Preview: Perspectives on Peace

The social science division has a tradition of selecting a speaker series that reflects on major classroom discussions revolving around challenges that the world faces today. Winter term 2016 will focus on Peace.

“In Winter 2016, the Social Science Division is integrating the topic of peace in our classes in diverse ways: considering what it means, what it requires, and how it connects to our disciplines. Our Winter Social Science Symposium speakers will present four different angles on peace, social action, and the contemporary world.” – Dr.Mark Henkels

The speaker series will be presenting as followed:

January 21:

“The ‘lovely and fascinating’ Work of Peace Studies”

by Dr. Jose-Antonio Orosco

Dr. Orosco is director of the Peace Studies program and teaches about issues of peace and nonviolence. He also serves as a faculty advisor to MEChA and the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez. In this talk he will address the challenges and opportunities of introducing Peace Studies into university life.

February 11: 

“Lying is the Most Powerful Weapon in War”

by Mike Hastie, Veterans for Peace

Mike Hastie is a Vietnam veteran who dedicated his life to informing the public of the nature of war and the need for public action to challenge the military policies as the first option in international affairs. He presents powerful imagery and direct experience to provide insight to the nature and consequences of war.

March 3:

“World Peace Lessons Learned From The Noble Peace Laureates”

by Gary Spanovich, Executive Director, Wholistic Peace Institute 

Mr. Spanovich’s Wholistic Peace Institute is dedicated to employing the wisdom of prominent advocates of peace to educate the public in the true costs of war and conflict and the possible paths towards non-violence.

His presentation will be a montage of film and other materials based on the writings and public speeches of Nobel Peace Prize winners.

March 10:

“War, Peace and the Refugee Crisis in Europe”

by Eliot Dickinson, Political Science, Western Oregon University

Dr. Dickinson is a professor at WOU who has specialized in comparative politics, with special emphasis on immigration. He recently returned from a year in Austria where he was able to study and see first hand how the present violence in the Middle East has driven people towards Europe and the responses of the receiving nations.

His talk will address this situation and how war both directly and indirectly affects people, politics, and societies.

The speaker series is free and open to the public and will take place at 4pm in HWC 105

For more information contact Dr. Mark Henkels <>