2018 Session 2

2.1 Engaging the Humanities in Education for Peace – Panel

The panel includes four of the seven contributors to the forthcoming volume, Engaging the Humanities in Education for Peace (working title), to be published in the Peace Education series of Information Age Publishing. Each author delves deeply into her or his humanities field (religious studies, literature/poetry, philosophy, and language/cultural studies) to elucidate the methodologies and contents of that field that speak directly to the study of peace and justice. The volume as a whole is a call to more fully engage the humanistic dimensions of peace education, which should complement analytical dimensions of the social sciences. Taken as a whole, the panel presentations make the case that engagement with the humanities is critical to the development of empathy, critical thinking, constructive dialogue, and imaginative visioning for a hopeful future, to name just some pertinent skills, values, and attitudes necessary for peace-building capacity.

2.2 Intersection of Violence & Nonviolence in Humanitarianism – Panel

This panel will examine the intersection of violence and nonviolence in humanitarianism. It is particularly focused on the various ways that humanitarianism with a moral and compassionate foundation is intertwined with discursive and material practices of violence. Case studies demonstrate how the nonviolent and detached distribution of aid mitigates and contributes to structural and potentially physical violence. We will address questions about the nature of nonviolence and the paradox of neoliberal humanitarianism.

2.3 The Resistance – Contents, Growth, Social Class & Other Dimensions – Panel

The growing resistance to Trump. We have witnessed obvious and stunning matters like the women’s marches the day following the inauguration and the Parkland students’ actions, the teachers strikes in several states, the great upsurge in women, African Americans and American Indians running for office, the rapidly lessening US influence abroad and the tanking of respect for the US, the appearance of radical mayors, the crisis in the Democratic Party between the Clintons-Biden establishmentarians and the Warren-Sanders wing of the party, the ever louder discontent with Gerrymandering, vast increases in contributions to the ACLU, the ending of Richard Spencer’s colossally failed college tour, the failure of the Charlottesville march to catch on, and such. In our session, we intend to add to this list and try to understand as fully as we can what resistance is about and how and why it works, and the how and why of what doesn’t work. Is this entirely responses to Trump’s outrages, or is there also an overdue critique and renewal of democracy under way? And crucially, where does social class analysis fit into these considerations? This is meant to proceed as a conversation rather than presentation of papers.

2.4 Autoethnographies of Peace, Resistance, and Justice—Unexpected Trajectories of Peace – Panel

  • “Teaching in Prison: A Dream Come True,” Wim Laven (Kennesaw State University)
  • “From the Inside Out; Female Incarceration and Societal Impacts,” Shawanna Erena Vaughn (Silent Cry Inc.)
  • “A Transcontinental Paradigm Shift From Trauma to Testimony,” Banti Zehyoue (Kennesaw State University)
  • “Resisting Oppression, Demanding Accountability: Reflections on Resistance & Resilience in a Time of Backlash, ” Simona Sharoni (Merrimack University)

Autoethnographies of Peace, Resistance, and Justice—Unexpected Trajectories for Peace—Panelists answer questions such as, how did my experience of peace or exposure to violence change the trajectory of my life? What do I know now that I wish I would have known earlier in life? The answers, however, look at the reflective of lessons learned from families and communities during periods of stability and crisis and how those answers, in turn, became internalized and challenged. Our experiences and sources of knowledge have differed but they have delivered similar goals and motivations, these narratives are important. How have our different experiences–our personal narratives–driven us to similar goals? As scholars, practitioners, teachers, and activists, the panel presents personal reflections, critical engagements, and historical analyses of, from, and for the presenters lives.

The central focus of this discussion will be the examination of the conference themes: visions of the nonviolence—violence continuum, solidarity and engagement in the beloved community, and violence and nonviolence in our communities. These stories are embedded in our practice of peace and justice and our narratives speak to the confrontation of moral disappointment. Panelists answer the question: “how did I become a revolutionary?” with their own narratives.

2.5 Decolonizing U.S. Higher Education Institutions: Transforming Campus Environments through Presence, Solidarity & Engagement – Roundtable

This roundtable discussion is concerned with providing various examples of decolonizing practices in higher education. Panelists will provide their unique experiences in attempting to decolonize spaces of learning for students, faculty and staff, as members of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania as these constituents broaden their knowledge regarding marginalized and vulnerable groups impacted by the historical and contemporary trauma of colonization. A faculty member in anthropology will discuss their experience of teaching the history of race in the United States, and how that insidious history has set the stage for continued racism in the present. Another faculty member teaching peace and conflict studies will discuss what is absent from Juniata’s campus in relation to Native American nations and communities with specific focus on their work with the Oneida Nation regarding history of Native Nations in the local area, including protocol, representation and relationship building. The dean of the library will discuss their thoughts on decolonizing the academic library through open education resources, radical collaboration and piracy. Lastly, two alumni who recently graduated will discuss their experiences in decolonizing their own education. One will discuss their experience studying with a program working to decolonize international exchange education in Ecuador, and their work designing a decolonial research project investigating cultural work practitioner’s perspectives of how their work affects conflict. The second alumni will discuss their educational experience fostering partnerships with local corrections institutions to facilitate The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program – a program that brings traditional college students and incarcerated students together. They will describe the attempts made to counteract the colonization of those spaces through this educational opportunity. In order to engage in dialogue with audience members, the following questions will be asked to illicit discussion: 1. What does decolonization mean to you? 2. In what ways do you decolonize the spaces that you occupy in an attempt to create King’s ‘beloved community’? 3. Through this decolonial praxis, how do you center and legitimate the voices of the most marginalized?

2.7 “Walk in My Shoes”- a filmed Theater of Witness performance and discussion

Theater of Witness Artistic Director Teya Sepinuck and Philadelphia Police Inspector Altovise Love–Craighead, will introduce ‘Walk in my Shoes’,  a filmed Theater of Witness performance by Philadelphia police and community members sharing their true stories and visions for the future. This will be followed by discussion with the directors and performers who will share the impact of the project on them and speak about how it changed their views. An informal reception will follow where audience members can meet with performers.

‘Walk in my Shoes’ is an provocative one hour film created with police officers and community members who share their personal stories related to violence, racism, safety and love. Their stories woven together into a dynamic performance piece premiered in 2017, and brought audiences to their feet.

This presentation was made possible with support from Bill Jacobsen, Anne Swoyer and PJSA.

For more information, visit: http://www.theaterofwitness.org/ or view the 2 minute trailer here: https://vimeo.com/280083353