As Colman McCarthy writes in All of One Peace, "If peace is what every government says it seeks, and peace is the yearning of every heart, why aren't we studying it and teaching it in schools?"
Here at Oberlin College, we have a history of activism and progressive work,
but until now there has been no major, department, concentration, or other
formal program of study that specifically addresses the topic of peace and non-violence. In an increasingly global society where war, conflict, and how we relate to one another are all pressing issues, it is more and more important to study reconciliation and global communication.
Starting in fall 2009, Oberlin will finally have an academic program to
address peace studies!
The Development Group was instrumental in filling that void. For four
members, both students and community members, met with faculty and
administrators, solicited a generous endowment from the Class of '58,
sponsored winter term projects, and offered Exco
courses on various aspects of peace and nonviolence. We also
sponsored a Peace and Conflict Studies Symposium that concentrated on the
academic aspects of launching such a concentration.
The PACS program will work as an interdisciplinary, interconnected
concentration to address issues of non-violence, peace, global relations,
and social justice. It will enable students to study a variety of
topics already covered by many departments at Oberlin - Comparative American Studies and International Studies, for instance - with the added and imperative inclusion of the study of non-violence. Oberlin has always been concerned with a commitment to current social questions, diversity, and internationalism, as well as the belief that individuals have the power to change their societies, and the world at large, for the better.
The PACS concentration will adhere to these principles and better challenge and encourage students' development of skills they will need in a diverse and global society, as well as advance students' social consciousness and awareness of how to not only live in the world, but better it.
The Peace and Conflict Studies Development group hopes that
this modest implementation of the PACS Concentration will lead to the
eventual formation of a PACS department and academic major!
Please feel free to use the navigation on the left to further explore our website and the
history of peace studies in Oberlin. Thank you for visiting!