The Minor

 Peace Studies Minor

Coordinator: Laura Rediehs, Associate Professor, Philosophy

Advisory Board: Professor Eve Stoddard (global studies); Associate Professor Donna Alvah (history); Assistant Professor Christopher Buck (government); Chaplain Kathleen Buckley.

Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary field of studies whose purpose is to investigate a variety of concepts of peace and to explore the potential for nonviolent methods of building social, political and economic justice.

In a world in which it is increasingly clear that military responses to conflict are tremendously costly and destructive, both in terms of human lives and in economic terms, and during a time when more and more people are becoming aware that the effectiveness of military and other violent approaches to problem-solving is extremely limited, it is imperative for more people to learn about alternative approaches to dealing with conflict.

Fortunately, there are many instances in history that demonstrate the effectiveness of nonviolent methods of resolving conflict. Advocates of peacemaking and nonviolence have developed theories and methods, and have tested them in practice, at all levels of human interaction, from interpersonal conflicts to ethnic tensions to international disputes. The academic field of peace studies is well established.

The purpose of the peace studies minor is to study the basic concepts and methods of analysis that shape the field of peace studies. Researchers from a variety of disciplines, including, for example, philosophy, religious studies, political science and social theory, have developed theories of nonviolent transformation; activists have tested these theories in practice. Students who choose this minor study these theories and methods and also examine some of the deep and rich and sometimes forgotten history of nonviolent social change, which provides material for further analysis. Students engage in critical reflection, comparing the efficacy of violence and nonviolence in addressing conflicts at all levels, from the interpersonal level to the level of international disputes.

Minor Requirements

A minor in peace studies consists of at least five courses, including Peace Studies 100; three or more courses cross-listed from other academic departments and programs; and either Peace Studies 400 or Peace Studies 410.

Students must complete the cross-listed courses after taking 100 and before taking 400 or 410. In rare cases, and with the approval of the program coordinator, a student may take one cross-listed course concurrently with 100 if the student is already clear that he or she intends to minor in peace studies and consults with the program coordinator and instructor of 100 early in the semester. Also in rare cases, and with the approval of the program coordinator, a student may take his or her cross-listed courses concurrently with 400 or 410. In general, however, students take the three cross-listed courses between the introductory course and the capstone course.

No more than one of these cross-listed courses should be a course that counts for the student’s major(s) (or other minor, if relevant). Students who intend to minor in peace studies should meet with the program coordinator to plan a set of cross-listed courses that complements their interests in a meaningful way. Some students may focus on a particular peace studies angle: international issues with a focus on a particular conflict, for example. Others may wish for a more broad-based background, choosing an array of courses that helps them gain a wider and interdisciplinary perspective on peace issues.

Minors must keep portfolios of their work in all courses intended for their minor, and are expected to keep in regular touch with the program coordinator about their progress through the minor.


100.    Introduction to Peace Studies.

The purpose of peace studies is to explore the potential for nonviolent methods of building social, political and economic justice. This course intentionally searches for alternative ways of understanding conflict. We will ask questions such as, Can we define “peace” in more positive terms than the unrealistic “absence of conflict”? Can conflict be positive or even transformative? Are “peacemakers” different from the rest of us? Can we all learn to live harmoniously with others who are very different from us? What are ways to cultivate the inner peace that gives people the strength and insight to deal with conflict creatively and positively?  This course satisfies the Diversity requirement. Also offered as Philosophy 120.

400.    Peace Studies Capstone Seminar.

This course is intended to provide an opportunity for peace studies minors to integrate what they have learned in all of the courses that they have taken for their minor. Students re-examine what they learned in these courses, making connections to important peace studies concepts; design integrative projects that draw from and extend those studies; and share their work with each other throughout the course. Prerequisite: Peace Studies 100. Limited to peace studies minors.

410.    Peace Studies Capstone Independent Study.

If a student must take the capstone seminar in a semester during which it is not offered, he or she may take the course as an independent study under supervision of a faculty member.

Departmental Offerings


102. Cultural Anthropology.
420.  SYE: Views of Human Nature.

Art and Art History

217. Buddhist Art and Ritual.

Asian Studies

History 106. Modern Asia.
History 292. Revolutionary China.

Canadian Studies

201.    Canadian-American Relations.

Caribbean and Latin American Studies

History 234. Modern Latin America.
Global Studies 250. La Frontera: Cultural Identities on the Mexican-U.S. Borderland.


100.    Introduction to Economics.
234.    Comparative Economies.
236.    Globalization Issues: Equity, the Environment and Economic Growth.


203.    Contemporary Issues in American Education.

Environmental Studies

124.    Dirty Business and the Environment. (Dual-listed in Sociology)
216.    Climate Change Policy and Advocacy.
261.    Sustainable Agriculture.
263.    Global Change and Sustainability
275.    Energy and the Environment.
310.    Philosophy of the Environment. (Dual-listed in Philosophy)
318.    Environmental Psychology (Dual-listed in Psychology)

Gender and Sexuality Studies

201. Gender in Global Perspective.

Global Studies

101. Intro I: Political Economy.
102. Intro II: Race, Culture and Identity.
230. Secrets and Lies: Nationalism, Violence and Memory.
250. La Frontera: Cultural Identities on the Mexican-U.S. Borderland.
301. Theories of Global Political Economy.
302. Theories of Global Cultural Studies.
333. Ethics of Global Citizenship.  (Dual-listed in Philosophy)
350. Global Palestine.


108. Introduction to International Politics.
206. Introduction to Political Theory.
230. African Politics.
331. Politics of the Middle East.
360. International Relations Theory.
362. International Law.
363. International Organization.
364. Terrorism and Human Rights.


103. Development of the United States, 1607-1877.
104. Development of the United States, 1877-Present.
105. Early East Asian Civilization.
106. Modern Asia.
160. The Islamic World.
229. Introduction to Native American History.
233. Colonial Latin America.
234. Modern Latin America.
244. Twentieth-Century U.S. Foreign Policy.
252. Conflict in Africa.  (Dual-listed in African Studies)
256. Slavery and Freedom in the Americas.
267. The Holocaust.  (Dual-listed in Religious Studies)
273. Civil Rights Movement.
292. Revolutionary China.
299. Seminar on Historical Research Methods when relevant (e.g., Armenian Genocide; World War I)
319. The United States and the Nuclear World. (Dual-listed in Physics)
325. The United States and the Vietnam War.
333. The Age of the American Revolution.
371. 18th-Century Europe and the French Revolution.
373. Japan and the United States in World War II, 1931-1952.

Modern Languages and Literatures


440. Poetry, Music, and Ethics.


210. Musics of the World.
245. Musics of Eastern Europe
337. Avant-garde and Underground Music.

Performance and Communication Arts

315. Gender and Communication.


203. Ethical Theory.
206. Introduction to Political Theory.
310. Philosophy of the Environment. (Dual-listed in Environmental Studies)
333. Ethics of Global Citizenship. (Dual-listed in Global Studies)


319. The United States and the Nuclear World. (Dual-listed in History)


313.    Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
318.    Environmental Psychology (Dual-listed in Environmental Studies)
325.    Social Psychology

Religious Studies

267.     The Holocaust. (Dual-listed in History)


110.     Global Problems.
112.     Inequality.
124.     Dirty Business and the Environment.
161.     Social Problems and Policy.
235.     Earning a Living: Work and Occupations in a     Global Economy.
236.     Education and Society.
238.     Social Services, Agencies and Advocacy (with Community-Based Learning).
275.     Medical Sociology.
288.     Dilemmas of Development: An Introduction to International Development Studies.
307.     The Political Sociology of Karl Marx.
310.     Slavery, Race and Culture.
314.     Nomads in World History.
315.     Family and Relationship Violence (with Community-Based Learning).
322.     Nationalism in North America.
363.     Women’s Movements in North America.
377.     Sociology of Consumption.
378.     “The Troubles” of Northern Ireland.
465.     Environmental Sociology.