Sramana Majumdar

"Violence, Identity and Self-determination: Narratives of conflict from the Kashmir Valley" 4:15 PM, Monday 18 Nov Room 239, BYC Bryn Mawr College

Exposure Index

Tired of paper and pencil questionnaires about integration and intergroup contact? Try the new and improved EXPOSURE INDEX (click tab above on this page).

South Asia after Mumbai

Major General Muniruzzaman, former Chief of Staff in Bangladesh, speaks to David Frost on political and security issues in South Asia.  The interview begins at 5:30 on the video:

Peace & Conflict Studies at Swarthmore

We’re adding a new link to our list: the new website of Swarthmore’s Peace and Conflict Studies program.  The PCS coordinator is Asch affiliate Lee Smithey, who will be speaking at the Asch Seminar on April 6th, 2009.  Here’s the description from their homepage.

At levels from the interpersonal to the global, the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College provides opportunities to study conflict and peacemaking in many forms.

The program’s multidisciplinary curriculum examines the causes, practices, and consequences of violence as well as peaceful or nonviolent methods of conflict management, resolution,and transformation. Students explore many factors shaping human conflict, including the psychological,social, cultural, political, economic, biological, religious, and historical.

The Peace and Conflict Studies Program draws courses from a range of social science and humanities departments at Swarthmore and the other campuses of the Tri-College consortium. Students in any major may add a minor in peace and conflict studies.

Nonviolent Action and the Struggle for Land: Experiences in India and Brazil

Kurt Schock (Associate Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University)
Monday, November 24, 2008, 4:30 p.m.

Scheuer Room
Kohlberg Hall
Swarthmore College

Prof. Kurt Schock <> is
author of /Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in
Nondemocracies/ (University of Minnesota Press). “He is currently
researching land reform and land rights movements in the global south.
He is examining how various methods of civil resistance, such as protest
marches and land occupations, are being used to promote a more equitable
distribution of land and resources. He is also interested in how
constructive programs such as rural cooperatives and small-scale
sustainable agriculture are being used to promote agrarian reform. More
broadly his research seeks to understand how methods of nonviolent
action and ‘people power’ movements are able to successfully challenge
state domination and economic exploitation.”
Light refreshments will be provided.

Campus maps and directions to Swarthmore College are available at
A .pdf flyer is available at

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology with the Peace
and Conflict Studies, Asian Studies, and Latin American Studies programs.


Faculty position at Haverford College

Haverford College is seeking a faculty member at the rank of advanced assistant professor or above for a tenure-track position in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights/Peace and Conflict Studies (PJHR/PCS) to start in the fall of 2009.  Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a social science discipline with an area studies focus and a proven record of excellence in teaching and scholarship.

More information is available here.


The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict; Asch seminar on November 17th, 2008

Roger Peterson, MIT

Roger Petersen, MIT

Many ongoing conflicts, especially those involving Western intervention, can be characterized in terms of a type of “game” with a fairly stable set of actors, preferences, and rules. At certain junctures, actors use emotions to change the set of actors, reshape preferences, and alter the rules. Actors possess a range of actions in trying to trigger emotions. These include: bombing to kill discriminately, bombing to kill indiscriminately, bombing property without killing, instigating riots, committing assassination, issuing written threats, desecrating religious sites, destroying property, spreading inflammatory posters and graffiti, and engaging in public demonstrations, and creating parallel political systems. Actors may also forego these actions and try to cooperate or simply acquiesce. My current research attempts to explain variation in these actions. My working assumption holds that this variation cannot be understood without insight into actors’ beliefs about the use of emotion in their strategies. I have been working toward a theory and set of hypotheses that incorporates emotion in explaining variation in strategy and action during conflict.

The empirical focus of my research examines the conflicts among Albanian and Slav populations in the western Balkans (Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, South Serbia) along with some comparisons to Bosnia. Examining the course of these conflicts (as well as periods of non-conflict) over the course of the past 15-20 years provides a substantial field of variation while also controlling for many economic, historical, and cultural factors.

Books by Roger Petersen:

Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, Resentment in Twentieth Century Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

The Asch Seminar will be on Monday, November 17th, at 4pm, in Bettws-y-coed 127.

Poster link

Budapest, George Soros, and the power of ethnic mobilization

Central European University

Central European Univ.

Asch Seminar, Monday October 20th

Asch Co-Director Clark McCauley will give a brief introduction to opportunities in Budapest’s new Central European University, followed by three answers to the question: Why is no one ready to die for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union?

The Asch seminar is held at Bryn Mawr College, in Bettws-y-coed 239, at 4pm.

Poster link:

CEU ethnicity conference link:

Jonathan Hyman, Cultural Envoy

Muslim woman with 9/11 memorial.  Photograph by Jonathan Hyman.

Muslim woman with 9/11 mural in Brooklyn. Photograph by Jonathan Hyman.

Our Associate Director for Conflict and Visual Culture Initiatives is going on a 3 week lecture tour in Europe to lecture on various topics concerning visual culture, contemporary American popular culture, memory, and the American response to the 9/11 attacks. He will be meeting with students and faculty at European universities in large lecture format and smaller group sessions.

Jonathan, a documentary photographer, is sponsored as a Cultural Envoy by the American Embassy in Vienna, Austria. The lecture series will be coordinated with and hosted by the University of Graz American Studies Department in Graz, Austria. He will be doing a series of lectures for an assortment of classes and programs at U/Graz, as well as traveling to other universities:
* University of Vienna, Austria, Department of English
* Lecture series (6) at University of Graz, Austria, various departments
* John F. Kennedy Institute for Study of North American Culture, Free
U/of Berlin, Berlin, Germany
* Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic  English and American
Studies Depart. (Speaking at the Moravian National Library)
* University of Zagreb, Croatia English Department
* University of Tuebingen, Germany American Studies Depart.

We will be posting more about his travels when he returns.

Can Israel stay in the Middle East? Ian Lustick speaks on Sept. 22

Ian Lustick, University of Pennsylvania

Ian Lustick, Bess W. Heyman Chair of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss his new paper: