Peace & Conflict Studies First Year Courses

Since its creation in 1970, Colgate’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program has been at the forefront of research and instruction in this interdisciplinary field. The program presents a challenging course of study that integrates trans-disciplinary academic approaches to war and peace with research into specific regional conflicts and their aftermaths. The curriculum offers students a range of opportunities to explore the complex impacts of violence, the challenges of human security, and human rights issues in global perspective. With its regular film and media series, symposia, lectures, and unique electives, the program is actively involved in promoting the study of peace, conflict, and security at Colgate and beyond. After taking advantage of the distinctive combination of faculty and program resources at Colgate, peace and conflict studies majors have pursued successful careers in various international arenas, including law, government, development, journalism, academe, and the private sector.

The Peace and Conflict Studies Program offers both a major and a minor to students looking for an interdisciplinary degree that focuses on key global problems such as war, peace, conflict, violence, aggression, and the role of nonviolence in social change. The core courses deal with peace and conflict at the individual, cultural, and community levels, as well as internationally.

Peace and conflict studies offers a wide choice of courses—both the core peace studies courses and other interdisciplinary courses—as well as selected departmental offerings. Some of the peace and conflict studies courses are cross-listed and offer credit both in the program and in such departments as history, philosophy, political science, religion, and sociology and anthropology. PCON 111 serves as a good introduction to peace and conflict studies.  Each year, peace and conflict studies offers a program on campus of outstanding movies and speakers that is open to all, often linked to classes, and also workshops, exhibitions, and conferences. These are frequently linked to a dialogue about current conflicts both at home and abroad.

A large proportion of peace and conflict studies graduates go on to graduate and professional schools in areas as diverse as peace studies, law, journalism, religion, and the social sciences. PCON faculty frequently help place students in summer internships, including those in Washington and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Graduates also work in non-profit or non-governmental and international organizations concerned with global peace and justice.

Courses

Introduces students to a range of approaches and problems in the descriptive analysis of peace and conflict. Juxtaposes core theoretical texts on war and violence from the social and human sciences with detailed ethnographic case studies. Practices of contemporary conflict are paired with the interpretive paradigms whose aim is to understand and resolve them. For example, case studies in terror are paired with the field of trauma studies; specific regional conflicts with theories of global networks; and contemporary mass violence with analysis of genocide perpetration. Introduces students to important methodological paradigms from the social sciences, chiefly from anthropology, sociology, and geography, as well as humanities-based approaches from comparative religion, literature, and language studies.

U.S. foreign relations from the entry into the Great War to the present. Topics include the unquiet "normalcy" of the 1920s, origins of U.S. participation in the Second World War, the atomic bombs, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, arms control, the end of the Cold War, and the new world of terrorism and conflict. (US)

While the discipline of history is often approached as a collection of static, undisputed facts, the past is constantly re-interpreted and re-written to suit the needs of those living in the present. Far from being an apolitical exercise or a straightforward empirical investigation, history is contested and hijacked by individuals and groups who seek to use it to advance their interests and promote their agendas. History is not only subject to intense and divisive public debates, it frequently appears at the center of both latent and active inter-group conflicts. Through close readings of key texts and hands-on engagement with contemporary case studies, this course aims to provide a broad overview of the politics of history. The scope of the course is global, and the methodological approach is multi-disciplinary, spanning such fields as history, political science, public and international affairs, memory studies, museum studies, and peace and conflict studies. (TR)

Provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of peace and conflict, as well as to the peace and conflict studies major. Focuses on attempts to study and explain the evolution of warfare and the dynamics of peace from the early Modern period to today's most imminent and controversial security issues. Students explore the relationships between global and historical patterns of mass violence, the theoretical paradigms that attempt to account for these patterns, and the various disciplinary and methodological approaches used to explore war and peace at all levels of analysis.

Introduces students to a range of approaches and problems in the descriptive analysis of peace and conflict. Students juxtapose core theoretical texts on war and violence from the social and human sciences with detailed ethnographic case studies. Practices of contemporary conflict are paired with the interpretive paradigms whose aim is to understand and resolve them. For example, case studies in terror are paired with the field of trauma studies; specific regional conflicts with theories of global networks; and contemporary mass violence with analysis of genocide perpetration. In the process, introduces students to important methodological paradigms from the social sciences, chiefly from anthropology, sociology, and geography, as well as humanities-based approaches from comparative religion, literature, and language studies.