Academic Catalog and Handbooks

2023-2024 Edition

Peace Studies (PCST)

PCST 111  Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies  (4 Credits)  
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). Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: None  
Attributes: CSD: Identity (CI)  
PCST 121  Solidarity & Difference  (4 Credits)  
The United States is growing more diverse year by year and seemingly more divided as well. What does solidarity look like in a profoundly diverse and deeply divided society? How can people work together for social justice together with members of different identity groups? In this course, students will examine gender, race, ethnicity and class in the United States as forces that shape individual and group identities in ways that both unite and divide us. Students will learn to think critically about their own gendered, racial, ethnic and class identities; understand the social and cultural factors that shape and contribute to each of these identities; examine case studies of inter-group efforts to create justice; and identify resources to foster meaningful solidarity practices that can help to bring about social change. No prerequisites.
Prerequisites: None  
Attributes: CSD: Identity (CI)  
PCST 123  Islam in the USA: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity  (4 Credits)  
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.
Prerequisites: None  
Attributes: CSD: Identity (CI)  
PCST 180  Summer Topics  (1-4 Credits)  
A series of topics courses offered during the summer term.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 271  Individual Learning Project  (1-4 Credits)  
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 277A  Theory & Practice of Nonviolence  (4 Credits)  
This course will examine the history, theory, and practice of nonviolence, focusing on the power and limits of nonviolent direct action as a force for social change. We will explore the historical and philosophical roots of nonviolence, compare case studies of historical and contemporary unarmed struggles, study some of the practical skills necessary for disciplined nonviolent action, and identify some important critiques of nonviolence.
Prerequisites: You must take INTG 100 or 205 prior to taking a Thematic Focus Course. You must take a Cultural and Social Difference: Identity (CI) course prior to or at the same time as Thematic Focus Courses.   
Equivalent courses: PCST 221  
Attributes: Social World (SW), Thematic Focus - Justice  
PCST 334  Political Systems in the Middle East: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity  (4 Credits)  
This course will analyze political systems in the Middle East chronologically beginning with political patterns set forth by the Muslim prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, through Islam's medieval periods, to political systems in that region during the modern and contemporary periods. The course will consider a variety of political and economic systems and ideologies in the Middle East including democracy, authoritarianism, nationalism, capitalism, socialism, and ethnic political mobilization, as well as Islam and Islamic political systems. The course will analyze the ways which the Middle East's political systems have appropriated gender, race, and ethnicity and their roles in political and economic systems, laws, constitutions, political participation, protests, and ideology. A-F Grading Only.
Prerequisites: Before taking a Cultrual and Social Difference: Systems Courses (CS) you first must complete the following Integrations requirements; Learning Foundations (LF), Theological Encounter (TE), and Cultural and Social Difference: identity (CI).   
Attributes: CSD: Systems (CS)  
PCST 345  Topics in Philosophy and Conflict Studies  (4 Credits)  
Literature of both Western and Non-western traditions—not only for philosophy but epic, fiction, poetry, drama, narrative, memoirs—ranging from the classical period into the 21st century, presents us not only warring individuals and political entities, but with worlds in conflict. This course will look at issues of conflict and draw from the readings an understanding of the world opened up by the texts. Questions to be explored may include: How does the vision of the world drawn from text and language touch the way people respond in conflict? How does a study of the philosophy of language and critical theory help us to understand what conflict is and how it works? Alternate years in Fall.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 346  Mediation and Conflict Resolution  (4 Credits)  
This course will explore the theory and practice of peacebuilding approaches to the prevention, resolution and transformation of conflict and the development of positive relationships. It will discuss case studies and theories of change. It will focus on negotiation, mediation and restorative justice and will include role plays and various exercises for skill development.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 347  Human Rights  (4 Credits)  
This course will examine the history and development of international human rights concepts, organizations and institutions. The full range of human rights will be explored, including civil, political, economic and social rights as well as the right to development and a healthy environment. Topics such as the relationship between human rights and culture, women’s issues, religion and globalization will also be discussed. Case studies will be used to examine the efforts of governments, nongovernmental organizations (such as Amnesty International) and the international community to implement and protect human rights.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 348  Social Change  (4 Credits)  
How do social movements emerge and develop? How are they organized? What are the different strategies and tactics groups use for social change? Why are some social movements successful, while others fail to have an impact? This course will attempt to answer these and other key questions about social movements and social change by examining selected social movements in the U.S. and other countries. The course will also explore the globalization of social movements.
Prerequisites: None  
Equivalent courses: SOCI 337N  
PCST 349  International Law and International Organization  (4 Credits)  
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.
Prerequisites: None  
Equivalent courses: POLS 353  
PCST 351  Gender and Peace  (4 Credits)  
This course will explore the connections between gender and peace in theory and practice, from micro-level gender violence to macro-level international conflicts. We will study theories relating gendered notions of human nature to violence and peace, to militarism and other forms of institutionalized violence, and to violence against women. Other topics may include the relationships between motherhood, fatherhood, and peace, along with theoretical and practical connections between feminism and nonviolence.
Prerequisites: Before taking a Cultrual and Social Difference: Systems Courses (CS) you first must complete the following Integrations requirements; Learning Foundations (LF), Theological Encounter (TE), and Cultural and Social Difference: identity (CI).   
Attributes: CSD: Systems (CS)  
PCST 352  Race and Racism in the U.S.  (4 Credits)  
This course will examine race and racism as sources of conflict and violence in the United States, along with nonviolent approaches to the transformation of race conflicts. We will examine the biology and social construction of race, the dynamics of white privilege, and the work of anti- racist and other race- related movements.
Prerequisites: None  
Attributes: Human Experience (HE), Thematic Encounter3 - Justice  
PCST 354  Global Environmental Politics  (4 Credits)  
This course explores the efforts of nation-states to collectively deal with global environmental problems, identifies alternatives to the nation-state (e.g. environmental NGOs), and studies domestic political movements to protect the environment. As a historically-rooted endeavor, this course examines how global environmental action has emerged as a result of increased international cooperation, newly available scientific information, ambivalence about the success of development, and changing attitudes regarding our responsibility to nature. Through the application of social science concepts such as the "tragedy of the commons," collective action theory, and regime formation theory, students will attempt to devise public policy solutions for global environmental issues. Many global environmental effects are felt most strongly in the developing world and these countries’ experiences have given rise to many of the most potent critiques of modernization and development theory, both of which contribute to the course emphasis on areas outside of Western Europe and the United States. Alternate years.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 368A  Conflict Transformation in Latin America  (4 Credits)  
By using a case study approach, this course will explore environmental, economic and ethnic dimensions of conflict in specific sites in Latin America. The case studies related to issues such as indigenous social movements, resource extraction, and migration of peoples will be anchored in representations of lived experience (testimonial essay, film or narrative). Using John Paul Lederach’s Imaginación moral as a guide we will combine analytical lenses and creative processes in a practice oriented approach to conflict transformation. Throughout the semester student groups will research their own case study of conflict and make use of the skills they are developing to design and facilitate an interactive learning event. The course will be conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: HISP 312 or 316 & 1 additional course 320 or higher
Prerequisites: HISP 312 or HISP 316  
Equivalent courses: HISP 356H  
PCST 368E  Justice, Peace and Reconciliation  (4 Credits)  
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
Prerequisites: THEO 111 or THEO 100 or HONR 240A or HONR 240B or INTG XXXG  
Equivalent courses: CORE 369E, THEO 349D  
Attributes: Theological Integration (TI), Writing Requirement (WR)  
PCST 368G  Religion, Society and Politics  (4 Credits)  
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.
Prerequisites: HONR 240A or THEO 111 or THEO 100 or HONR 240B or INTG XXXG  
Equivalent courses: THEO 348  
Attributes: Theological Integration (TI), Writing Requirement (WR)  
PCST 368H  Political Violence  (4 Credits)  
Since the end of the Cold War most political violence has occurred within nation-states rather than between them. In this course we will explore theories and research on political violence, covering such topics as terrorism, ethnic violence and civil war. Besides looking at global patterns of political violence, the course will include selected case studies from Africa, Central America, and Europe. Methods of preventing and resolving violent political conflicts also will be examined.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 368I  Hitler, Bin Laden & Peace  (4 Credits)  
A common assumption used to justify war goes like this: “When facing threats of genocide or terrorism, military force is the only justifiable response, because only violence can succeed against an amoral enemy.” Even President Obama, when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, claimed: "A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms." Is Obama right? What does the available evidence tell us? In this course we will explore two of the toughest questions in peace studies: are nonviolent responses to terrorism, genocide, and other atrocities possible, and can they succeed against a brutally ruthless opponent? Our examination of the growing literature in this field will reveal answers that are more complicated, and more promising, than popular wisdom suggests.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 368J  Nongovernmental Organizations  (4 Credits)  
In this course we will explore such global topics as development, health, peace & conflict, environment, gender, food security, and human rights, and investigate the work of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in these areas. We will look at the work of both faith-based and secular NGOs within countries and at such intergovernmental organizations as the United Nations. We will also discuss transnational networks of NGOs and the concepts of civil society/global civil society. There are no prerequisites for the course.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 368K  Masculinities in War & Peace  (4 Credits)  
In this course we will examine the multiple definitions and constructions of masculine identity that emerge from human experiences with war and peace. We will examine the Warrior as the archetype of masculinity, discuss alternative conceptions of masculine identity, and explore ways of rethinking masculinity to help build cultures of peace. We will also take a look at some of the complex interconnections between masculinities, gender, sex, and nationality.
Prerequisites: None  
Equivalent courses: GEND 360G  
PCST 368L  Seminar: Hispanic Culture: Conflict Transformation in Latin America  (4 Credits)  
Global Process—Local Conflict: By using a case study approach to conflict in Latin America, this course will consider events and experiences of the global colliding with the local. Environmental, economic and cultural considerations will be explored through representations of lived experience in the form of essay, film and narrative. Case studies may include: indigenous social movements, responses to privatization of water, and conflicts emerging around resources. Making use of specific sites in Latin America, the course will introduce tools for analyzing conflict and provide practice in approaches such as stakeholders mapping and role-play. Student groups will research their own case study of conflict and facilitate an interactive learning event. The course will be conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: HISP 312 and at least one HISP course at 320 or above or instructor approval.
Prerequisites: HISP 312 or SPAN 312  
Equivalent courses: HISP 356A, SPAN 356A  
PCST 368S  The Medical Professional in the Age of Global Health  (4 Credits)  
The word “professional” today connotes an individual with well-developed skills, specialized knowledge, and expertise, who conforms to the standards of a profession. The original meaning of “professional” as one who “makes a profession of faith” in the face of demanding circumstances has been all but lost in the medical profession. This class will use the burgeoning literature of medicine, written by, for, and about medical professionals, in order to explore the full range of “professional” challenges facing today’s medical professionals. By exploring the efforts of medical professionals to counter the institutional forces that constrain them and to find their own solid ground to stand upon, this course aims to cultivate the habit of moral reflection in future medical professionals. Although this course will primarily focus on health care professionals, it should also be of interest to those aspiring to other non-medical careers and all who desire better health care for themselves and others. This course incorporates a preceptor-led discussion of actual medical encounters where returning alums in the medical field visit the class either in-person or virtually to lead discussions and share their insights.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 370CA  HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILE  (4 Credits)  
Prerequisites: None  
Corequisites: XXXX 42  
PCST 371  Individual Learning Project  (1-4 Credits)  
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Projects are understood to be part of a student's concentration area work. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Not available to first-year students.
Prerequisites: None  
PCST 397  Internship  (1-8 Credits)  
Each peace studies major is required to spend a minimum of 160 hours in a placement relating to his or her area of interest in the field. All student proposals for internships will meet the criteria established by the peace studies program and will demonstrate the relationship of the proposed internship to the purposes of the program. Ordinarily, the internship will precede PCST 399.
Prerequisites: None  
Attributes: Experiential Engagement (EX)  
PCST 399  Peace Studies Capstone  (4 Credits)  
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. The choice of that problem is left up to the individual instructor and may change from year to year. Recent topics have included “Why war?”, “What do we mean by development?” and “Is peace possible?”. Spring.
Prerequisites: None  
Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Peace Studies.   
Equivalent courses: PCST 399A  
PCST 399A  Peace Studies Capstone: Is Peace Possible?  (4 Credits)  
Are human beings naturally violent and warlike, or do we have the potential for peace? John Lennon once said, "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace." Maybe it's not quite that simple, but is peace possible? If it is, how might we achieve it, and what roles can individuals play in the process? This course is designed to help senior peace studies majors and minors search for and evaluate answers to these and related questions by examining theories and evidence from a variety of fields (including, but not limited to: peace studies, anthropology, psychology, history, sociology, biology, and futures studies), with a view to integrating their four year academic experience. Preference given to senior Peace Studies majors & minors.
Prerequisites: None  
Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major, minor, or concentration in Peace Studies.   
Equivalent courses: PCST 399  
PCST 399B  Peace Studies Capstone: Building Peace  (4 Credits)  
Peacebuilding encompasses all activities aimed at developing positive intergroup ties, providing an environment that guarantees rights, preventing violence, and promoting integral human development at various levels of society. In this course we will explore the theory and practice of peacebuilding and how it can be related to such areas as environmental issues, international development, business, sports, gender, health, and media, among others. Factors contributing to the success or failure of peacebuilding efforts, and methods for designing and evaluating projects, will also be examined.
Prerequisites: None  
Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students with a class of Junior or Senior.   
Equivalent courses: PCST 399  
PCST 399C  Capstone: What Do We Mean by Development?  (4 Credits)  
Development is a dynamic process that involves the efforts of individuals, communities, nations, international organizations, and social movements. "Development" promises generalized gains, threatens people's livelihoods, and provides powerful metaphors to justify large scale social change. In short, where you stand on development often depends on where you sit. Development's powerful polarizing and integrative dimensions are perfect for an intense evaluation of means and ends. This course will rely heavily on primary texts to explore the meaning of "development" from a wide variety of perspectives and help us to define our own meaning of development. Prerequisite JN or SR standing
Prerequisites: None  
Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students with a class of Junior or Senior.