08:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast (Great Hall)
09:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Session 11. Talk: “Women’s Participation in Formal Peace Processes: A Study of Northeast India” (Virtual + Stream in Room C102)
Amrita Saikia / Tata Institute of Social Sciences
The UNSCR 1325 emphasizes the importance of women’s role in prevention, management, and resolution of conflicts. Although women’s participation in local, national, and regional peacebuilding initiatives is significant, empirical evidence suggests that women still remain at the periphery as far as participation in formal peace accords is concerned. The study analyzes women’s participation in formal peace processes in Northeast India. It is informed by existing literature and documents such as policy documents and peace accords. A preliminary review of literature reveals that despite women being on the frontlines for peace in Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland, they have been denied a seat at the negotiations table. This absence may be attributed to the marginalization of women in institutional politics (Banerjee, 2008), and women may also be excluded based on their identity, belonging, and citizenship to their groups (Aier, 2017).
Session 12. Talk: “‘We Never Got the Truth’: State Compliance with the Right to Truth and Justice in Northern Ireland” (Virtual + Stream in Room C103)
Lea Rachel Rea / Ulster University
Controversial proposals to address the “legacy of the past” in Northern Ireland were published by the British Government in July 2022 and subsequently were drafted as a Government Bill. The proposals include the introduction of a Statute of Limitations, which would end ongoing criminal investigations and future prosecutions for civilian deaths in Northern Ireland. These proposals disregarded the submissions of victims and survivors, raising questions about the UK’s compliance with its international human rights obligations and domestic political commitments. This session examines the conceptualization of peace without truth and justice, exploring the role of written submissions of victims and survivors in the context of addressing the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland within the international and domestic platforms. It analyses the written submissions within state monitoring cycles and the design of recommendations for states produced by UN Committees, and the evidence submitted to the British Government’s consultation process.
Session 13. Talk: “Guns-Down and Peace-Up: Women’s Peacebuilding Initiatives in Mambilla-Plateau Crises, 2002-2018” (Virtual + Stream in Room C104/105)
Mubarak Tukur / Makarere University
Women in Northern Nigeria have demystified the notion of victimhood to peacebuilders in the conflict situation in Mambilla-Plateau. The Mambilla-Plateau is a town with a rich history of related migration by different ethnic groups at different times. It borders the Republic of Cameroon to the southeast and west. The region has an elevation of 1,830 meters above sea level and is one of the highest and largest mountains in Nigeria with arable land for both farming and grazing. The climate change crises has forced the herders (Fulani) to encroach on the farmer’s land in order to sustain cattle grazing, which has in turn threatened the economic survival of the farmers. This has resulted in conflict and the displacement of thousands of people. This paper will examine the role of women in building peace amidst this tribal tension using a historical methodology exploring the historical trajectories of the crises in the region over two decades.
Session 14. Talk: “An Entombed Church: The Politics of Preservation in Nagorno Karabakh” (Virtual + Stream in Auditorium)
Shant Charoian / Harvard University Graduate School of Design
“An Entombed Church” is a design proposal that addresses two issues: one about expressing a national victory and the other about preserving culture. Set in Nagorno Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, this project is a trojan horse of an existing church that masks itself as a space of celebration for Azerbaijanis while it also protects Kanach Zham, an Armenian church in Shushi. This session highlight the threat Armenian cultural heritage faces in Azerbaijan and presents visual research that demonstrates how we can envision different futures in conflict zones and examine the role of design in these broader topics.
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Session 15. Panel: Contested Narratives of Culture and Conservation (Room C103)
“Politics of Militarized Wildlife Conservation, Conflict, and Pastoralism in Isiolo County, Kenya”
Halkano Boru / University of Notre Dame
Wildlife conservancies are increasing phenomena in Northern Kenya’s counties. Huge chunks of land are designated for conservation of wildlife in what have traditionally been tribal pastoral areas. Establishment of conservancies in pastoral areas have led to inclusion and exclusion and conflicts. Many of these conservancies are run by foreigners and powerful non–state entities, and accessibility to those areas during extreme drought is controlled and limited. Pastoralists, on the other hand, have claimed that the conservancies have interfered with their traditional mobility and see it as a land grab and form of displacement. Trained and armed rangers are deployed to guard the conserved areas, although these rangers are also involved in wildlife and community security. Between the region’s position as a future center of the country’s economic development, which also threatens to dispossess pastoralists of community land, and the commencement of wildlife conservation, an unspoken question must be addressed. Can militarized wildlife conservation co-exist with pastoralism?
“The Enduring Legacy of Nonviolent Resistance Tactics in the Shenandoah National Park Removals”
Hayden Kirwan / University of Notre Dame
Throughout the 1930s, federal and Virginia government officials forced over four hundred families from their land in order to build Shenandoah National Park (SNP). This presentation compares four case studies examining resistance tactics used by those living in the areas claimed through eminent domain. The common understanding of the removal process is that residents resisted peacefully. While true, my research reveals that organized violent action also occurred against the government. Both methods failed, yet the voices of peace have prevailed through both community memory and institutional history. Through the liminal view of the SNP evictions, I analyze why, in certain situations, history (and the US government) remember peaceful resistance over other forms of resistance; and, how the voices of unsuccessful peace movements can still echo in history.
Session 16. Panel: Analyzing Incongruence in International Response (Room C104/105)
“Discrepancies in Protection: 2015 Syrian and 2022 Ukrainian Arrivals in France”
Amber Grimmer / Georgetown University
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the sudden influx of Ukrainians into the European Union quickly exposed a double-standard between the reception of “European” and “non-European” people seeking international protection. Parallels were drawn between the Ukrainian crisis and the 2015 “European Refugee Crisis.” This research project highlights the discrepancies in protection in France between Syrian asylum-seekers between 2015 and 2019 and Ukrainian Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BTPs) in 2022. The research finds significant consequences resulting from the distinction in protection status (asylum applications versus temporary protection), significant differences in material reception conditions and housing, and social discourse. Finally, it analyzes the factors contributing to discrepancies such as changes in EU and French asylum policy, as well as potential racial or religious discrimination contrasting a perceived sense of “European brotherhood” with Ukrainians.
“Africa and the Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Challenges of Neutrality and World Remaking”
Zerihun Kinate / University of Waterloo
The paper aims to investigate the implications for, and impact on, Africa by the recent ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. It interrogates why African states are becoming reluctant to condemn and isolate Russia despite the latter’s action that contravenes international law with its aggression against Ukraine. By applying a historical lens to the problem, this paper tries to analyze why African states are caught in between a failing international and UN system that structurally undermines the continent’s agency. This is coupled with an unprecedented nature of newly emerging international actors by some key geopolitical actors such as China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, etc. that defy the gold standard of international relations and diplomacy. With this growing complexity of non-traditional powers, African states are becoming optionless and reluctant to pursue strictly a nonalignment policy. This has strategically complicated the role and ability of African states to make a rational policy choice.
11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 17. Talk: “Childhood Cancer and Child Life” (Room C102)
Taylor Collard / Saint Norbert College
This session critically examines the resources currently provided to those dealing with childhood cancer and how that impacts their resulting trauma. A great deal of current discussion around childhood cancer focuses on the current state of cancer research into the disease itself. While extremely important, the paper suggests that we simultaneously need to develop and support programs aimed at supporting the mental and material well-being of those with childhood cancer and their caretakers throughout the various stages of their treatment process. In particular, it will highlight the important role Child Life Specialists play in helping children and caretakers develop coping skills that can minimize the adverse effects of extensive illness and hospitalization at such a young age. The research draws on both empirical research, philosophical literature, and the presenter’s own life, and will argue that this program should be available to all affected by childhood cancer.
Session 18. Talk: “Understanding Narratives in the Farmer-Herder Conflicts of Nigeria’s Middle Belt” (Room C103)
Jennifer Eburuoh / University of Notre Dame
Narratives are central to understanding one’s reality. The term “conflict” has inherently social and historical undertones, and understanding conflicts requires an investigation into the interests and motivations of different actors and how these are influenced by local perceptions of historical events and social realities. This session will discern the narratives that shape discussions of farmer-herder conflicts in the Middle Belt of Nigeria and the social and historical realities that influence these narratives. Specifically, it will present a socio-historical analysis of perceptions of the drivers of violence held by 22 local stakeholders from the affected states of Kaduna and Plateau, identifying three themes that emerged in characterizations of farmer-herder conflicts in the Middle Belt: the ambiguity of land scarcity and mismanagement as a driver of violence, the relationship between mistrust and ethnoreligious differences, and the debate regarding the rights of indigenes and settlers. Ultimately, the session will highlight the implications of these narratives on local discourses of peace and the development of social relations in the Middle Belt.
12:00 PM – 05:00 PM
The main exhibits of these two projects are currently at the South Bend Museum of Art, located at 120 South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown South Bend. Admission is free. Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm.
In addition, a digital version of each project is available here in the conference app and samples of artist work will be on display in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.
Exhibit 1. “Design is Not Neutral: A Feminist Approach to Design Pedagogy” (South Bend Museum of Art + Great Hall)
Grace Hamilton / University of Notre Dame
Historically, the field of design is exclusionary. Classrooms are often led by professors who are overwhelmingly white and male, which can perpetuate the same oppressive perspective of white patriarchy entrenched in the broader visual culture. This project began with Design is Not Neutral, a podcast that investigates how a feminist approach can be used to develop anti-patriarchal and anti-capitalist design pedagogy. From the podcast, a poster series was designed that highlights the experiences of featured guests, followed by a website and social media. The project thus aims to create a more accessible and diverse repository of resources on design pedagogy for individual educators, which benefits design education by disrupting the dominant ideologies that promote gendered inequalities.
Exhibit 2. “RESTORE/RECLAIM” (South Bend Museum of Art + Great Hall)
Geneva Hutchinson / University of Notre Dame
RESTORE/RECLAIM is the presenter’s response to their upbringing as a southern, Christian, pastor’s daughter. The work navigates the complexities of being raised within purity culture, healing from sexual trauma, and responding to spiritual and physical abuse within the church. Through frameworks provided by trauma theorists and feminist artists, the presenter is working towards reclaiming their own power through artistic creation.
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch (Nanovic Forum, Jenkins Nanovic Halls)
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Session 19. Talk: “Building Solidarity through Shared Histories” (Room C102)
Hiteshree Das / Harvard University Graduate School of Design
The role of ulterior construction of history in perpetuating religious and social conflict is central to the question of who has the authority to create public narratives that serve as public knowledge over time. Authoritarian construction of narratives has fueled propaganda and created blind spots in history, which has led to information asymmetry. Results of such propaganda and information asymmetry are visible in trickle-down effects, as seen in war, prolonged conflict, indoctrination, racial injustice, urban divisions, social disparities and an individualistic society. This session explores the possibility of creating avenues for the public to realize agency and shape their own narratives, thus contributing to a shared public knowledge. How might this revised process affect individual and communal identity, memory and human relationships? Can these shared histories and knowledge systems be utilized to connect the public? Could such connections build emotional solidarity and thereby improve empathy, communication and care? What implications would reconstruction of the public knowledge system have for education, infrastructure, public health, and governance?
Session 20. Talk: “Coercion & Conditioned Consent: Social-Autonomy During the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi” (Room C103)
Lina Abdellatif / University of Notre Dame
This session explores the role social autonomy and group dynamics played in mass participation during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi. Using external and internal resources through desk research and interviews, the paper utilizes a subaltern frame to identify self-autonomy through a Rwandan lens and compare it to the situation fomenting the genocide. Following the impacts of colonization on Rwandan self-identity, agency, and autonomy, the presenter found that the concept of relational autonomy, present in pre-colonial Rwanda, misconstrued the hierarchy and transmission of role-related agency in Rwanda. The oppressive political system conditioned individuals into consenting to participate. This participation was morally reinforced by groups through social embeddedness, and kill groups served to reconstitute former normative frameworks and adapt others to the social reality of the genocide through a misconstrued process of relational autonomy. With the reconstitution of frameworks came the outcome of a relationally-embedded moral code that informed agency and rational thought.
Session 21. Talk: “Fighting Against Climate Change to Build Positive Peace in Sudan” (Room C104/105)
Zhen (Bryan) Li / New York University
The effects of climate change exacerbate the violent situation in Sudan, including erratic rainfall, longer dry spells, and more frequent floods, which shortens sharply the supply of economic resources that can meet basic human basic needs. Relying on a consideration of the consequences of climate change in peacebuilding, this session will explore how combating climate change can contribute to peacebuilding in Sudan. The proposed intervention is an intersectional panel that combines both top-down government-led initiatives to build stability and bottom-up civil society initiatives to build both negative and positive peace and to decolonize peacebuilding in Sudan. The session is based on a theory of environmental peacebuilding that sees environmental challenges encountered by parties in conflict as opportunities for cooperation and peace. With a one-way fixed effects model data analysis, it shows that combating climate change can contribute to peacebuilding.
3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Session 22. Panel: “Case Studies in Catholic Peacebuilding” (Room C102)
Moderator: Joachim Ozonze / University of Notre Dame
“A Bishop in a War Zone: Mamza, Boko Haram, and the Moral Imagination of Peace in North-East Nigeria”
Emmanuel Ojeifo / University of Notre Dame
This session explores the peacebuilding efforts of Stephen Mamza, the Catholic bishop of Yola in
north-east Nigeria, at the height of the terror perpetrated by Boko Haram. Between 2014 and 2019, Mamza opened several of his diocesan facilities (cathedral, pastoral centre, catechetical training centre, and primary school) to accommodate over 5000 persons–Christians and Muslims alike–who were displaced by from their communities by Boko Haram. The bishop spent these years ministering to the displaced persons, attending to their medical healthcare needs, and providing food and relief materials to 7,500 families fortnightly. His peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts culminated in 2020 with the building of eighty-six housing units to resettle many displaced persons who had nowhere to return, including a mosque for the Muslims. This paper critically engages Mamza’s experiences under Boko Haram occupation and how he became a courageous prophetic figure of peace in an environment of violence, death, trauma, and social dislocation.
“Addressing Mining-Related Conflict through Catholic Social Teaching”
Meredith Meyer / University of Notre Dame
The introduction of mining into a community often has detrimental effects on its autonomy, economy, natural resources, and human rights, which in turn cause tensions that lead to violent conflict and war. At this current stage in the world’s industrialization, it is unreasonable to ban mining completely and thus necessary to delineate ethical and effective approaches that avoid creating or exacerbating violent conflict and instead work to promote human dignity and the common good. This session explores how the Catholic Church can play an effective peacebuilding role in mining-related conflict as a trusted advocate for the marginalized, a pastoral presence for those in conflict, and ethical guide for decision-makers. It views mining issues through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, which provides an ethical framework within which all actors should operate in order to ensure a peaceful relationship between citizens, public authorities, and those in the mining industry.
“‘Not much[…]makes any sense outside of God’: Homeboy Industries as Catholic Peacebuilding”
Meredith Wilson / University of Notre Dame
Homeboy Industries, founded by Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle, is the world’s largest gang rehabilitation and prison reentry organization. The organization strives to make communities safer by decreasing incidents of direct violence and aims to honor the dignity of formerly incarcerated people by addressing the structural violences they face in reentry. This presentation examines why, despite being officially religiously non-affiliated, Homeboy Industries may be understood as an example of Catholic peacebuilding and how its Catholic ethos facilitates organizational success. In particular, it contends that the organization’s focus on Catholic values (like love, mercy, and subsidiarity) and Catholic aims (like reconciliation, redemption, and restorative justice) render the organization both distinctly Catholic and particularly effective. Finally, it suggests that the organization’s religious non-affiliation may help it appeal to a broader base of potential clients (and donors), proposing that Homeboy Industries offers a valuable case study in culturally-sensitive and contextually-responsive Catholic peacebuilding.
Session 23. Panel: “Just Alternatives: Building Resilient Communities to Meet New Challenges” (Room C103)
Moderators: Kendall Brown & Katy Gray Brown / Manchester University
This panel will explore various types of resiliency in different communities, from connecting impoverished residents with emerging job fields in Washington DC to anti-segregationist Christian experiments in rural Georgia and the agricultural fields of Immokalee. Drawing upon understandings gained through research and experiential education, panelists will describe measures that diverse communities have taken to help them endure social, economic, and environmental struggles. The presentations will describe a range of collective responses that demonstrate varied assumptions, strategies, and goals, and will consider and compare the strengths and shortcomings of these examples alongside the personal impact of the panelists’ experiences with these sites.
“Green Luxury: Containing Visions for Sustainable Living”
Sam Hupp / Manchester University
“Oasis in the Desert: Partnering for Renewable Foodscapes”
Trey Hicks / Manchester University
“The Farmworkers of Immokalee: Models for Collective Change”
Libby Kreps / Manchester University
“Using GIS to Expand Poverty Resources in Washington D.C.”
Shayla Welch / Manchester University
Session 24. Panel: Realizations of a More Inclusive Peace (Room C104/105)
“Peace as Personhood: The Disabled Perspective on the Prospect of Peace”
Mikayla Martin / University of San Diego
The potential for peace is found at the root of human personhood. Using phenomenologist Michel Henry’s transcendental affectivity, the panelist developed an accessible agency based on the disabled experience, founded on the presence of the other in the self. The presentation will also discuss how, in the development of this agency, they encountered a previous capable agency that excludes people with disabilities from being agential. This new accessible agency is a generative source of peace through demonstrating a need of the other and an interdependence with the other. The session uses the disabled experience to problematize the historically oppressive and violent past agency and to demonstrate how many people already live in relationships marked by this new, peace-generative agency.
“The Representation of Women of Color in Peacebuilding, Diplomacy, and Policy”
Andrea Fuentes / Saint Norbert College
Women of color often face unique challenges and discrimination in global conversations and decision-making. Their perspectives and experiences need to be included and valued to achieve a more equitable and just society when in reality women of color are often harmed and targeted in times of crisis and conflict. This change can be achieved through initiatives such as increasing the representation of women of color, providing resources to support their participation in global conversations, and actively seeking out and amplifying their voices. The organization WCAPS (Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Resolution) gives women of color the platform to make effective changes in our world. In this presentation, I will discuss why it is so important to have more women of color involved in global conversations and how WCAPS makes this possible.
“Queering the Language of Peacebuilding: Bosniak, Croat, and Serb Perceptions of Social Justice“ (CANCELLED)
Mehmet Yavuz / University of Manitoba
In 1995, after the three-year war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia finally signed the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) in 1995, thereby ending one of Europe’s most violent conflicts. Although the DPA provided a significant opportunity for communities to construct a new state based on the rule of law, freedom, democracy, and human rights, it failed to create a united civic identity and a well-functioning state with strong democratic policies and the ability to protect people’s human rights. The new generation of youth face unemployment, exclusion, lack of educational opportunities, and poor economic and political conditions while they are asked to build intergroup peace and coexist together. In post-accord peacebuilding in BiH, marginalized communities like 2SLGBTQIA* community, the disabled community, youth, and women are often excluded, and their peacebuilding efforts are ignored. This paper empirically explores 43 BiH queer individuals’ understanding of 1) 2SLGBTQIA+ members’ images of peacebuilding and social justice, 2) the role of queer activism, and 3) the impact of the DPA on queer communities.
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Session 25. Roundtable: “Adaptive Cooperation for Placemaking in Conflict-Affected Contexts” (Room C102)
Cristina Davila Gonzalez / Harvard University Graduate School of Design
In most collective imaginations across the globe, the international community is seen as a figure of versatility, resources, common values around cooperation, and mobilization. Nevertheless, in the context of today’s dynamic and ever-changing global realities, the international development community faces an unprecedented set of challenges in recognizing its commitments to cooperation and assistance across hemispheres. For almost a century, the international development community has consolidated a network of nations, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, and programs into an important presence with significant impact on life as we know it. However, alongside these fostered spaces for reinvention are also tensions, as contrasting perspectives around the production of space and the deployment of aid in it have generated patterns of development partnerships based on financial dependency that compromise development as a tool for future autonomy. Through the analysis and overview of three case studies in conflict-affected areas across rural and urban areas of the Global South, this discussion presents a series of guiding principles, features, and components of response programs and reflects on potential courses of innovative multilateral action.
Session 26. Roundtable: “The Silence of Oppression: Israel/Palestine and Palestinian College Students’ Freedom of Expression” (Room C103)
Miriam Bethencourt & Mary Kate Godfrey / University of Notre Dame
Article Nineteen of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” However, at Bethlehem University in Palestine, students often find that their own experiences differ measurably from the right stated in the Declaration. Student testimonies, obtained through a survey conducted in the university’s “Democracy, Human Rights, and International Law” course, offer insights into the ways Palestinian youth experience limitations to their freedom of speech as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the ways in which they voice their opinions. This discussion will engage with the students’ statements directly to better understand the state of freedom of opinion and expression in Palestine, and it will explore avenues for speaking and building peace in the area. Survey responses are complemented with external resources to correctly inform and guide the discussion.
Session 27. Roundtable: “Women and Conflict: Women are Deprived of their Fundamental Rights due to Conflicts in Afghanistan” (Room C104/105)
Bahara Hussaini / University of Massachusetts Lowell
This discussion will explore the impact of conflict on women in Afghanistan, focusing primarily on the impact of the Taliban regime on Afghan women from August 2021 to 2022. It will highlight research showing the status of women in the peace process represented by the United States and the Intra-Afghan Negotiations and discuss how political policies during peace negotiations affect those who do not have a real voice at the table. Finally, it will reflect on the importance of womens’ true voices in the peace process and advocate for the basic rights of Afghan women.
05:45 PM – 06:00 PM
Session 28. Closing Remarks (Auditorium)
Allison Doctor & Jennifer Eburuoh / University of Notre Dame
The 2023 Conference Chairs will share their impressions and key takeaways from the conference and offer closing thoughts.