Fall 2022 Courses

Any interested first year, sophomore, junior, or senior may enroll in IIPS 20101 Introduction to Peace Studies for the fall term. Others are temporarily restricted to students who are pursuing a supplementary major or minor in peace studies or a concentration in peace studies as part of the supplementary major in global affairs. Students from other majors are welcome to enroll in these restricted courses if seats remain after all initial registration periods have passed.

Peace studies students can explore the full list of spring courses eligible for the major and minor, including electives cross-listed from other departments, in the Fall 2022 Undergraduate IIPS Course Booklet. Full details for each course can also be viewed online in NOVO or PATH Class Search under the subject "Institute for International Peace Studies" (IIPS).


Introduction to Peace Studies

IIPS 20101 01 (CRN 14938)
Atalia Omer
MW 11:00-12:15

IIPS 20101 02 (CRN 13588)
Jason Springs
TR 11:00-12:15

Open to all undergraduate students and majors.

The Cold War ended in 1989, but civil war, genocide, and state repression continue to occur across the globe, while millions barely have the means to survive in the face of overwhelming poverty. Nevertheless, the world has also witnessed the emergence of sophisticated civil society networks and social movements to address these challenges, as well as governmental and transnational institutions committed to promoting justice and peace in the aftermath of political violence. This course introduces students to the various ways scholars and activists define peace and the challenges faced in securing peace. This course surveys: (1) the major causes of direct and structural violence; (2) various definitions of "peace" and the conditions under which it occurs and is sustained; and (3) the comparative success of various strategies such as building peace movements and promoting nonviolent social change.


Peace Studies Proseminar

IIPS 20100 01 (CRN 20265)
Laura Miller-Graff
F 10:30-11:20

Reserved for peace studies majors, minors, and concentrators.

This 1.0 credit course is designed for students pursuing the peace studies supplementary major or interdisciplinary minor who seek more active reflection on the role of peace studies in their academic study, professional discernment, and personal development. The course seeks to (1) familiarize students with professional opportunities and career paths in the field of peace studies; (2) support student engagement in co-curricular opportunities—such as assisting with faculty research, pursuing internships and field work, conducting independent research projects, engaging in advocacy and activism, etc.—that enhance these many professional trajectories; and (3) acquaint students with the diverse faculty of the Kroc Institute and their particular areas of expertise. The course will meet once per week throughout the semester, and registered students are expected to attend every class.


Peace Research Methods

IIPS 30204 01 (CRN 20264)
Carli Steelman
MW 11:00-12:15

The purpose of this course is to provide undergraduate students with an overview of the epistemic and methodological approaches to peace research. Its goal is to equip students with a functional methodological literacy that will allow them to critically engage with peace studies research. As part of this course, students will have the opportunity to conduct original in-depth research, or to apply the concepts introduced in this course to a case with which they have familiarity. As an introductory course, it cannot equip students with an expert understanding of every method, but it will help students grasp the logic underlying different methodological approaches, their basic mechanics, and the kinds of questions that each is best equipped to answer. Students will: 1) develop an understanding of the logic underlying different methodological approaches to questions in peace studies research; 2) acquire methodological literacy that will allow them to critically engage with questions relevant to peace studies; 3) identify which methodological approaches are best applied to what kinds of questions; 4) apply a particular methodological approach to a question of interest to the student; and 5) hone skills of analysis, argumentation, and writing.


Structural and Cultural Violence

IIPS 30308 01 (CRN 20263)
Jason Springs
TR 2:00-3:15

This course offers an in-depth analysis of the roles of structural and cultural violence in peace studies. Unit 1 (conceptual/theoretical) explores field-formative debates over the nature, basis, and viability of “structural violence” and “cultural violence” as analytical concepts, asking how they have shaped (or failed to, but perhaps ought to shape) the field of peace studies. We will examine their critical appropriations of early critical theory, and assess comparable theoretical approaches such as reflexive sociology (Pierre Bourdieu and Loic Wacquant), post-structural analysis (Michel Foucault), and later critical theory (Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth) while asking what advantages, if any, lenses of structural and cultural violence have vis-à-vis these resources for peace analysis and peacebuilding, and where they need to be supplemented. Unit 2 (cases/agents) studies cases in which some version of these analytical lenses have been deployed for purposes of peace analysis and peacebuilding. We examine recent uses of these lenses to examine poverty, global development, and global health in building peace (e.g. Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Paul Farmer, Peter Uvin), religious/cultural identity (Veena Das), and race, class, and gender (Joshua Price on incarceration and prison abolition in the U.S; Alex Mikulich and Laurie Cassidy on white complicity in hyper incarceration).


War, Peace, and the Catholic Imagination

IIPS 30603 01 (CRN 15454)
Gerard Powers
MW 9:30-10:45

The Catholic Church boasts a rich tradition of reflection and action on war and peace. This course introduces students to the most well-known and well-developed part of that tradition: just war and pacifism. But it goes further and considers the relationship between the just war-pacifism strands of the tradition and the development of a theology, ethics and praxis of peacebuilding – i.e., the Church’s approach to conflict prevention, conflict transformation and post-conflict reconciliation. In considering these topics, the course will emphasize (1) the “living” nature of the tradition, the link between theory and practice, principles and policy; and (2) the importance of grounding ethics and action on war and peace in an understanding of Christian vocation. Drawing on my seventeen years as a senior official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and my current role as coordinator of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, the course will examine these broad topics in light of specific cases and issues, including humanitarian intervention, nuclear disarmament, the landmines campaign, UN peacebuilding, the Church’s role in peace processes, and truth and reconciliation processes, and other issues. Students will have an opportunity to engage directly with Catholic leaders who are working on these issues. This course will also afford students the opportunity, primarily through a research paper, to contribute to the Catholic Peacebuilding Network’s work in the Philippines, Colombia, the Great Lakes region of Africa, and South Sudan. Other course assignments will help students develop their written and oral skills in applied ethics through policy memos, opinion pieces (or blogs), homilies, and video-taped media interviews. There will be no in-class exams.


Perspectives on Peacebuilding

IIPS 33101 01 (CRN 17251)
Caroline Hughes
MW 12:30-1:45

Reserved for peace studies majors, minors, and concentrators.

This junior-level seminar is a required course for either the supplementary major or interdisciplinary minor in peace studies. The course focuses on strategic peacebuilding, an analytical framework for investigating the causes and dynamics of conflict, conflict resolution and transformation, and post-conflict reconstruction and justice. The seminar (1) deepens student knowledge of foundational concepts and questions in peace studies; (2) introduces students to a variety of methodological approaches common in peace studies research; and (3) explores the relation between ethical, empirical and practical approaches in the field. The course provides students with the tools necessary to carry out later research in their capstone seminar and encourages a deeper understanding of how their own research interests connect to peace studies. This course is open only to peace studies majors and minors.


Digital Peacebuilding and Peacetech

IIPS 40301 01 (CRN 20262)
Lisa Schirch
TR 11:00-12:15

This course explores how social media and other new technologies are profoundly reshaping the world, impacting democratic institutions, social cohesion, conflict, and the peacebuilding field. We will engage in deep-rooted analysis of technology's positive and negative impacts on society, drawing on neuroscience, psychology, political analysis, and economic research of the profit models, affordances, and designs of current technology platforms. Students will analyze the impact of digital technology on fifteen global conflicts and explore twenty spheres of digital peacebuilding. The course includes a policy analysis of proposed government regulations on technology companies. Participants will learn through case studies and policy dialogues to identify best practices for using social media to support peacebuilding.


Jewish Politics and Modernity

IIPS 40303 01 (CRN 20259)
Atalia Omer
MW 2:00-3:15

What is the relationship between the Jewish tradition and Israeli politics? Why can't we talk about Jewish modernity without talking about Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and the occupation of Palestine? What are the legacies of Jewish social justice activism and Jewish anti-racism in Israel and the diasporas? What are the intersectional experiences of Jews of Color, Mizrahi, Ethiopian, and other non-European Jews and how do they challenge normative accounts of Jewish modernity and Jewish assimilation into "whiteness"? This course will examine Jewish modernity with a special focus on the relationship between antisemitism and anti-Muslim racism in Euro-America and shifts from Jewish powerlessness to Jewish power as they manifest in cases from Jewish anti-apartheid activism in South Africa and solidarity during the Civil Rights Movement in the US to the Israeli regime which has been defined by multiple Jewish and non-Jewish organizations such as Amnesty International as "apartheid." The course will examine narratives of Jewish displacement, belonging, and de/coloniality and will centralize approaches and experiences of marginalized communities as a way to interrogate Jewish modernity and politics.


Narrative, Violence, and Migration

IIPS 40304 01 (CRN 20257)
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
MW 3:30-4:45

This course examines how historical, political and cultural violence shape language, narrative, and collective and individual identities, and considers art as a form of transformational testimony. In this class, we will ask: How do writers and artists navigate the invisible restrictions placed on speech in order to translate the pain of war, forced migration, and state sanctioned violence into language? How have writers and artists productively challenged grammars of denial and the politics of erasure? How do literary and artistic practices confront the challenge of displacement, subjugation and cultural erasure by creating new sites of memory, knowledge production, and visions of reconstruction? We will read literature from Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, China and beyond and study visual art, films and performance pieces that engage with and respond to state-sanctioned violence, document the psychic, spiritual and material consequences of displacement, and generate new visions of identity, community and nationhood in an increasingly global world.


Peace Studies Senior Seminar

IIPS 43101 01 (CRN 14085)
Rachel Sweet
TR 9:30-10:45

Reserved for senior peace studies majors, minors, and concentrators.

This writing-intensive seminar is the required capstone course for either the supplementary major or interdisciplinary minor in peace studies. This advanced course consists of readings and discussions that explore a familiar peace studies theme in greater depth. The centerpiece of the course is a seminar paper that students research and write on a subject of their choice, selected in light of the course theme and drawing on research methods from both peace studies and students' primary majors. This required course is open only to peace studies majors and minors. Peace studies seniors should access the full undergraduate peace studies course booklet to view the seminar theme(s) for this term. This course also carries the WRIT-Writing Intensive attribute and counts toward the Writing 2 requirement in the core curriculum.

Section Theme: On-the-Ground International Peace Practice. Today’s peace practitioners and researchers operate in complex settings of conflict, social and religious change, yet often lack contextually-grounded tools to understand on-the-ground dynamics. This class takes a view “from below,” rooting our analysis in on-the-ground dynamics and sources in order to examine major issues that affect our work in settings characterized by coercion and clandestine politics. Students will develop methodological tools to evaluate and understand complex violence from the ground and reflective practice for community-driven research. Across these topics, we will examine how direct violence and structural violence intersect and identify implications for non-violent approaches at multiple levels, including sanctions and advocacy. We will engage with original source materials, real-world cases, and peace practitioners from conflict-affected environments.