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S-CAR Activity Recap – October 2019

November 15, 2019

S-CAR's monthly Activity Recaps highlight the ongoing contributions being made by S-CAR students, faculty, and alumni to the field of conflict analysis and resolution. Each Activity Recap includes publications, presentations, and awards from the previous month.

Are you a member of the S-CAR community? Send your publication, presentation, and award updates to so that we can include them in our Activity Recaps.


As we have passed the midpoint of the semester, the month of October has drawn to a close with the 30th Annual Lynch Lecture, hosted by Susan Hirsch, the Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Chair at S-CAR. Our faculty, students, and alumni participated in a series of other events, including student-run discussions on racial issues, as well as the continuing Critical Conversations series. The work of our community was featured prominently at the ISA Peace-PHS Kent Conference, with almost 30 students, faculty, and alumni presenting on panels and participating in the conference. Throughout October, as Tehama Lopez-Bunyasi continued to publicize her September book, Stay Woke, Agnieszka Paczyńska published her new book, The New Politics of Aid: Emerging Donors and Conflict-Affected States.

Awards & Accolades

Daniel Rothbart was invited to serve as editor of a special issue titled “Power, Violence and Peacebuilding” for the Peace and Conflict Studies Journal.

Academic Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Agnieszka Paczyńska published her new book, The New Politics of Aid: Emerging Donors and Conflict-Affected Stateswith Lynne Rienner Publishers in October 2019.

Daniel Rothbart’s book chapter, “Government Power and Positioning of Marginalized People,” appeared in The Second Cognitive Revolution: A Tribute to Rom Harré, released by Springer Publishing in October 2019.

Antti Pentikäinen’s book chapter, “Insider reconcilers: Dialogue for sustaining peace,” appeared in Dialogue in Peacebuilding: Understanding Different Perspectives, published by Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation as part of their Development Dialogue forum in October 2019.

Samuel Rizk’s (PhD ’12) book chapter, “External support for internal dialogue,” appeared in Dialogue in Peacebuilding: Understanding Different Perspectives, published by Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation as part of their Development Dialogue forum in October 2019.

Journal Articles, Papers, and Reports

Charles Chavis, “Rabbi Edward L. Israel: The Making of a Progressive Interracialist, 1923-1941.” Southern Jewish History, 22, 5–41, published October 2019.

Sandra Tombe (PhD Candidate), “First there were 10: the case for and against South Sudan’s new states using discourse analysis and argumentation theory.” Journal of Modern African Studies, 57, 3, 1–22, published October 2019.

S-CAR in the News

Television and Radio Appearances

Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith were interviewed about their new book, Stay Woke, on six radio shows and podcasts, including features on “Conversations LIVE” (October 2, 2019); and “Charlottesville Right Now” (October 7, 2019).

Doga Ulas Eralp (PhD ‘09) appeared on CGTN America to discuss “the international reaction to Tukey’s incursion into Syria.” The interview aired on October 13, 2019.

Al Fuertes (Adjunct Faculty) was featured on CGTN America on October 27, 2019, where he discussed the global effort to combat human trafficking.

Ibrahim Fraihat (PhD '06) appeared in multiple television features and interviews, including on El Rozana on October 23, 2019, and Al-Araby on October 6, 2019.


Alpaslan Özerdem wrote an article titled “Trump leaves his Kurdish allies utterly betrayed by a shady deal with a desperate Erdogan,” published by The Independent on October 7, 2019.

Dhirendra Nalbo (PhD ‘12) wrote an article titled “Why can't we talk about conflict in Nepal anymore?” published by The Record Nepal on October 16, 2019.

Amr Abdalla (PhD ‘01) was featured in an article written by Anwar A. Khan titled “An Iconic Peace-Builder Across the World,” published by the Sri Lanka Guardian on October 22, 2019.

Sara Cobb was mentioned in an article written by John Hill for Mason News titled “Mason Team receives NSF grant to study Arctic industrialization effects,” published on October 18, 2019. The article was also published by EurekAlert!

Roland Wilson was quoted in an article written by Ock Hyun-ju titled “George Mason University launches peace studies center in Incheon,” published by the Korea Herald on October 24, 2019. A similar article was published by Mason Korea News on October 24, also mentioning a presentation by Borislava Manojlovic.

Karina Korostelina was featured in an article for Mason News titled “Trump’s food stamp proposal puts most vulnerable Americans at risk, Mason experts say,” published on October 3, 2019.

Patricia Maulden was featured in an article for Mason News titled “California’s ban on school suspensions is a step in the right direction, Mason experts say,” published on October 7, 2019.

Julie Shedd and Samantha Borders-Shoemaker (PhD '19) were featured in an article written by Oakley Hill (MS Student) titled “Making conversations great again.” The article was published by S-CAR News on October 22, 2019.

Michael Shank (PhD ‘12) co-authored an opinion article with Lloyd Doggett in Newsweek titled “The way we’re talking about climate change is all wrong. Here’s how we win hearts and minds.” The op-ed was published on October 21, 2019. 

Roi Ben-Yehuda (PhD Candidate) co-authored an article with Tania Luna in the Harvard Business Review titled “When Surprise is a Good Negotiation Tactic,” published on October 3, 2019.

Talha Kose (PhD ’10) published an article in the Daily Sabah on October 12, 2019 on peacekeeping operations and dealing with Turkish imperialism.

Mohammed Cherkaoui published three articles in Al-Araby discussing current events in Tunisia on October 28, 2019; discussing French-Arab relations on October 11, 2019; and discussing Moroccan politics on October 8, 2019. He also wrote an opinion article on Moroccan politics, published in Alminassa 24 on October 28, 2019.

S-CAR Events, Presentations, and Public Lectures

Susan Hirsch delivered a talk on October 3 at the University of Oxford titled “Teaching Cultural Mediators: A Role for Cultural Expertise and Conflict Resolution” at a workshop on Collaborative Teaching Design on Cultural Expertise sponsored by the European Research Council-funded project EURO-EXPERT, which focuses on cultural expertise. As a Board member of the EURO-EXPERT project, Hirsch also delivered the workshop’s closing remarks on October 4. On the Fairfax campus, she and Najla Mangoush (PhD Student) presented comments on restorative justice at the October 17 Dialogue and Difference event.

Tehama Lopez Bunyasi presented her book co-authored with Candis Watts Smith, Stay Woke, to university audiences at the GMU Honors College Friday Colloquium on October 4, and at the Media and Politics Workshop at the George Washington University on October 29. Lopez Bunyasi also spoke on a panel about “Race, Scholarship, and Activism,” as part of a Public Dialogue Series hosted by the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University on October 17.

Min Zaw Oo (PhD ‘10) conducted a peace and conflict resolution training for student peace ambassadors, co-organized by MIPS and Plan International from September 30 to October 6.

Daniel Rothbart served as keynote speaker for Conflict Resolution Day at FEMA, offering a presentation titled “Conflict Resolution as Peacebuilding: Why, What and How?” He also presented a paper, “The Paradox of State Power over its Political Subjects,” at the Conflict Research Society Conference in Sussex, UK. He served as a panelist at the PeaceCon in Washington, DC, examining “Rondine: Citadel for Peace.”

Richard Rubenstein lectured to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Fairfax, Virginia, on “Conflict Resolution in Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy” on October 7, 2019.

Nicholas Sherwood (PhD Student) attended the University of Dayton’s Social Practice of Human Rights international conference and gave a presentation titled “‘Joy is an Act of Resistance’: Modeling Resilience in Resettled Syrian Refugees with Disabilities” on October 4, 2019.

Karina Korostelina presented a paper on an identity-based research framework for tolerance and led a session on the foundation on the education for tolerance at the GCTP symposium titled “Academic Trends in Higher Education for Tolerance,” in Malta, October 9–13, 2019. She also was a keynote speaker at the conference “Conflict and Identity: confronting the past through education” at Lincoln College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, October 17–18. Her keynote address, “Addressing Identity-based Conflicts Through Education,” outlined major dilemmas faced by history education in conflict and post-conflict societies divided by ethnic, religious, and sectarian identities.

S-CAR Events

On October 1, the Fall 2019 S-CAR Undergraduate Academic Planning Workshop was held at the Johnson Center on the Fairfax Campus. Also hosted on the Fairfax Campus this month were the S-CAR Fall Internship Showcase on October 17 and a panel/discussion on Gun Reform on October 29. In-house events on the Arlington Campus included the Graduate Workshop & Training Day on October 14, a lecture by Dr. Louise Wise (University of Sussex) on “Rethinking Genocide in Sudan: Colonialism, Ecocide, and Social Death” on October 22, an Online Study Abroad Information Session on October 29, and an Admissions Information Session on October 30.

On October 8, a Critical Conversation discussion featuring Dr. Luka Kuol (Africa Center for Strategic Studies) was held at S-CAR on the Arlington Campus. Dr. Kuol spoke on Peacebuilding in Africa with a presentation titled “Can Africa Prevent Mass Atrocities? The Case of South Sudan.”

On October 15, a Foreign Service Networking Night was held in Merten Hall on the Fairfax Campus. Students considering a career in the U.S. Foreign Service or State Department had the opportunity to meet and network with career diplomats and Foreign Service Officers.

On October 17, the Dialogue and Difference Project continued its Fall 2019 programming with a dialogue on restorative justice, which was held at Research Hall on the Fairfax Campus.

On October 22, CONF 657 students hosted an event on “Race and The Conspiracy of Silence,” focusing on “The Rest of the Story: Deciphering the Master Narrative of Race in America.” Sofiyat Ibrahim (MS Student) moderated a panel of experts, which included Charles Chavis and Tehama Lopez Bunyasi, who discussed the importance and necessity for having race dialogues in America. The event took place in Van Metre Hall on the Arlington Campus.

On October 29, leaders of the Tongil Mom Delegation participated in a discussion titled “Double Jeopardy: North Korean Women’s Human Rights, Trampled in North Korea and in China” in Vernon Smith Hall on the Arlington Campus. Karina Korostelina and Sungju Lee (PhD Student) provided additional remarks.

On October 30, Dr. Howard Zehr of Eastern Mennonite University delivered the 30th Annual Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Lecture, titled “Human Rights Meets Restorative Justice,” at Van Metre Hall on the Arlington Campus. During his lecture, Dr. Zehr explored some of the challenges in defining and enforcing human rights in the 21st century and ways that the legal system has contributed to injustice. S-CAR’s Vernon M. and Minnie I. Lynch Chair, Susan Hirsch, moderated the event and introduced Dr. Zehr. Dean Alpaslan Özerdem opened the event with introductory remarks.

ISA Peace-PHS Kent Conference

S-CAR students and faculty were selected in April of this year to participate and present research papers at the 2019 Peace-PHS Kent Conference hosted by the International Studies Association (ISA) on October 26–26, 2019, at Kent State. S-CAR students and faculty members who participated in the conference include the following: 

As Chairs of Panels

Fatma Jabbari (PhD Student), “Religious Perspectives on Conflict, War & Nonviolence”

Sara Cobb, “The Uses of History: Memory and Commemoration and Overcoming Radical Disagreement: Root Narrative Approaches to Conflict Resolution”

Mara Schoeny, “History is Now: Memorials and Remembrance of Race Relations”

Susan Allen, “Building Peace in and out of the Classroom”

Solon Simmons, “Overcoming Radical Disagreement: Root Narrative Approaches to Conflict Resolution” 

Juliette Shedd, “Opportunities and Challenges in Building Peace After Violence”

As Panel Presenters

Richard Rubenstein, “The Liberation Movement in Our Future” 

Susan Allen, “Action Research and Engaged Scholarship for Building Sustainable Peace”

Solon Simmons, “The Securitarian Imagination on the American Right: The Transformation of Root Narratives in Republican Party Discourse 1928-2016”

Fatma Jabbari (PhD Student), “National Epistemic Communities and Political Change: Tunisia’s Case”

Sara Cobb and Angelina Mendes (PhD Candidate), “Fault Lines: Memorialization, Narrative, and ‘Virtue Signaling’”

Angelina Mendes (PhD Candidate), “Peace or Justice in Myanmar’s Rakhine State? Decoding the Human Rights and Peacebuilding Discourse of the Rohingya Crisis”

Emily Linnemeier (PhD Student), “Student-led Activism on Menstrual Equity in Northern Virginia”

Oluwagbemiga Dasylva (PhD Student), “Peacebuilding Processes Using Root Narrative Theory.”

Elena Cirmizi (PhD Student), “Narratives in Party Manifestos, 2012-2018”

Laura Mahan (PhD Candidate), “The Silent Victims: Police Violence as Experienced by the Deaf Community in the United States”

Christian Taylor (PhD Student), “The Resiliency of Al-Qaeda”

Emily Sample (PhD Candidate), “No Island is an Island: The Potential for Resource Scarcity and Violence in Indonesia”

César Estrada Perez (PhD Candidate), “Mass Violence and the Language of Extermination: A Local Exploration of Killings and Conflict Narratives in Central Mexico”

Catherine Kihara (PhD Candidate), “Social Media & Peacebuilding in Kenya: Constructing a Social Media-based Reconciliation Model” 

Juliette Shedd and Douglas Irvin-Erickson, “Comparative Narratives of Peacebuilding in Post-War Europe: French and Austrian Engagements with the Marshall Plan”

Patricia Maulden, “Dialogic Engagement in Building Sustainable Peace”