Bolten Named Director of Ph.D. Program in Peace Studies


Catherine Bolten, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies, has been appointed director of doctoral studies (DDS) at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, effective July 1, 2018.


She follows Jason A. Springs, Associate Professor of Religion, Ethics and Peace Studies, who has served as DDS since July 2016.


Since 2008, the Kroc Institute has offered a Ph.D. in peace studies in partnership with six Notre Dame departments. Doctoral students can choose a dual degree with peace studies and history, political science, psychology, sociology, theology and anthropology. Thirty-four students are currently enrolled in the program.


“It’s fortuitous for me to be stepping into this role at this moment because all of the previous directors have done a fantastic job of getting the program going,” says Bolten. “The Ph.D. program is in a great place and offers many opportunities for me to build on a very strong foundation.”


Areas that Bolten hopes to strengthen include streamlining the degree completion process and support for all Ph.D. students and enhancing relationships with Notre Dame departments who partner with the Kroc Institute in the dual degree program. The Ph.D. program has seen consistently excellent results, with five recent graduates achieving excellent job placements, including three tenure track appointments, for the 2018-19 academic year.


Bolten joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2009. She has been working in Sierra Leone since 2003, focusing on issues of memory, poverty, morality and post-war development. Her book, I Did it to Save My Life: Love and Survival in Sierra Leone is part of the University of California Press Series in Public Anthropology. She is currently working on a book based on field research conducted between 2006-2012 titled, Serious Youth in Sierra Leone.  Bolten has consulted for the United Nations World Food Programme and Physicians for Social Responsibility, and has conducted extensive fieldwork on ethnobotany, eco-tourism, and development in Botswana. Her articles appear in American Anthropologist, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Ethnologie Française, African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, the Journal of Modern African Studies, the Journal of Political Ecology, and the Journal of Anthropological Research.


About the Kroc Institute:  The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies supports study, research and practice centered on strategies for sustainable peace and supports undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. students in peace studies. The Kroc Institute is part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.



Catherine Bolten,, (574) 631-5099

Hannah Heinzekehr, Director of Communications,