Tristan Borer’s current research focuses on issues surrounding Western media portrayals of distant human rights abuses, especially those on the African continent. Prior to this, her research focused on human rights in both apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Specifically, she has written extensively on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and gendered dimensions of transitional justice mechanisms
War is among the most devastating forces in human history. It can cost communities their people, ecosystems, economies, political structures, ambitions, artistic creations, imaginations, and even their histories. As a result, one of the most vexing problems for nearly all human beings throughout time has been how to maintain peace. The Peace and Conflict Pathway explores both how communities, states, and nations thrive – resolving conflict and developing stable infrastructures for governance, artistic expression, education, health, faith traditions, and environmental and economic sustainability – and also how they can fail in these efforts, leaving conflict unresolved and at times resorting to violence, including war. It also examines the long-term consequences for politics, society, economies, technologies, and cultures of these practices of peace and conflict.
While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples might be:
- How have communities in eras of peace and conflict chosen to tell their stories, in the visual arts, literature, dance, music, religious texts, and other forms of performance and narration? How can students do so today?
- How have social constructions like race, gender, religion, nationality, and ethnicity bound people together and torn them apart?
- Are human societies becoming more or less violent?
Ron Flores teaches Immigration in an Urban Context; Race, Ethnicity and Baseball; Sociology of Families; advanced research seminars on Latinos in America and on Social Inequality; and Introduction to Sociology. He also teaches a first-year seminar on community and civic responsibility, "Our Communities, OurSelves." His courses typically include community service-learning.
Andrea Lanoux teaches Russian language at all levels and courses on Russian literature and culture. She has team-taught courses on gender in communist and post-communist societies (with Amy Dooling), on European Modernism (with Geoffrey Atherton and Abigail Van Slyck), and on comparative Slavic cultures (with Marijan Despalatovic.)
Darryl Phillips is a historian of ancient Rome, focusing on the culture and history of Rome in the late Republic and early Principate. His research and teaching interests have always been interdisciplinary, encompassing history, law, religion, art and architecture, and topography. His approach to the period is to privilege continuity over change while considering cultural practices in their topographical and historical contexts.
Sara is responsible for overseeing the department and directly supervises the professional staff team. Sara has her bachelor's in psychology from Westminster College, a master's in counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate in human development with an emphasis in higher education administration.
Catherine Stock is the author of Rural Radicals: Righteous Rage in the American Grain. She is also the author of Main Street in Crisis: The Great Depression and the Old Middle Class on the Northern Plains, plus the introduction to Dakota Territory, 1861-1889: A Study of Frontier Politics, by Howard Roberts Lamar.
Though Larry Vogel teaches “core” courses in the history of philosophy (Ancient, modern, American, and 20th century continental thought) and ethics (both theoretical and applied), he takes special pleasure in creating seminars that build bridges between speculative questions and everyday moral issues, like: Tolerance, Intolerance and the Intolerable; Freedom of the Will and Moral Responsibility; Evil; and Moral Disagreement and Moral Truth.
A single course will be offered annually by the Pathway coordinator or another member of the Pathway group. The Pathway group will determine a set of shared goals for the Thematic Inquiry, stressing the importance of the interdisciplinary nature of the class and acknowledging that the students may have quite varied interests. Nevertheless, individual instructors will have the flexibility to design a syllabus of their own within that framework. The class will also include three to five appearances, lectures, or conversations with other Pathway faculty to help orient students to the variety of approaches and courses they can take, advisers they can seek, and the community being created. Furthermore, the course would include at least one important “signature” event per year that would bring the entire Pathway group of faculty and students together. This could be a symposium, outside lecturer, or group community service project. From the beginning of the class, students would know that their goal by the term’s end must include an animating question, a plan for creating a global or local connection, and at least initial ideas about a capstone project.
All students in the Pathway will complete at least three Curricular Itinerary courses, based on their specific interests and animating questions. The following courses have been approved in advance by the core faculty of the Pathway. Students may also petition to have additional courses counted toward the Curricular Itinerary, as appropriate.
Global-Local Engagement (Some Potential Settings and Activities)
We foresee a wide variety of ways in which students in the Pathway will experience Global/Local Engagement. Many SATA and study abroad programs already in place are located in communities that have been sites of important, even historic, conflict resolution and/or violence. Our programs in Cuba and Vietnam are two that would work well for students on the Pathway, as would the SIT program in South Africa and New Zealand, and the Cold War Studies program in St. Petersburg, among many others. Likewise, we look forward to working within the new institutional collaborations in Chiapas, Mexico; South Korea, Istanbul, and Ghana. Many national organizations devote their work to and provide opportunities for internships in peace and conflict studies. Examples of these include the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago, and the Carter and King Centers in Atlanta. The highly regarded programs in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College and George Washington University, and others, would provide resources for curricular design or collaborative pedagogy.
In the local community, we hope to collaborate with the U. S. Coast Guard Academy to increase opportunities for service learning with veterans’ organizations and military museums and memorials. We look to further foster ties for discussion and reconciliation with the Mohegan and Eastern Pequot nations. Programs established through Community Partnerships in New London, including the Centro de la Comunidad and the Homeless Hospitality Center, are also natural fits for the mission and goals of the Pathway, among others.
For more information, please contact Catherine Stock or any other member of the core faculty.
A Pathway Mindset
With his adviser's help, Weston Stephens, a sophomore and U.S. history major, exemplifies Connections by deliberately choosing courses and projects that relate to his interest in peace and conflict. Recently, he told The Day newspaper, he used the Pathway mindset to pick a topic for a map project in his geographic information systems class.
Read the story