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Special Events, Films, and Lectures

We host a number of events, films, and speakers on campus to supplement and further explore the themes of war, peace, violence, human rights, and reconciliation that we study in the course of our curriculum.

Livestream: Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide

About the event

This event examines Rwanda’s social, political and economic successes and challenges since the 1994 genocide while also looking back in Rwandan history to ask if the ruling RPF will be able to escape the country’s legacy of mass political violence and genocide. Messrs. Himbara, Sebarenzi and Twagiramungu are Rwandans, now exiled from the country. As such, they bring an interesting and novel perspectives to the question of where has Rwanda been and where is it going, as few Rwandans are able and willing to speak out against the current government.

David Himbara was the Principal Private Secretary to Rwandan President from 2000-2002, and Head of Strategy & Policy Unit, President's Office from 2006-Jan 2010. He is author of Kenyan Capitalists, the State & Development (Lynne Rienner, 1994). Joseph Sebarenzi is the former speaker of the Rwandan Parliament, and is author of God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation (Atria, 2009) Noel Twagiramungu is the former general secretary for the Rwandan League for Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, and author of Tanzania’s Good Offices and the Divergent Peace Processes of Rwanda and Burundi (forthcoming).



Lecture Series

Lecture Series - Fall 2014

Hot Spots: War and Crisis in the World Right Now
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 6pm - Lawrence Hall 105

An open conversation with Peace and Conflict Studies Faculty

Sixth Annual Peter C. Schaehrer Lecture
Dr. Fredrik Logevall: "The Meaning of the Vietnam War"

Thursday, Sept. 18, 7:30pm - Love Auditorium

Dr. Fredrik Logevall, Anbinder Professor of History, Vice Provost for International Affairs, and Director of the Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University. Author of Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam which received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History and the 2013 Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians, among other awards.

Reporter - Screening of the film Reporter, followed by Q&A with Eric Metzgar, Director
Monday, Sept. 29, 7pm - Love Auditorium

As much or more than any journalist of our generation, Nicholas Kristof's reporting embodies these words, using individual stories to bring the suffering of millions of Africans to the attention of the world.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, Krisof's assignment has taken him to central Africa, chronicled by filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar. As Kristof trudges across the rural landscape and up an incline leading to a village, Metzgar notes that Kristof is here with one objective: "To make you care about what's going on just over the hill." The film provides ample images to reinforce Kristof's mission: to bring the plight in the Congo to his reader's consciousness by telling stories of individual men, women and children whose lives are on the brink because of the ongoing Tutsi/Hutu conflict.


Dr. Kate Brown
Thursday, Oct. 9, 7pm - Golden Auditorium

Kate Brown is an Associate Professor of History at UMBC. She is the author of A Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Borderland to Soviet Heartland (Harvard 2004) which won a handful of prizes including the American Historical Association’s George Louis Beer Prize for the Best Book in International European History. Brown’s Plutopia: Nuclear Families in Atomic Cities and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters appeared in 2013 with Oxford University Press. Plutopia won the the 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) and the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH).
Lecture Series - Spring 2014
"Women and Postconflict Politics in Africa: Possibilities and Paradoxes"
Catharine Newbury
Thur. February 13, 11:30 a.m. - Women Studies Lounge

Catharine Newbury is Emerita Professor of African Studies at Smith College and author of The Cohesion of Oppression: Clientship and Ethnicity in Rwanda, 1860-1960 (1988) and many articles.  Her talk will address women's involvement in transitions from conflict to democracy, drawing on the cases of Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa.  It examines the assumption, common to many Western observers, that greater formal representation of women in Africa substantially increases gender equity.

"National Myths: Truth Telling and the Writing of History in the Israel-Palestine Conflict"
Hillel Cohen
 Monday February 17, 4:30 p.m. - Persson Auditorium 

Anyone who reads accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot but be intrigued by the contradicting narratives of violent events as told by historians from different parties. While it is hardly surprising that competing national movements produce competing narratives of the conflict between them, still it raises questions in regard to the motivations of historians to write in a certain way, to their epistemological limits and to the role of the historian in times of conflict. In this lecture, Hillel Cohen focuses on the historiography of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, analyzing the tension between national commitment and the historian's commitment to the 'truth'. Historian by training and an ethnographer, Cohen wrote extensively on different aspects of the Zionist-Arab encounter from late Ottoman period to present. Among his books Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism 1917-1948 and Good Arabs: Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs.


"From Godzilla to Sponge Bob: The Cultural Fallout of US Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands"
Holly Barker

Monday, February 24, 7:00 p.m. - Love Auditorium

The US Government has long used the Marshall Islands as a testing ground for its newest military technology. Ground zero for 67 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War, the nation of the Marshall Islands continues to host testing of the US missile defense system. For decades, the US Government has covered up or minimized the adverse consequences of US military activities on the Marshallese people and their environment. This talk highlights how popular culture fails to challenge the US Government narrative and contributes to erasing the harms of militarization.
Anthropologist Holly M. Barker, author of Bravo for the Marshallese: Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, Post-Colonial World (2012), was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Marshall Islands from 1988 to 1990. After a brief stint with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she served at the embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands until 2008. She has represented the Republic of the Marshall Islands at community, national, bilateral, and international forums, including conferences at the United Nations. Dr. Barker is Curator for Pacific and Asian Ethnology at the Burke Museum and Lecturer in the Anthropology Department at the University of Washington.



"The Power of Violent Display:Comparing Lethal Episodes from Bosnia, Rwanda, and the US"
Lee Ann Fujii

Wednesday, March 5, 7:00 p.m. - Persson Auditorium

She is the author of Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda (Cornell University Press, 2009) and is currently researching her second book, which is on local involvement in violence in three very different sites of killing (Bosnia, Rwanda, and the United States). Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Peace Research, Security Studies, and PS: Politics and Political Science. Her work has been supported by the Connaught New Researcher Program, SSRC, the United States Institute of Peace, Fulbright, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, and two Dilthey faculty grants from the George Washington University. She is a current holder of a Russell Sage Foundation Fellowship and a Ford Fellowship. Prior to joining UTM, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and program coordinator in the Women’s Leadership Program at the George Washington University.

"Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War"
Douglas Porch

Monday, March 10, 7:00 p.m. - Persson Auditorium

A decade of military occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq has revived historical debates about the costs of operations designed to eliminate guerrillas and build nations. Douglas Porch's sweeping history of counterinsurgency challenges the myth that is a humane and effective way of war. The reality, he reveals, is that these campaigns shatter and divide societies and unsettled civil-military relations.

"20th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide Roundtable"
Monday, April 7, 7:00 p.m. - Love Auditorium

20th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide Roundtable with President Jeffrey Hebrst, Prof. Susan Thomson (Peace and Conflict Studies), and Noel Twagiramungu.

This event examines Rwanda's social, political and economic successes and challenges since the 1994 genocide while looking back in Rwandan history to ask if the ruling RPF will be able to escape the country's legacy of mass political violence and genocide. Mister Twagiramungu is Rwandan, exiled from the country. As such, he brings an interesting and novel perspective to the question of where has Rwanda been and where is it going, as few Rwandans are able and willing to speak out against the current government.

Lecture Series - Fall 2013

"The U.S. Response to Events in Syria: A Panel Discussion"
Thur. Sept. 12, 11:30 am - 101 Ho Science Center

Peace and Conflict Studies and Middle Eastern Studies present a moderated panel to discuss the United States' response to the current events in Syria.

Panelists will include:

Tim Byrnes, Professor of Political Science
Noor Khan, Associate Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies
Daniel Monk, Cooley Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies, Professor of Geography
Bruce Rutherford, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, Middle Eastern Studies
Moderator: Andrew Rotter, Dana Professor of History and Director, Peace and Conflict Studies


Dr. Erica Chenoweth
Thursday, Oct. 3, 7:30pm - Love Auditorium

Dr. Chenoweth is co-winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, for her 2011 book co-authored with Maria Stephan Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict (Columbia University Press). She is assistant professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and directs that school’s Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research. She has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and the University of California-Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies

Lecture Series - Spring 2013

"Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Political Aesthetics of Protest Movement in the Arab Spring"
Mark LeVine
Monday February 11, 7:00 p.m. - Love Auditorium

Mark LeVine is Professor of History at UC Irvine and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for MES at Lund University, Sweden. He's the author and editor of numerous books including Heavy Metal Islam (Random House), Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel (UC Press) and the forthcoming The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh (UC Press). LeVine is a senior columnist at al-Jazeera English and a professional musician whose work includes the Grammy -winning Street Signs album by Ozomatli and numerous recordings and performances with artists across the Arab/Muslim world, from Morocco to Pakistan.


"Women and Peacebuilding: Lessons Learned from Post-Genocide Rwanda"
Jennie Burnet

Monday March 4th, 7:00 p.m. - Love Auditorium

Jennie E. Burnet is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Louisville. Her research focuses on women’s roles in peace-building and democratization and on the long-term consequences of gender-based violence in conflict. Her book, Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory & Silence in Rwanda, was published in 2012 by the University of Wisconsin Press. Her research has appeared in Politics & Gender, African Affairs, and African Studies Review.

Lecture Series - Fall 2012

Michael Klare
Mon. Sept. 24, 7:30 pm - Love Auditorium

Michael Klare, Five College professor of Peace and World Security Studies, and director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), holds a B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the Union Institute. He has written widely on U.S. military policy, international peace and security affairs, the global arms trade, and global resource politics.

He serves on the board of the Arms Control Association and advises other organizations in the field.


Joy Gordon: "Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions"
Thurs. Oct. 11, 7:00 pm - Love Auditorium, Olin Hall

Joy Gordon is Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University. She has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University, and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She has published articles in Le Monde Diplmatique, Global Governance, Harper's, The Atlantic, Ethics and International Affairs, Arab Studies Quarterly, and the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, in addition to her book, Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions (Harvard University Press, 2010). The 2012 Peter C. Schaehrer Memorial Lecture.


Film Series

Film Series – Spring 2013

January 28
First Kill, Directed by Coco Schrijber
2002, 52 minutes

What is the psychology of war? Do soldiers become murderers when they enjoy killing? Is war beautiful? Are all humans capable of monstrous acts? First Kill examines these and other questions, as it explores what war does to the human mind and soul. Interviews with several Vietnam veterans evoke the contradictory feelings that killing produces — fear, hate, seduction, and pleasure. Director Coco Schrijber juxtaposes confessional testimonies with images of Vietnamese, Americans, and others who now visit the former killing fields as tourist sites, conveying people's fascination with war and its memory.


February 4
The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, Directed by Lisa F. Jackson

2008, 76 minutes

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo is concerned with survivors of rape in the regions affected by ongoing conflicts stemming from the Second Congo War. Central to the film are moving interviews with the survivors themselves, as well as interviews with self-confessed rapist soldiers. The Greatest Silence was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize and won a Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. It was also nominated for two News & Documentary Emmy Awards in 2009.


February 18
Wooden Crosses (Les Croix de Bois), Directed by Raymond Bernard

1932, 110 minutes
Hailed by the New York Times on its Paris release as “one of the great films in motion picture history,” Raymond Bernard’s Wooden Crosses, France’s answer to All Quiet on the Western Front, still stuns with its depiction of the travails of one French regiment during World War I. Using a masterful arsenal of film techniques, from haunting matte paintings to jarring documentary-like camerawork in the film’s battle sequences, Bernard created a pacifist work of enormous empathy and chilling despair. No one who has ever seen this technical and emotional powerhouse has been able to forget it.


February 25

The Danube Exodus, Directed by Peter Forgacs
1998, 60 minutes
Oxygen, Directed by Adina Pintilie
2010, 40 minutes




This double screening is programmed in conjunction with “The Black and Blue Danube Symposium” taking place at Colgate University on March 2, 2013. For The Danube Exodus, director Forgács found amateur footage made by a Danube riverboat captain during World War II, and documenting the attempt of Slovak and Austrian Jews to travel down the Danube and reach Palestine. Forgács provides context for the images in the voiceover, and joins this footage with some the captain shot of Bessarabian Germans being forced to repatriate to Germany by the Third Reich. The film starts off slowly, but by its midpoint is absolutely fascinating and absorbing. Oxygen is an experimental fiction piece by young filmmaker Adina Pintile. It sketches a portrait of Romanian despair. The Danube seems a tantalizing route of escape, but becomes an uncrossable boundary in the film. Please join us for discussion of the films after the screenings.


March 18
Atomic Mom, Directed by M.T. Silva

2010, 87 minutes

Atomic Mom lifts the veil on a part of U.S. history that not many know of and those who do, do not want to remember. Pauline Silvia, a Navy biologist in the 1950’s conducted experiments for the U.S. Atomic Testing Program at the Nevada Test site. After 50 years, Pauline breaks her silence to talk to her daughter, filmmaker M.T. Silvia, about these experiments and why they haunt her still today.


March 25
Nuclear Savage, Directed by Adam Jonas Horowitz

2011, 87 minutes

A shocking political expose, and an intimate ethnographic portrait of Pacific Islanders struggling for survival, dignity, and justice after decades of top-secret human radiation experiments conducted on them by the U.S. government.

April 1
Big Lebowski, Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

1998, 117 minutes
Screening in the Ho Tung Visualization Lab

Join the Dude and PCON for our 9th annual Big Lebowski Fest! The Dude, an unemployed LA slacker and avid bowler is mistaken for a millionaire named Jeffery Lebowski. After his favorite rug is desecrated, The Dude seeks compensation and events, both tragic and comedic, unfold. PCON Professor Daniel Monk touts it as the most profound anti-war movie of our generation.


April 29
Armadillo, Directed by Janus Metz Pedersen

2010, 105 minutes

In 2009, a group of Danish soldiers accompanied by documentary filmmaker Janus Metz arrived at Armadillo, an army base in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Metz and cameraman Lars Skree spent six months following the lives of young soldiers situated less than a kilometer away from Taliban positions. The outcome of their work is a gripping and highly authentic war drama that was justly awarded the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes film festival, and provoked furious debate in Denmark concerning the controversial behavior of certain Danish soldiers during a shootout with Taliban Fighters.

Film Series - Fall 2012

September 10
The Assads' Twilight,  Directed by Vincent de Cointet and Christophe Ayad
The Assads’ Twilight is a history of the Assad regime, from its origins to its teetering, possibly final days in 2011. The filmmakers recount the history of the regime and the region — including the tortured and troubled history of Syrian involvement in Lebanon. The film uses archival footage, as well as the testimony and analysis of members of the U.S. and Israeli security establishment, key politicians, dissidents, and political scientists. Highly recommended, with Anthropology Review writing "An important and timely film...Anyone who intends to give an opinion on American or Western policy toward Syria should watch this film first." 

A Flood in Baath Country, Directed by Omar Amiralay
Syrian documentary maker Omar Amiralay was a great champion of modernization in his country. He devoted his first film to the construction of the Tabqa dam spanning the Euphrates — a triumph for the ruling Baath party. The second part, Everyday Life in a Syrian Village, won the 1976 Interfilm Award — Otto Dibelius Film Award in Berlin. In this third film of the trilogy, Amiralay returns to the region and its village of el-Machi near Lake Assad, where he examines the impact of 40 years of Baath rule. A Flood in Baath Country chronicles both the effects of the Tabqa dam on the local inhabitants and the director’s own change of opinion about modernization in Syria. 

October 1
The Interrupters, Directed by Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz
From producer/director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and author-turned-producer Alex Kotlowitz (There are No Children Here), The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising story of three “violence interrupters” in Chicago who with bravado, humility, and even humor try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed. An official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and winner for best documentary at the Miami and Minneapolis Film Festivals, this film follows Ameena, Cobe, and Eddie as they go about their work and, while doing so, reveals their own inspired journeys of hope and redemption.

October 15
Qarantina, Directed by Oday Rasheed

From Iraqi filmmaker Oday Rasheed comes a film about a broken family under an incestuous patriarch who take on a mysterious boarder. Rasheed gorgeously captures today’s Baghdad, a moody and colorful place in the grip of a brooding listlessness. This stunned atmosphere is furthered by the performances of the formidable cast, who suggest unexpected sources of resilience in the wake of catastrophe. In the end, each character's future unfolds as a direct result of their flaws or undertakings. Screened by MoMA, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the San Francisco Film Society, this film is an important glimpse into life where bombs and gunfire have become part of the urban landscape.

October 29
El Velador (The Night Watchman), Directed by Natalia Almada
Award-winning director Natalia Almada returns with a beautiful and mesmerizing new film. From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead. Official Selection, 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. 

November 12
Grey Matter, Directed by Kivu Ruhoarahoza
From Kivu Ruhorahoza comes the first feature-length film from Rwanda written, directed, and produced by a Rwandan. Grey Matter (Matière Grise) tells the story of a young Rwandan filmmaker trying to make his first feature about madness. The film gives a rare narrative insight into the “burden of surviving” for multiple sectors of the Rwandan population, as well as offering a unique view into the nature of political violence. Debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011 and headlining the part of the touring film exhibition project, Global Lens 2012, conceived to encourage filmmaking in countries with emerging film communities.

November 26
INVISIBLE WAR, Directed by Kirby Dick

From Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated; Twist of Faith) comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best kept secrets, the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem-today: a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. Called ”shocking and important” by Entertainment Weekly and winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award in 2012.


Archive of Past Event Posters

Special Events

Our students and faculty frequently participate in special workshops and events, both at Colgate and at other institutions, that are targeted at expanding upon our studies and understandings of curricular themes in peace and conflict studies. Here are some examples of past special events:
In addition, each year Colgate hosts the Peter C. Schaehrer '65 Memorial Lecture Series, which brings challenging and insightful speakers to campus to spur discussion on campus and within the program. Learn more about the lecture series.