KRISTA THOMASON (Philosophy), Coordinator
Molly Lawrence, Administrative Assistant
Bertha Saldierna, Administrative Assistant
Sa’ed Atshan (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Nanci Buiza (Spanish)
Wendy E. Chmielewski (Peace Collection)
Denise Crossan (Lang Professor for Social Change, Peace and Conflict Studies)
Emily Paddon Rhoads (Political Science)
Sangina Patnaik (English Literature)
Ellen Ross (Religion)
Lee Smithey (Peace and Conflict Studies)1
Krista Thomason (Philosophy)
Dominic Tierney (Political Science)
Andrew Ward (Psychology)
1 On Leave Spring 2020
The Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College provides students with the opportunity to examine conflict in various forms and at levels stretching from the interpersonal to the global. The interdisciplinary curriculum explores the causes, practice, and consequences of collective violence as well as peaceful or nonviolent methods of conducting or dealing with conflict.
Students who major or minor in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore will:
- understand factors shaping human conflict (including psychological, social, cultural, political, economic, biological, religious, and historical factors);
- analyze specific cases of conflict, including interpersonal, inter-group, interstate, and international disputes;
- examine theories and models of peacebuilding and reconciliation, and evaluate attempts to conduct, manage, resolve, or transform conflict nonviolently;
- investigate intersectionality; forms of oppression and injustice; and conflict, locally, globally, in the United States, and abroad;
- explore topics relevant to peace and conflict through fieldwork, internships, or other experiences outside the classroom;
- demonstrate the following skills: critical thinking, analysis, research, writing, communication, and teamwork.
The Academic Program
Peace and Conflict Studies may be a major or a minor subject in either the Course or the Honors Program. Students who intend to major or minor in peace and conflict studies should consult with the program coordinator as they prepare to declare their intention during the spring of their sophomore year. All applications must be approved by the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.
First Course Recommendations
A course major in Peace and Conflict Studies consists of eight credits. Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (PEAC 015) is required and should be taken in the first or second year, if at all possible. All majors must also complete the PEAC Senior Capstone Seminar (PEAC 091) in the spring semester of their senior year to fulfill the College’s comprehensive exercise requirement that integrates work in the major. No more than two credits eligible for the Peace and Conflict studies major may overlap with courses in a student’s other major or minors.
All Peace and Conflict Studies majors complete at least two courses that are specifically designated as Swarthmore PEAC courses (worth no less than one credit each and in addition to Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, Senior Capstone Seminar, and any PEAC thesis. Off campus study courses are not eligible to meet this requirement.) We encourage students to take courses taught by different faculty members in order to broaden their exposure to the field. Honors majors alone have the option of writing a one- or two-credit thesis.
Normally, the student who applies for a major in Peace and Conflict Studies will have completed (or be in the process of completing) the introductory course and one other eligible course in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Honors majors fulfill the same requirements as course majors but must establish three two-credit honors preparations for external examination at the end of the senior year. There are four primary opportunities for students to fulfill preparations required of honors majors:
- a 2-credit honors seminar
- the combination of two 1-credit courses
- the combination of a 1-credit course and a 1-credit thesis
- a 2-credit thesis
Honors majors alone have the option of writing a one- or two-credit thesis. Any thesis must be multidisciplinary.
All Honors preparations must be discussed with the Peace and Conflict Studies Coordinator and approved by the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.
Students with any major, whether course or in the Honors Program, may add a course minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. Of the 5 credits required for a peace and conflict studies minor, 4 may not be double counted with the student’s major or other minor. Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (PEAC 015) is required and should be taken in the first or second year, if at all possible.
All Peace and Conflict Studies minors will complete at least two courses (in addition to Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies) that are specifically designated as Swarthmore PEAC courses. (Off campus study courses are not eligible to meet this requirement.) We encourage students to take courses taught by different faculty members in order to broaden their exposure to the field.
Normally, the student who applies for a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies will have completed (or be in the process of completing) the introductory course and one other eligible course in Peace and Conflict studies.
Students with any major in the Honors Program may choose an Honors minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. Honors minors will fulfill the same requirements as course minors but must establish one two-credit honors preparation for external examination at the end of the senior year. A standard Honors minor preparation will consist of a seminar or a combination of two courses.
Application Process Notes for the Special Major or the Minor
See the Peace and Conflict Studies Program website for guidelines and forms for applying for a major or minor in Peace and Conflict Studies (http://www.swarthmore.edu/peacestudies).
Students who intend to major or minor in Peace and Conflict Studies should consult with the Program Coordinator, and submit a copy of their Sophomore Plan during the spring of the sophomore year. The Sophomore Plan should present a plan of study that satisfies the requirements, specifies the courses to count toward the major or minor, shares the student’s interest in Peace and Conflict Studies, and identifies how the program complements the student’s academic goals. (The program will assign advisors.) All applications must be approved by the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.
The Sophomore Plan for students proposing an Honors major or Honors minor in Peace and Conflict Studies should describe the proposed Honors preparation/s in terms of its/their suitability for examination and its/their contribution to the student’s interests in Peace and Conflict Studies. When possible, students should obtain advance approval from faculty members who teach the courses or seminars that are to be included in an Honors preparation. If an honors major student is proposing to write a senior thesis, the student should specify a general thesis topic and a preference regarding thesis advisor. All applications must be approved by the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.
Juniors or seniors proposing a major or minor in Peace and Conflict Studies should consult with the Program Coordinator and submit a revised Sophomore Plan.
The Peace and Conflict Studies Program faculty enthusiastically support study abroad for majors and minors. A number of study abroad programs that are approved by the Off-Campus Study Office offer appropriate coursework. Students who enroll in PEAC 053: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict may have the opportunity to participate in the course attachment that provides a study tour to Israel/Palestine during the winter break.
Majors may count no more than three credits from off-campus, while minors may count no more than two credits.
Research and Service-Learning
Student programs can include an internship or fieldwork component. An internship is highly recommended. Fieldwork and internships normally do not receive credit. However, students can earn up to one credit for special projects that are developed with an instructor and approved in advance by the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.
Peace and Conflict Studies Program majors and minors are encouraged to apply for funding from the Lippincott Fund, Julia and Frank Lyman Student Summer Research Fellowship, the Joanna Rudge Long ‘56 Award in Conflict Resolution, the Simon Preisler Student Research and Internship award, and/or the Howard G. Kurtz, Jr. and Harriet B. Kurtz Memorial Fund. Applications are due in February, and information can be obtained from the Program’s website.
Additional information on funding, internships, training, and career opportunities is available on the Peace and Conflict Studies Program website at www.swarthmore.edu/peacestudies.
Life After Swarthmore
Peace and Conflict Studies alumni often develop or work in organizations that promote peace and justice locally and globally. Many pursue graduate work in fields directly or closely related to Peace and Conflict Studies. You may find a growing digest of student and alumni activities on the Program’s website at http://blogs.swarthmore.edu/pcsstudents/.
Peace and Conflict Studies Courses
The following courses may be applied toward a minor or major in Peace and Conflict Studies. Each of the courses designated as PEAC is open to all students unless otherwise specified. In the event of an oversubscribed course, preference in enrollment will be given to declared Peace and Conflict Studies majors and minors. Courses eligible to count toward a concentration, minor, or major in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights at Haverford College or Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice at Bryn Mawr College may also be applied toward a major or minor in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore. Student programs may, subject to prior approval by the program’s Committee, also include courses offered at the University of Pennsylvania and courses taken abroad.
Please consult www.swarthmore.edu/peacestudies for updates, descriptions, and scheduling.