3.1 Teaching Peace – Panel
As we teach the introductory course in Peace and Justice Studies, in what ways are we guiding our students in recognizing the violence endemic in our societies (local, national, and global)? Are we engaging them in the strategic discussion of violence and nonviolence? What readings, concepts, and activities do PJS instructors include in their introductory course? What skills and perspectives do they hope students develop? We will explore these questions by examining syllabi from PJS programs in North America, and by surveying professors who teach the introductory course. In the intro to our forthcoming book, Critical Pedagogy in Peace and Justice Studies, we raised several questions about the pedagogy of our field, questions that in this paper we will apply to the introductory course: 1.) How do we promote the particular habits of mind and heart we consider critical for PJS students — critical thinking, an ethos of solidarity, optimism, activism — while recognizing that some of these qualities may be in tension? 2.) How do we guide students in recognizing their positionality in the midst of the issues we study? 3.) How might experiential learning be used to encourage the development of important qualities in our students?
- “Motivating Students to Struggle for Justice Using Human Connectedness & Self-Interest,” Jim Handley (University of Wisconsin – Stout)
Not many students are altruists. They are not moved to action solely based on their compassion and concern for marginalized communities to which they do not belong. Often, students with privilege do not see firsthand the injustice, oppression, and violence that compel us into struggle. They are, however, self-interested. Helping them understand the nature of the connectedness of the human community and how the liberation of oppressed people is in their own interest has brought more people into the struggle for justice. It’s compelled them to work, sacrifice, and join social movements. This paper describes how students have moved from being “oriented toward” justice to “actively struggling for” justice. Using Freire’s idea of human completion and Martin Luther King Jr.’s idea of the “inescapable web of mutuality,” students in the Applied Peace Studies at UW-Stout are asked to consider what they get out of struggling for justice and how their work benefits them even if they identify as part a privileged class. By exploring the idea that they will never reach human completion until everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential as human beings, they develop an understanding that altruism is not a necessary value for activists. They can enter into liberation movements out of concern for their own wellbeing. Human completion requires freedom. When others are not fully free they cannot reach their full potential. When some people do not have the opportunity for human completion, no one does. In the activist oriented curriculum in the Applied Peace Studies program at UW-Stout, this focus has gained traction and has helped more students become actively engaged in the struggle for justice.
- “Cultivating Peace through Teaching History in Rwandan Secondary Schools,” Brittany Fried (Georgetown University)
To what extent is a Culture of Peace cultivated through secondary-level history classes in Rwanda? In Rwanda, pre-1994 formal education became a tool for inciting violence by presenting a discriminatory, identity-based view of history. In the 23 years since the genocide, the Rwandan government has propagated education that promotes national unity and decreases division amongst students. The 2015 national Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), which incorporates the holistic principle of Education for a Culture of Peace (ECOP), is one example of such an intervention. This study explores: (1) the historical narrative portrayed in the secondary-level national curriculum and how it is taught; and (2) opportunities and challenges to cultivating a Culture of Peace through secondary-level Rwandan history classes. The literature review consists of a deep look at theoretical frameworks for ECOP curricula and pedagogy, including: Toh Swee-Hin’s flower-pedal model, the UN 1999 Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, the Learning to Abolish War framework, Ian Harris’ “Peace Education Theory,” and work by the Hague Appeal for Peace. IRB-approved data collection occurs in two stages over a month. First is the creation of a unique evaluation for ECOP based on the aforementioned literature, consisting of eight indicators for ECOP content and five for pedagogy. Every secondary-level history lesson is classified under the ECOP indicators directly included in the curriculum. This data is quantified to assess the extent to which the curriculum facilitates ECOP overall and identify trends of the appearance of these indicators by year and theme. Case studies of the use of the curriculum in one public and one private secondary school in Kigali follow, consisting of: interviews with non-governmental organization (NGO) and government stakeholders in CBC development, teachers, and school administrators; focus groups with students and educators; and class observation. Analysis confirms that ECOP content and pedagogy are widely prevalent in the CBC: seven of eight content-related indicators consistently appear in the curriculum, the exception being environmental education. Pedagogical indicators are also well represented. The case study illuminates that the curriculum is well equipped for ECOP but implementation is not: learning is hindered by insufficient teacher training, English abilities, and financial resources. Based on these findings, the study concludes with recommendations for the government and case study school administrators and educators. The implication of this study is the Rwandan secondary education system has potential to cultivate a strong Culture of Peace within students; however, that will only occur if greater attention is dedicated to areas detailed in the recommendations. This study is among the first analyses of opportunities and challenges faced by the CBC since its 2015 implementation. It provides important insight into areas to capitalize and improve on to utilize the CBC to its full potential.
- “Teaching for Peace, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development,” Alex Otieno (Arcadia University)
How can undergraduate courses provide opportunities for students to co-create discourse on peace, stability, human rights and governance, based on the rule of law? How might we inform their construction of a future based on sustainable development? This paper reports on illustrative cases of how the author has grappled with these questions. Taking as its starting point the assumption that conflict and violence are not inevitable and must be addressed, this paper reflects on processes for countering division, the promotion of sustained peace, security and prosperity as pathways to reducing cycles of conflict and violence. The paper considers the use of films to expose students to the destructive impact armed violence and insecurity on development, economic growth and social cohesion and facilitate opportunities for generating alternative futures for selected countries. The application of multi-level analyses that integrates examination of prevalence of sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture in conflict situations to discuss the importance of strong institutions and the rule of law in the protection of individuals and groups from social vulnerabilities is also considered. The paper discusses the appropriateness of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in teaching about pathways to reducing all forms of violence, and enhancing community participation in partnerships involving governments and civil society in finding durable solutions to conflict and insecurity. The paper discusses how the above approaches can be effectively used in exposing students in undergraduate classes to issues of peace, development and security thereby engaging them in discourse on human rights and justice. It concludes by considering the value of engaging students in debates on macro-level discourse on sustainable development goals alongside the role of the rule of law and institutions of global governance as pathways for envisioning alternative futures that foster peace, non-violence and human flourishing.
3.2 Cultures of Violence in North America – Panel
- “Policing in Indian Country: Tribal Police Officers’ Perceptions on Crime and Violence,” Favian Guertin-Martin (Arcadia University)
In society , the police are recognized as the leading experts on issues to crime and violence. Within their position, the police have the ability to shape the discourse on crime and violence, and generally, their perceptions are accepted within society (Loader 1997). Although previous research has examined the perceptions of traditional police officers, little is known about the realities of crime and violence as seen through the eyes of tribal police officers . Using data from 27 in-depth interviews, this paper explores the perceptions of crime and violence among a group of tribal police officers providing service on an Indian reservation. Findings suggest the participants perceive a substantial number of crimes and acts of violence are illegal drug and alcohol related.
- “Native American Relocation – Another Attempt at Cultural Genocide,” Richard Clark (John Carroll University) and Karen Posner (Honor the Drum), not presenting
During the 1950s and 1960s the US Government instituted program to “relocate” Native Americans from the reservation system to urban areas in the US. Critics of the program, which were numerous, derided the program as an attempt to remove Native Americans from their land so it could be reclaimed by white men. Other critics labeled the program ‘Cultural Genocide’ as it was perceived as an attempt to allow the individual to live while killing the ‘Indian’ within him/her. While data has been published on the number of individuals and families that were relocated, the ‘success’ and ‘failure’ rates of the program, and the factors that influenced the program’s effectiveness at removing people from the reservation system; there is a significant dearth of studies that have examined the human impact of the Relocation program. This study hopes to fill that gap in the literature. We plan on combining the available data on relocation with interviews of Native Americans who were either relocated themselves, or had immediate family members relocate. Our findings will be placed within the extant literature relating to Native American genocide.
- “The Critique of American Ideology: Ending Domestic Gun Violence, the Death Penalty and the Global War Machine,” Raj Sampath (Brandeis University)
This paper opens with constitutional arguments that defend the 2nd Amendment in principle as the paradox of why it protects a pure conception of democracy (citizens arming themselves to protect themselves from centralization of power, tyranny and totalitarianism, assuming we have the requisite civility for peace as citizens not to hurt other citizens). This makes sense for one homogeneous demographic group- rich, white men at the beginning of the country. And then show why this does not work today. We must expose the secret tripartite interconnection of the following that makes the U.S. unique in that no other country has all three of these facets: a.) ability to start unilateral wars which means killing people of other nations, for ex. Iraq and Afghanistan; b.) death penalty which means the state can kill individual citizens, particularly minorities and other constructed others as ‘deviants’; c.) gun-violence and massacres, the most unfathomable of which is children buying guns to kill other children in school shootings. (We need to psychoanalytically deconstruct toxic masculinity in the formation of virtual young white male identities watching video games killing others and growing up that way…which then translates into actual gun violence.) The cycle and cyclones of a death machine in the heart of our open, liberal democracy begin to develop. The paradox of the 2nd amendment and what we risk as a society for maintaining the right to own guns is quite frankly the legacy of colonialism- when the white male conqueror decided to invade the rest of the world. This is the issue. Patriarchy, White Supremacy, Heteronormativity and the continuum that leads to the justification of unilateral war, the death penalty and unabated gun violence in our open democracy. What happens to a society that says that the right to owning a gun is more important than life itself when access to a gun (legally or illegally acquired) leads to the loss of life? What does this reveal other than the apathy and hence contingency that life is arbitrary- some people live and some people die and for no reason whatsoever. Mass death is normalized while liberal democracy is praised for warding off fascism and totalitarianism. The social contract and the state of nature become one. By exploring the late Derrida lectures on animality, sovereignty, the death penalty, and war and inversely his calls for cosmopolitan peace, and the later Foucault’s lectures on biopower and the right to live and die, we will deconstruct the Hobbesian and Lockean foundations of the social contract that underpin our current notions of modern, secular, legal, constitutional democracies. We need a revolution in thinking about how non-violence and peace movements can transform our political economy and social fabric to create a new human reality.
3.3 Case Studies in Politics, Community & Justice – Panel
- “Community Health and Urban Peacebuilding Strategies,” Lynne Woehrle (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee)
This paper connects the work of urban sustainability projects with the goals of active nonviolence and peacebuilding strategies. In the paper I look at practical projects and theoretical ideas around greening the city and develop questions and opportunities for analysis of projects which have aimed to transform neighborhoods on small to large scale. Key questions in the paper include methodological concerns about how to study the impact of sustainable peacebuilding projects, what might define success, and why using social science to study community projects is important to peacebuilding work. Further connecting sustainable social systems to nonviolence and peacebuilding is at the heart of the intellectual journey this paper provides.
In many urban areas a great deal of community and government efforts are put toward programs that “green” urban spaces. In this paper I consider what to include in defining this green space movement and how it is often connected to addressing concerns around structural violence. The projects come in many shapes and sizes, led and sponsored by many different levels of social organization. As we consider practical paths for nonviolence what are ways that research can help us discern our goals and outcome? The paper will consider relevant literature and theory, outline what research can accomplish and discuss pilot research projects and same case studies. Taking the approach that asking questions and mapping social systems can help us been more effective peace advocates is at the heart of this paper.
- “Does Margin of Victory Affect the Integrity of Election? Cross-Country Evidence,” Ziaul Haque (Kennesaw State University)
The margin of victory (winner-loser gap) frequently generates heating debate regarding the competitiveness, legitimacy, and credibility of multiparty elections, which often leads to violent post-election political clashes between contending groups. Democracy goes well beyond mere periodic holding of elections. Nevertheless, ballot box remains the engine of elections as it is a fundamental aspect of the peaceful transfer of power. Is a tightly contested election good or a loosely contested election bad? There is no straightforward answer to this question due to the complexity of elections. However, the margin of victory shapes public perception about the integrity of an election and, oftentimes, might bring detrimental consequences to the democratic consolidation process. Drawing on a cross-section data based on the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Perception of Election Integrity (PEI) 2016, this study uses an OLS regression model to test the empirical association between election integrity and the margin of victory. The findings confirm existing hypothesis that there is an inverse relationship between them: as the percentage of winner margin increases, the election integrity rating decreases. The study argues that winner’s margin is one of key predictors of the fairness of an election.
- “The Impacts of Human Rights Education,” Zoë Robinson (University of St. Thomas)
My presentation would be on my qualitative research project I am doing this summer through a community based research grant through the University of St. Thomas. I am working with a local non-profit, Youthrive, to look at the impacts of their human rights education they teach on alumni of this program. I will be interviewing 6 alumni of the program to find the impacts the program on them using story mining to gain these answers through questions such as “Is there a specific lesson you remember from a youthrive program? What did that teach you about human rights?” and, “How did the programming of youthrive introduce you to new perspectives?” These questions will give me a better insight to the impacts of the programming they received and will be coded and then analyzed to determine themes throughout the interview that can be interpreted as impacts. Interviews as well as observation of several Youthrive programming events will allow me to research the impacts of human rights education. Justice and peace studies research methods such as phenomenology and grounded theory will be used in this research. The analysis I will use will focus on four main categories of results: Leadership abilities, ability to be a voice in the community, well informed about issues, and willingness to make change. These aptitude changes and behavioral developments will be interpreted to determine the programs impact. This research is important to not only to complete, but to present and share because there is not much comprehensive research on this topic to begin with. Presenting at the Peace and Justice Association conference would give me an outlet to do just that with members of my field.
3.4 Fanonian Peace – Global Perspectives – Panel
Conceptualizations of peace have largely derived from the pacifist and non-violent traditions of thought and political struggle. Frantz Fanon is often looked at by these traditions as a “prophet of violence,” who uncritically embraced the call to arms of the anti-colonial movements. Yet close study of Fanon’s work reveals a much more complex figure. Indeed, at the core of Fanon’s writing arguably lies a critique of violence. As such, this panel engages what it would look like to ground our theories of peace in Fanon. Offering a global perspective, it integrates contributions from scholars working in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
- “(Non)violent liberation and politics: Fanon and Colombia’s Peace Community”, Christopher Courtheyn, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Universidad del Rosario
Frantz Fanon is most often associated with theories of anti-colonial liberation through armed struggle. Yet scholars have typically neglected to analyze his post-colonial program for social justice and its lessons for nonviolent movements. Building from a close reading of Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks, this paper uses Fanon’s political program as an analytical framework to examine an emblematic peace initiative in Colombia. For more than two decades in the war-torn Urabá region, the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó has eschewed armed struggle and refused collaboration with guerrilla, state and paramilitary forces. Despite suffering massacres and repeated forced displacements, these small-scale farmers continue to resist in eleven villages. In this paper, I trace the parallels between a) Fanon’s insistence upon a shift from a reactive national consciousness to an assertive social consciousness and b) San José’s practice of peace through community work and solidarity networks. I also signal political divergences between the Peace Community and Fanon, which I argue are indicative of the conjunctural shift from anti-colonialism to alter-globalization. Putting San José’s peace praxis into conversation with Fanon, this paper analyzes the dynamics of social movement peacebuilding with respect to state vs. autonomist politics.
- “From Mimesis to Tectonic Rupture: Re-Channeling Fanon Toward a Pangeal Peace”, Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, Assistant Professor: Africana Studies & Director: Peace and Justice Studies, Gettysburg College
Fanon does indeed seem to attribute ‘tribal divisions’ to colonialism. He also suggests that colonialism was quite a violent enterprise, with resulting individual and collective trauma. I do not disagree entirely; however, I believe that violence and divisions do predate colonialism, but that colonialism globalized violence and divisiveness as disciplinary technologies so as to situate whiteness at the apex of various hierarchies. The violence rendered under colonialism included rape, castrations, lynchings, whippings, but also extended into the psychological realm; the aim was to denude colonized peoples of their humanity, dignity and consciousness. Binaries—a Manichean either/or ontology, according to Fanon–represented the ways in which the colonizers codified their superiority: human/subhuman, developed/developing or under-developed, brain/body, rational/emotional, civilized/savage. This schism fostered psycho-affective disorders in the colonized–delusions and disorientations–that distorted sense of self.
It is thus understandable that in the postcolonial era, one can observe that many of those who were colonized resorted to mimesis: internalizing and replicating the models of oppressions once imposed upon them/us. Therefore, hierarchization, exploitation, exclusion, marginalization, infantilization, control—all tools of colonialism—were employed by the neocolonial bourgeoisie in the era of postcolonial nation building. The postcolonial nation state itself mimicked Western configurations, despite being impelled by self-determinative impulses. Fanon argues that violence–well directed toward collective liberation and restoration of human agency–can be cathartic in uprooting internalized self-loathing upon colonized peoples. Perhaps that is the case. However, I wonder how does a colonized people who use violence toward self-liberation, then construct an alternative reality that is unlike the oppressive models they have experienced for centuries? That is, how does using a colonial tool (Audre Lorde) help in the envisioning of radically differentiated ontologies?
In this presentation, I will appropriate this Fanonian calculus to argue that ‘rupture’ can be cathartic, and that the formerly colonized and those of colonizer heritage who wish to become unyoked from that lineage, will need to delink from, transgress and transcend the violence of borders, and the nation-state construct with its teleology of perpetual balkanization, toward a Pangeal peace. I characterize cultural, political, economic, spiritual tectonic ruptures (using the imagery of earthquakes) as disrupting and delinking (à la Walter Mignolo) as we forge a sustainable planetary peace that is not totalizing or unipolar but one that can hold space for multiple polarities and ways of being. Part of rupturing is educational and spiritual: critical re-learnings (contrapuntal and collective autodidacticisms) and healing so as to re-envision alternatives.
- “Fanon, Gratuitous Violence, and the Zone of Non-Being”, Yousuf Al-Bulushi, Assistant Professor, Global & International Studies, UC Irvine
Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth was celebrated in many circles as the bible of the 1968 generation. While there is no doubt about the tremendous influence this book has had upon radical militants in both the global south and the global north, the academic interpretation of Fanon has, until recently, largely focused on his earlier text Black Skin, White Masks. This paper will read across Fanon’s oeuvre for a deeper understanding of his radical political theory and praxis than that which is often gleaned from a surface reading of his chapter “On Violence.” This broader reading offers significant contributions to a theory of “Fanonian peace,” one that complements, rather than departs from, more widely-accepted conceptualizations. Only by engaging Fanon’s notion of a “zone of non-being,” this paper argues, can we fully come to grips with his ideas. Putting this notion to work alongside a theory of “gratuitous violence” allows us to expand our conceptualization of both peace and violence.
This paper explores these themes by grounding the study of Fanon in the politics of contemporary South Africa, which is witnessing a resurgence of interest in the writing and life of Fanon. In what the artist William Kentridge has termed the “post-anti-apartheid movement,” what is the relationship between the anti-colonial texts of Fanon and the attempt to continue political struggle in a society where the “liberation” movement of the African National Congress is now firmly in power? Who are the South African inheritors of figures like Fanon, and what does their reception of his work tell us about the supposed shift in South African rule from racial apartheid to class apartheid? What might Fanon and his interlocutors reveal about contemporary struggles over urban space and the continued racialization of South African society?
3.5 Translation/Interpretation as Immigrant Advocacy – Roundtable
This roundtable will introduce participants to the practical and political challenges of ensuring access to translation and interpretation services for immigrants in the United States. Collectively, presenters will make the case that access to translation/interpretation services is a fundamental human right, as it ensures effective education, legal representation, equitable interactions with our criminal justice system, and so forth. Yet, this right is often either not fulfilled or overtly violated as part of our contemporary anti-immigrant politics. We will discuss the legal basis of language rights in the United States; their development, application, and contestation; and the translation/interpretation services that are meant to be provided to immigrants in a variety of settings, from classrooms to courtrooms. We will also explore the challenges institutions face in providing these services; the roles that immigrant children frequently play as interpreters/translators; and some of the effects access (or lack of access) to translation/interpretation has on the lives of immigrants. After an initial round of brief (5 minute) presentations, Roundtable members will facilitate discussion of this content and other emergent topics, first in break out sessions and then through a full room discussion.
3.6 Diversity, Disability, & Inclusion in Our Field: Re-Centering PJSA’s Mission for Inclusive Peace & Justice – Workshop
According to the mission statement of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), we, the members, allies, and supporters of PJSA are scholars, academics, educators, and activists whose work is grounded in transdisciplinary visions for peacebuilding, social justice, and social change.
Such visions for and commitments to nonviolence are informed by the human experience, which begs for a broader and more inclusive definition and understanding.
As a start, within the United States context, the FBI (2017) Hate Crime Statistics show 59 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 21 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias; 17 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias; two percent were targeted because of the offenders’ gender identity bias; one percent were victimized because of the offenders’ disability bias; and 0.5 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ gender bias.
Within the global context, the World Health Organization (WHO) (2018) sounded the alarm in warning that children and adults with disabilities are at much higher risk of violence than their non-disabled peers. Specifically, WHO indicates that children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children, including physical, and sexual violence. Adults with disabilities are almost twice more likely to be victims of violence than those without a disability. This rate doubles for those with mental health conditions.
Such socio-cultural realities highlight the need to re-center our mission for inclusive peace and justice. Hence, the presenters who are from diverse cultural and experiential backgrounds, seek to pioneer the inclusion of perspectives and experiences around diversity and disability in the ways that peacebuilding is conceptualized, communicated and lived.
To this effect, the presenters will facilitate an interactive discussion of what peace and justice mean in diverse contexts. They will elicit the knowledge, skills, and actions that we need to develop to be culturally competent colleagues, partners, and allies working for a just and peaceful world. Then, they will examine PJSA’s values for the purpose of constructing a critique that will place diversity and inclusion at the heart of our visioning and work to advance societal transformation toward justice, thus creating and nurturing alternatives to structures of inequality and injustice, war and violence through education, research and action.
3.7 Hope & Sustainability in Social Justice Work – Workshop
Social justice work requires vision, hope, and sustained engagement over time. While social justice activists bring naturally vision to their work, maintaining hopefulness and engaging in self-care are often challenges that lead to ineffectiveness or burn out. This workshop will include education about the physiological and psychological effect of stress, and will offer concrete tools for self-care (centered about hopefulness, joy, and love) specifically targeted to social advocates.