Title: Iraq Afterwar(d)s: Epistemic Violence and Collateral Damage Speaker: Sinan Antoon, Iraqi novelist and poet. Date & Time : April 25th, Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:30 pm Location: KohlbergScheuer Room *This event is open to the public.
This talk will address the genealogy of the destruction of Iraq and its ongoing effects. While most accounts begin in 2003, the talk will trace it back to the first Gulf War of 1991 and throughout the economic sanctions (1990-2003). In addition to material destruction, the talk will discuss the epistemic violence of U.S wars and its effects on knowledge production in and about Iraq.
Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, translator, and scholar. He was born and raised in Baghdad where he finished a B.A in English at Baghdad University in 1990. He left for the United States after the 1991 Gulf War. He earned a doctorate in Arabic literature from Harvard in 2006. He has published two collections of poetry and five novels. His most recent wok is The Book of Collateral Damage. Sinan returned to his native Baghdad in 2003 to co-produce and co-direct a documentary film about Iraq under occupation entitled About Baghdad. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Guardian, al-Jazeera and various Arabic-language outlets. His scholarly works include a book on the pre-modern poet, Ibn al-Hajjaj, and articles on Sa`di Youssef, Sargon Boulus, and Mahmoud Darwish. He is an Associate Professor at New York University and co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.
Sponsored by: the Arabic Section of MLL, the Islamic Studies Program, the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, the Department of Peace & Conflict Studies, and the Department of Sociology & Anthropology.
Please join the Peace and Conflict Studies Department for its Spring 2023 Film Series. Five films will explore the evolution of militarism and the role of art and personal narratives in overcoming violence, trauma, and conflict.
All film screenings will be held at Singer 033 starting at 4:30 p.m. The screenings are followed by debrief discussions with faculty and guest debriefers. Pizza, salad, and drinks will be provided during the screenings! Open to all Trico colleges (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore).
Below are the trailers and synopses for the films included in this Spring 2023 Peace and Conflict Studies film series.
Exterminate All the Brutes EP.3 February 15 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“Exterminate All the Brutes, is a four-part hybrid docuseries that provides a visually arresting journey through time, into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism — from America to Africa and its impact on society today.”
Dawnland February 22 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“The feature-length documentary DAWNLAND follows the TRC to contemporary Wabanaki communities to witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.”
Coexist March 1 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“In Coexist, Rwanda’s unprecedented social experiment in government-mandated reconciliation is revealed for the first time through the eyes of a diverse range of survivors: victims, perpetrators, and those who bore witness to the 1994 genocide. What they share is breathtaking, heartbreaking, and inspired.”
500 Years March 15 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer 033 Swarthmore College
“500 Years tells the epic story that led Guatemala to a tipping point in their history from the genocide trial of former dictator General Rios Montt to the popular movement that toppled sitting President Otto Perez Molina. Focusing on universal themes of justice, racism, power and corruption, 500 Years tells the story from the perspective of the majority indigenous Mayan population, and their struggles in their country’s growing fight against impunity.”
The Art of Un-War With Director Maria Niro March 22 (Wed), 4:30 PM Singer Hall Room 033 Swarthmore College
“The Art of Un-War is an in-depth exploration of the life and work of renowned artist Krzysztof Wodiczko. The film features Wodiczko’s artistic interventions that he creates as powerful responses to the inequities and horrors of war and injustice. Throughout the film, the artist’s powerful interventions become examples of how art can be used for social change and for healing.”
Come watch the films (with pizza, salad, and drinks) and stay for discussions.
Fifty-eight years ago, a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, was destroyed by white supremacists in an act of terrrorism on a Sunday morning in September.
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Sproul/Intercultural Center Dome Room Swarthmore College (map)
Join us for a screening and community-wide discussion of the academy-award nominated documentary by Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls, this Saturday.
The film commemorates the church bombing that claimed the lives of four African American girls during a profound period of upheaval in the struggle for social justice. The documentary revisits the moment that catalyzed civil rights in the US and traces the lives of those who would become some of the youngest martyrs in the emerging global peace movement for racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual equality: Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Rosamond Robertson.
Come watch the film and stay for discussion. #SayTheirNames
Peace and Conflict Studies Professor Lee Smithey Explores the Use of Repression—and How It Can Backfire
Lee Smithey, associate professor of peace & conflict studies and sociology, is a co-editor and contributor to a new book, The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements (Syracuse University Press, 2018), that offers an in-depth exploration of the use of repression in political arenas and its unintended effect of sometimes fanning the flames of nonviolent resistance.
“The concept of backfire, or the paradox of repression, is widely understood to be fundamental to strategic nonviolent action, but it has not been fully investigated. It was work that needed to be done,” says Smithey, who in addition to writing and teaching about nonviolent resistance has also participated in peaceful protests. “Power is not only about repression but also about building public support.”
The book, edited by Smithey and Lester Kurtz, a George Mason University sociology professor, is meant as a tool for scholars and activists to understand how repression works, as well as to study significant incidents when nonviolent activists took measures to help make repression a defining moment. For example: “When authorities are seen as attacking or disrespecting widely shared symbols, they may mobilize people in defense of shared collective identities,” write Smithey and Kurtz.
The editors first wrote about the topic in 1999, but organizing for the new book began in 2009—bringing together diverse, global contributors to study how repression can energize nonviolent movements and how nonviolent activists have worked to manage repression in their favor. It includes the grassroots efforts of nonviolent resistance such as Women of Zimbabwe Arise, who bravely joined forces as “mothers of the nation” to stand against dictator Robert Mugabe.
As they planned the book, Smithey and Kurtz organized a two-day writing retreat for the contributors to help build an integrated approach to the project. “It was intellectually exciting,” Smithey says. “We were committed early on to making this book a collaboration between academics and practitioners.”
One practice the book’s authors explore is called repression management—enacted by withstanding or avoiding repression or by creating scenarios in which repression against nonviolent activists would more likely elicit a sense of public outrage (and ultimately support).
One example, Smithey says, is the now-iconic photo of Ieshia Evans, who stood stoically in a flowing dress and faced a line of law enforcement officers in riot gear as she protested the shooting death of Alton Sterling. The photo, taken in downtown Baton Rouge, La., on July 9, 2016, quickly became a cultural touchstone.
The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements also examines the psychological costs for agents of repression, elites’ attempts to avoid triggering the paradox of repression, repression of online activism, and the work of overcoming fear.
“Repression is an attempt to demobilize nonviolent movements by sowing fear,” Smithey says, “but activists can work together to overcome fear and continue to mobilize.”
“Writing from the Wound: Literature and Disenchantment in Postwar Central America”
Nanci Buiza, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Tuesday, December 12th, 4:15 PM McCabe Library Atrium
Open to the Public
Professor Buiza will examine how contemporary Central American writers have made literary art out of a heritage of violence, trauma, and social disaffection.
Torn by decades of civil war and political terror, and more recently by the depredations of neoliberalism and urban violence, Central America has been unkind to the artistic enterprise. And yet despite the adversity, its writers have in recent years managed to put Central America on the literary map. They have made a virtue of their situation by submitting their disillusionments, traumas, and dislocations to the discipline of art and have produced works of high literary achievement.
Of special interest in this presentation is the way in which these writers contend with the senseless modernity that radically remade Central American society after the era of civil wars had come to an end in the 1990s. The “culture of peace” as a code of conduct promoted by market-oriented postwar reconstruction projects; the unresolved wartime traumas that have devastated the social fabric; the disenchantment that took root after the dreams for social utopia had been dashed by the failed revolutions and by the forces of neoliberalism—all these features of the postwar experience are central concerns of these writers, but they also pose problems for what it means to make art. How contemporary Central American literature registers and resists these problems is the focus of this presentation.
“Border Walls and the Politics of Becoming Non-Human”
Miriam Ticktin, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Zolberg Institute for Migration and Mobility at the New School.
Friday, April 21st 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Science Center Room 199
Swarthmore College (directions)
Abstract: “In this talk I am concerned by the ways in which border walls and zones come not simply to *defend* (i.e. certain territories), but to *define* — that is, to shape or alter categories of natural and human kinds. I will suggest that borders walls, and all the surrounding and auxiliary technologies they harness, work by shifting how we understand different kinds of beings, ultimately rendering certain kinds killable.”
Sponsored by the Departments of Sociology and anthropology, Political Science, The Environmental Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies Programs, The Global Affairs Program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, and the Center for Humanities at Temple University
Doctors of the Revolution: Medicine and Violence in Egypt’s Tahrir Square
Dr. Soha Bayoumi (Harvard University)
Dr. Sherine Hamdy (Brown University)
Friday, April 14, 2017 4:30pm
Science Center 199
Organized by Peace and Conflict Studies and Co-Sponsored by Arabic, Biology, Health and Societies Program, Islamic Studies, Political Science, Pre-Med Office, Sociology and Anthropology, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.
FIGHTING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: A DISCUSSION WITH URMI BASU
Learn about and meet one of the most inspiring woman in non-profit work today with a series of events!
Urmi Basu, founder of nonprofit New Light, is a fighter for social justice and the marginalized community of sex workers and women in prostitution. Based in Kolkata, India, New Light’s mission is to promote gender equality and fight violence and abuse of women and children. They have various women-empowerment programs, anti-trafficking programs and they also provide shelter and education to prevent second-generation prostitution.
She was elected as the NGO coordinator by the office of the Governor of West Bengal to present to former President of the United States Bill Clinton in 2001 and in 2012 she was part of a core team that met with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. She was also chosen as a recipient of a blessing from His Holiness The Dalai Lama under the title Unsung Heroes of Compassion 2009 in San Francisco for her work promoting compassion and peace. An impassioned speaker with a unique global perspective, Urmi Basu continues her daily fight for what she believes in.
LIST OF EVENTS:
Nov. 18 7:00pm @ LPAC “Half the Sky” film screening, a documentary based on the book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This documentary, in which she is featured, focuses on women’s control of their own body as well as microfinance and women’s education. There will be snacks.
David M. Kennedy (Swarthmore class of 1980 and an honorary degree recipient in 2011) directed the Boston Gun Project, whose “Operation Ceasefire” intervention was responsible for a more than sixty per cent reduction in youth homicide victimization and won the Ford Foundation Innovations in Government award. He is the author of Don’t Shoot, One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America.Read more about David Kennedy.
Watch David Kennedy address the senior class of 2011 during the Commencement in which he received an honorary degree from the College:
Please join us on Wednesday, February 12th from 4:30 pm -5:45 pm in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg for the annual Black History Month Keynote lecture given by Dr. Deborah Thomas, anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania. The title of her lecture is, “The Time of the Archive: Visual Anthropology and State Violence in Jamaica.”
She will make connections to state sponsored violence in the United States.
Session will include time for question and answers. Light refreshment will be served.