Peace Studies (PCS)

Academic Catalog: 2012–2013

  • Loramy Gerstbauer, Program Director

Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that addresses the origins of violence, war, and social oppression; the conditions for peace; and ultimately, the challenges and methods of implementing nonviolent conflict resolution and social justice. Peace Studies draws knowledge from diverse disciplines to converge on the problem of violence and the promotion of peace in societies and the world

The Peace Studies program strongly recommends study or work abroad for its students to gain international awareness and experience. Many institutions with which Gustavus has an official affiliation offer courses in the areas of peace studies and conflict resolution, which may be substituted for Gustavus courses (up to two) and applied toward the Peace Studies minor.

Students are encouraged to consult with the following faculty who serve as resource persons and advisors in the various disciplines that contribute to the minor in Peace Studies: Loramy Gerstbauer, director (Political Science), Sidonia Alenuma-Nimoh (Education), Thia Cooper (Religion), Seán Easton (Classics), Richard Leitch (Political Science), and Suzanne Wilson (Sociology/Anthropology).

Peace Studies Minor: Five courses chosen in consultation with an advisor in Peace Studies. No more than two of the five courses may be from the same department. They are to be distributed as follows:

  1. PCS-211, Introduction to Peace Studies.
  2. At least one course must be selected from each of the following three tracks. Courses must be taken from at least two departments. When possible, students wanting any of these courses to count toward the minor should notify the instructor at the start of the course.

Track I: Global Justice: International Norms, Institutions, and States
Courses in this track will address the questions: What are the origins of global conflict, whether historical or contemporary, among nation-states or other international factors? How have peace and justice movements evolved in response?

  • E/M-284 Economic Development
  • ENG-281 Postcolonial Literatures
  • GEG-102 World Regional Geography
  • GEG-233 Central America/Caribbean
  • GEG-235 Sub-Saharan Africa
  • HIS-263 Cuba
  • HIS-265 Mexican American History
  • HIS-323 European Minorities
  • HIS-343 America and the Vietnam War
  • POL-130 International Relations
  • POL-250 Politics of Developing Nations
  • POL-340 U.S. Foreign Policy
  • S/A-243 Globalization
  • S/A-270 Ethnic and Religious Conflict

Track II: Theology, Philosophy and Ethics, and Culture
Courses in this track will address the questions: How do competing normative, philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives foster or Impede peace and social justice?

  • COM-257 Intercultural Communication
  • ENG-126 Ethnic American Literature
  • MLC-265 Exploring Intercultural Relations Through Film
  • PHI-102 Racism and Sexism
  • PHI-109 Philosophies of Environment
  • PHI-243 Ethics of Int’l. Development
  • POL-280 Revolution, Resistance & Liberation
  • PSY-336 Humanistic Psychology
  • REL-115 World Religions
  • REL-233 Christian Social Ethics
  • REL-273 Religion and Politics in Latin America
  • REL-373 The Holocaust and Theology
  • REL-383 Liberation Struggles in the 2/3 World
  • S/A-111 Cultural Anthropology

Track III: Social and Historical Issues
Courses in this track will address the questions: In what ways do conflict and Injustice exist In communities, and In what ways are they addressed?

  • GWS-224 Staying Alive, Living on the Margins
  • GWS-236 Women and the Holocaust
  • HIS-160 Introduction to Latin America
  • HIS-23 >African American History
  • HIS-236 American Radicalism
  • HIS-264 Mexican Revolution
  • HIS-334 Civil Rights Movement at Community Level
  • PHI-105 School and Society
  • S/A-113 Social Problems
  • S/A-235 Social Inequality
  • S/A-237 American Minorities
  • S/A-273 Social Welfare
  • T/D-136 Creating Social Justice Theatre
  • T/D-236 Theatre and Society
  1. One course credit selected in consultation with an advisor from the following choices: independent study, study abroad, senior thesis.

211 Introduction to Peace Studies (1 course) This course is about violence and its alternatives. We examine the causes and nature of violence and aggression among individuals, groups and nations. We consider whether there are appropriate uses of violence by weighing the competing claims of just war versus pacifist theories. We explore the meaning of peace, including concepts of negative and positive peace and structural violence as they relate to issues of societal oppression, human rights, and culture. We investigate possibilities of peace, introducing students to conflict resolution literature and skills. SOSCI, Spring semester.