Spring 2021 Course Offerings


- D4 Block - Dr. Jeff Anderson           

Recognizing conflict as an inevitable part of the human condition, scholars in the field of peace studies seek answers to two fundamental questions: (1) Why do people use violence to settle conflicts? and (2) Are there effective nonviolent alternatives? This course surveys a broad range of issues in the field, from war to peace and from interpersonal to intergroup and international conflicts. Students will be introduced to foundational disciplinary concepts (such as negative peace, positive peace, structural violence, and restorative justice) and skills (such as mediation, negotiation, and nonviolent direct action).


- D4 Block - Dr. Jon Armajani

After introducing Islam, this course examines gender, race, and ethnicity, among Muslims in the United States. It analyzes American Muslims’ conceptions of gender, and those conceptions’ relationships with historical ideas about gender in Islam while examining the relationships between ethnicity and religiosity among the largest ethnic groups of Muslims in the United States which include Arabs and non-Arab Middle Easterners, South Asians, and African Americans. The course will examine the role of race among persons in those and other groups in the United States. The course will give attention to Somalis in Minnesota, virtually all of whom are Muslims, their religiosity, and the similar and dissimilar sociological patterns with respect to them and other Muslims in the United States with respect to gender, race, and ethnicity. This course has no prerequisites because it is a CSD1 course. Offered for A-F grading only.


- B2 Block - Dr. Jon Armajani

This course will examine perspectives on violence and nonviolence as these appear in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, in the history of Christianity, in Christian encounters with other world faiths, and in contemporary theological ethics. We will place special emphasis on the diversity of theological positions on violence: thoughtful people of faith have espoused a wide range of positions, ranging from absolute pacifism to just war theory to the celebration of “redemptive violence.” We will seek to understand each of these positions from the inside, as well as subjecting each to critical scrutiny. Students will have the opportunity to do “service learning” in an organization related to violence and nonviolence.


- C3 Block - Dr. Ron Pagnucco

This course examines the nature of human conflict and the avenues for managing and resolving conflict nonviolently. It develops skills in conflict assessment, negotiation, and mediation. Intervention in disputes at the group, organizational, family and other levels are examined and practiced. The role of gender is given special emphasis. The theory and methods of nonviolent direct action against an opponent are studied.


- C3 Block - Dr. Jeff Anderson

International law and international organizations are instruments for creating, maintaining, and altering our world.  In domestic law, members are able to define the character of their society and design and enforce laws accordingly.  But, can this be done in international society? This course explores the potential and limitations of law between sovereign states and those organizations comprised of states to address the challenges our world faces.  In addition, we will go beyond the nation‑state to explore the ways in which non‑state actors are playing greater roles in the shaping of global values.  Select non‑governmental organizations (NGOs), including multi‑national corporations (MNCs), the Catholic Church, women's organizations, drug trafficking organizations, terrorist organizations, and international development organizations will be examined to augment the traditionally state‑centric focus of many international law and organization courses.


- A1 Block - Dr. Jon Armajani

This course will focus on the various ways in which relations between Muslim women and men have been appropriated, interpreted, and concretized in a variety of real-life situations throughout the early, medieval, and modern periods in Islam with a regional focus on Islam and gender in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Europe, and/or North America. This course will use gender as a primary lens of analysis for examining course content by examining the, at times static and at other times dynamic, roles of women and men in societies where Muslims are in the majority and others where they are the minority in order to gain an understanding of the relationship between appropriations of gender with respect to Islam and its corresponding cultural contexts.


- D4 Block - Dr. Ron Pagnucco

From the Book of Exodus to the Hebrew prophets and the New Testament, one finds the utopian vision of a just, peaceful and reconciled world, summarized in the biblical term "shalom." Through the study of biblical texts and contemporary writings, we will explore the Judeo-Christian tradition's vision of justice, peace and reconciliation. Through the analysis of case studies we will explore how individuals, organizations and communities in the tradition are working to bring about shalom in various parts of the world through such means as nonviolent action, the defense of human rights, methods to conflict resolution and transformation, and efforts for peacebuilding and reconciliation.


- B2 Block - Dr. Ron Pagnucco

Recent developments in the United States and other parts of the world have led observers to look closely at religious groups, beliefs and activities concerning the state, society and sociopolitical issues like cultural diversity and war and peace. In this course we will examine the Judeo-Christian tradition and address such questions as: What is the relationship between religion and ethnicity and religion and nationalism? What is religious fundamentalism? How do various groups view their relationship with the state and the broader society? What kinds of social and political goals do religious groups have and how do they try and achieve them? We will try to answer these and other questions through the study of historical and sociological case studies and selected religious texts reflecting the range of belief and practice in the Judeo-Christian tradition.


- D4 Block - Dr. Kelly Kraemer

This course enables senior peace studies majors and minors to begin integrating their academic experiences into a more comprehensive view of the field, while giving them the opportunity to work together to study an important problem that is central to the discipline.