often cutting-edge work,” says Lee Smithey, professor and program coordinator. “Lucy and Vanessa exemplify student scholarship in peace & conflict studies.”

Assistant Professor of Peace & Conflict Studies Sa’ed Atshan ’06 advised both students on their thesis projects, and offered comments on their behalf at the awards ceremony.

“Lucy arrived in my office in August 2016 from Birmingham, Ala., where she was born and raised,” Atshan recalls. “In our very first meeting, she expressed palpable enthusiasm for peace & conflict studies, reflecting on her Irish heritage, and proved to be a brilliant student.”

Atshan says Meng joined the College community “with a very clear consciousness regarding peace and environmental justice, speaking eloquently about climate challenges she witnessed in her hometown of Beijing.”

Can Big Bird Fight Terrorism?

A book talk with Naomi Moland, Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Services at American University.

Wednesday, December 4th
4:30p.m.-6:30p.m.
McCabe Library Atrium

big bird terrorism-2

For fifty years, Sesame Street has taught generations of Americans their letters and numbers, and also how to better understand and get along with people of different races, faiths, ethnicities, and temperaments. But the show has a global reach as well, with more than thirty co-productions of Sesame Street that are viewed in over 150 countries. In recent years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided funding to the New York-based Sesame Workshop to create international versions of Sesame Street.

At this talk, Dr. Naomi Moland will discuss her new book, Can Big Bird Fight Terrorism? which looks at the Nigerian version, Sesame Square, which began airing in 2011. The show  seeks to promote peaceful coexistence in Nigeria, where segregation, state fragility, and escalating conflict raise the stakes of peacebuilding efforts. This book offers rare insights into the complexities, challenges, and dilemmas inherent in soft power attempts to teach the ideals of diversity and tolerance in countries suffering from internal conflict

The Swarthmore Campus & Community Store will provide books for purchase and author signing.

Sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies with co-sponsorship from Film and Media Studies and Education Studies

FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO CIVIL LIBERTIES: The impact of black culture and identity on 21st century diplomacy

A presentation by Justin Davis, Deputy Director, Orientation Division, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State

Friday, December 6th
4:30-6 pm
Sproul 201, Intercultural Center
Swarthmore College

This event is open to the public. You can find directions and a    campus map on the College’s website.

Justin Davis-3

Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Co-Sponsored by Black Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, the Black Cultural Center, The Intercultural Center, the Office of Inclusive Excellence, and The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Feminist dilemmas: How to talk about gender-based violence in relation to the Middle East

A presentation by Nadje Al-Ali, Robert Family Professor of International Studies, Brown University

Friday, November 8th
4:30-6 pm
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall
Swarthmore College

This event is open to the public. You can find directions and a    campus map on the College’s website.

Nadje Al-Ali-2

ORGANIZED BY PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES AND CO-SPONSORED BY ARABIC, GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES, ISLAMIC STUDIES, POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY, THE INTERCULTURAL CENTER, THE OFFICE OF EXCELLENCE, AND THE LANG CENTER FOR CIVIC AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Announcing Professor Krista Thomason as Coordinator

Prof. Krista Thomason will serve as Coordinator of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Swarthmore College during the academic year 2019-2020.

Prof. Krista Thomason
Prof. Krista Thomason

Prof. Thomason is an accomplished Associate Professor of Philosophy, who has served diligently on the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee for many years. She is wonderfully capable, and we are all certain to benefit from her leadership.

Professor Krista Thomason is an expert in moral emotions, shame and shaming, Immanuel Kant, genocide, and child soldiers. She is the author of Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life (Oxford University Press). Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Kantian Review, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Southern Journal of Philosophy, and Philosophical Papers. She has taught courses in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program on Human Rights and Atrocity as well as Moral Philosophy and Social and Political Philosophy.

When you see Professor Thomason on campus in the fall, welcome and congratulate her. It’s going to be a great year!