Peace Studies Courses
Introduction to Peace Studies
Interdisciplinary and international exploration of issues and theories concerning violence and nonviolence, including perspectives in several disciplines. Using current affairs, this course focuses on the individual and practical dimensions of understanding “positive” peace-enabling persons to begin developing values and attitudes concerning violence and nonviolence in contrast to the traditional “negative” view of peace as simply the absence of violence. Fall and spring semesters. Dawit.
Community Service Agencies: Building a Just and Peaceful World
This course will provide an intellectually stimulating perspective on the challenges of community service and the different types of service. Students will examine issues including justice, direct action, motivation, the role of service in higher education, and citizenship. Students will also enjoy weekly hands-on experiences in service while working with middle-school students. Fall semester.Bess.
This course combines reading, service, conversation, and personal exploration to reveal how people define themselves, their relationship to the world, and their processes of meaning-making. The course addresses these issues on an intellectual and a personal level and enables students to view their questions and answers critically at the same time that they explore how age, race, gender, nationality, and other factors shape not only their answers to ontological questions, but the nature of the questions that they ask and the reasons why some questions aren’t asked. Students engage in a service project as part of the course. Spring semester. Bess.
Topics in Conflict Resolution
An introduction to conflict resolution and service learning exploring the work of peace-building community-based and nonprofit organizations from their perspectives. Different organizations will be profiled, and the course will be taught by persons within the organizations. Variable semesters. Department.
Community Performance for Peace, Conflict, and Dialogue
(4 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #8 and #10)
The course surveys the history, the theory, and the exemplary practitioners of community performance—synonymously called "theatre for social change" or "applied theatre." Particular attention will be given to traditions that serve the goals of conflict resolution, popular education, activism, and community building. Through practical techniques, the course will demonstrate how performance structures can address community issues. This course is open to any students, actors and non-actors who are interested in community arts and peace performance. Variable semesters. Francoise.
Survey of the theory and practice of nonviolent actions and principles, study of the philosophical principles of nonviolence in relation to current and historical events and policies, considering the possibilities for future applications, and assessing the justifications, successes, and/or failure of the policies. Fall semester. Hopper.
Maintaining the Status Quo: Power and Privilege in the United States
(4 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #7 and #10)
This course will examine the history of privilege and its evolution from the 18th century to today. By reading historical documents, literature, biographies and sociological studies, students will explore and analyze inequalities in education, housing, jobs and examine both the means through which inequalities continue to be rationalized and the means through which they are being changed. This course serves as the writing proficiency for the program. Prerequisite: college writing proficiency, sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. Fall and spring semester. Bess.
Research Methods for Peace and Justice
A critical introduction to research methods in the study and pursuit of peace and justice, covering three interwoven epistemological domains; basic statistical principles and applications; research design, data collection, analysis and interpretation; and quantitative and qualitative methods and worldviews. Special consideration is given to participant action research (e.g., PAR) methods. The ethics of responsible research will be addressed throughout. Prerequisite: PCE 110 and sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Pringle.
Nonprofits in the Community
In the era of globalization, nonprofit organizations are increasingly doing the work of the public sector. This course examines the work of the nonprofit sector, including its impact on its constituency and on social/economic policy, and the structure, mission, leadership, fundraising and governance of a number of local, national and international organizations. This is a full service-learning course. Prerequisites: PCE 124 or PCE 125 or another service course approved by the instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2013-14 and alternate years. Dawit.
Women, Peace, and Protest: Latin American Women and the Search for Social Justice
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #10)
Examination of women’s participation in the human rights, social, and economic movements. Focus on understanding if, why, and under what circumstances gender becomes a central force in the development of these movements. We will address three questions: Has the involvement of women helped to define the human rights movement in Latin America? To what extent have feminist theory and theories of the state accounted for the nature of women’s protest? How and why were women instrumental in the political process that led from authoritarian to democratic rule in their countries? This course focuses primarily (but not exclusively) on women’s movements in the southern cone countries: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Variable semesters. François.
Special Topics in International Film and Literature
This course, organized around a rotating thematic topic in a given semester, will focus on social, economic, and cultural disparity as represented by filmmakers and authors. Of particular interest will be issues of nationalism; difference/identity; displacement; globalization; resources/wealth; environmental degradation; and control of information in post-war, post-colonial and/or post-Cold War societies. When possible, filmmakers and authors will be invited for special sessions of this course. Repeatable if topic is different. Prerequisites: 100-level course in peace studies or permission of instructor. Variable semesters. Department.
Issues in Conflict Resolution
A topics course for the Peace Studies Program, in which students explore the mechanisms of conflict resolution in a variety of settings, using a case-study method. Prerequisite: PCE 110 or permission of the instructor. Variable semesters. Department.
Peace Practice: Transformation of Self and World
(4 Cr.) (GEN.ED. #8)
Beginning with the assertion that each of us both mirrors and enacts larger social patterns, this course trains students in effecting social change by transforming their interactions with these patterns at the scale of the personal. Through mindfulness training, students learn to recognize and disrupt their habits of meaning-making and invent new ways of engaging with the world. Through training in nonviolent communication, students enhance their ability to communicate across differences. Finally, through collaborative vision projects, students learn to “trope against trope,” inventing narrative practices that do not merely respond or react, but disturb and discover new possibilities within the self-organizing systems of which they are a part. Prerequisites: PCE 110 or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Hopper.
Emerging concepts of human rights, 18th century to the present; conflicting views and their justifications. Rights of persons against the state and other institutions as basic moral claims to achieve both individual self-development and social justice. Prerequisite: PCE 110, one course in political science or history, or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Dawit.
This course studies Gandhi’s life, actions, and ideas, in the hope that they may provide some tools to make the new century a better one than the last, for the society and the people around us, and for the physical and moral environment in which we live. The course also examines the ideas of Western figures such as Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr., in relation to Gandhi. Prerequisite: Frontiers. Spring semester. Kirmani.
Women and the Law
Focus on current issues involving women and the law including family law, reproductive rights, violence against women, employment, pregnancy, pensions, sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and women in poverty. Prerequisite: WS 100 or WS 150 or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Department.
Indians in the United States
Using comparative analysis of indigenous and nonindigenous societies, this course will examine indigenous forms of government and social structure pre-1492 to the present. Prerequisite: one course in history, peace studies, or sociology, and sophomore standing. Variable semesters. Department.
Leadership for Change
An exploration of leadership as a process of engagement toward socially responsible change. Topics include leadership theory, skills, and values; leadership in the context of liberal learning; service and civic engagement; diversity; community contexts for leadership and change; uses of power; and community organization, mobilization, and activism. The course seeks to encourage self-understanding and introspection as a lifelong practice, as well as social responsibility, openness to change, tolerance, and celebration of diversity. A service-learning field project allows students to apply concepts learned in the classroom. Prerequisites: PCE 110. Variable semesters. Dawit.
The Basque in Spain: A Peace and Conflict History
The Basque in Spain: A Peace and Conflict History (8)(SP 229G and SP 299G) This course will explore contemporary conflicts and the peace movements that grow beside them through a study of their historical roots as seen in the Basque conflict in Spain. The course builds Spanish language skills into the curriculum of peace studies throughout the semester in addition to a three-week immersion experience in Bilbao, San Sebastian and Guernica (Spain) in June (four credits). Prerequisite: PCE 110, 124 or 148, or permission of the instructor, and SP 130 or SP 130G or SP 130S or SP 130V. Summer 2017. Dawit and Miranda-Aldaco.
Selected Topics in Latin American Peace Studies
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #9 and #10) (LER - DIV)
An interdisciplinary approach to significant topics relating to contemporary Latin America. Specific topic for the semester to be announced in advance. Topics may include: Latino issues in the United States, Latin American cinema, or revolutionary movements in Latin America (for peace studies credit). Prerequisite: Frontiers or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Department.
Comparative Peace Traditions
A survey of peace thought in the Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Judaic, and Hindu philosophical traditions. The course explores how the world’s major religions, through their scriptures, scholarly works, and bodies of practice, have posed the concept of peace in individual and communal life. Prerequisites: PCE 110, or a course in philosophy or religion, or approval of the instructor. Variable semesters. Department.
Individually Identified Internship
(3 OR 4 Cr.)
Graded pass/no pass only. Fall/spring semester. Department.
Internship: City Schools Program
Students should plan to have free time in their schedule between 2:30 and 5 p.m. Graded pass/no pass only. Fall/spring semester. Department.
Peace and Rewriting Race
Examining works of literature, film, and visual arts organized around a thematic or geographic case study, students will distinguish the range of ways we use art and literature to survive, imagine, and to “name the nameless,” as Audre Lorde said, “so it can be thought.” Combining creative writing, rhetoric, and literary analysis with the lenses of peace studies (e.g. conflict resolution, structural violence), we will create and consider the roles of transgression, lyricism, and alienation; the ways that the human voice can be used to reinscribe, resist, or renew. Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing. Spring semester. Hopper.
International Human Rights Law
This course is an intensive critical exploration of the international human rights legal system, including treaty bodies, regional organizations, commissions, courts, and special complaints committees. Of particular interest is the work of the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American and African commissions and courts, the International Court of Justice, and the UN tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Prerequisites: PCE 251. Spring semesters.Dawit.
Identity and Conflict
This course explores the complex interrelations of social identity and ethnic conflicts with the emphasis on the role of identity in processes of conflict resolution and transformation. Critical reflection and analysis of ethnic, national, and religious identities as both generators and outcomes of conflict will be an important part of the course. Through readings, lectures, documentaries, and simulations, the course aims to extend knowledge of the construction of various layers of social identity and to develop a framework for transformation of identity-based conflicts. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in peace studies or permission of the instructor. Variable semesters. Atashi.
Transnational Feminist Theory and Women's Activism
(3 Cr.) (GEN. ED. #7 and #10)
Crossing the boundaries of nationality, ethnicity, citizenship, sexuality, and genre, this course brings together a plurality of women’s voices of the non-Western world that counter colonial, post-colonial, multinational, and masculine paradigms of “otherness.” The central aims are to examine the extent to which their activism and theoretical thinking grew out of historical conditions, to establish a dialog that forms the wide-ranging spectrum of women’s experiences across the globe, and to assess these social and political writings for national change in the 21st century. Prerequisite: junior standing. Fall semester. François.
HIV/AIDS: Tearing the Social Fabric
If sexual activity is the chain that links us all, then our reaction to HIV/AIDS provides a mirror into our sense of responsibility toward that interconnection. This course will examine HIV/AIDS through the lens of humanitarian and communal ideas and realities, revealing that the integrity of the social fabric is threatened at every level (communal, national, and global) by the devastating impact of the virus. Students will engage in community activities and group projects outside class hours in conjunction with research writing to understand personally and intellectually the disease’s impact on families, communities, and nations and the various ways governments are responding. Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of instructor. Fall semester. Bess.
Special Topics in U.S. and International Peace Studies
Examination of advanced concepts in peace, conflict resolution, and/or human rights thought through an in-depth study of major international and current events. These may include conflict in relation to peacekeeping, public health, globalization, international tribunals, and diplomacy. Repeatable with different topic. Variable semesters. Department.
Topics in Peace Studies: Country Study
This topics course will explore the historical and contemporary politics of one country within its regional context. Research and analysis will focus on colonial and post-colonial realities, legal and de facto gender disparities, sources of current conflict, and social and economic challenges. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in peace studies or permission of the instructor. Repeatable with different topic. Variable semesters. Department.
This capstone course for majors and minors, will be a symposium on bridging peace thought and peace work. Students and faculty will read, analyze, and discuss a number of peace theories and the ways in which individuals, communities, solidarity groups, and organizations implement them to bring about personal, social, and political change. Some years, faculty and students together will design community interventions from determination of problems, to identification of stakeholders, to program design and implementation. Prerequisites: senior peace studies major or minor. Spring semester.Department.