The Interdisciplinary Seminar on Conflict and Violence is designed to promote interdisciplinary exchanges among faculty and students interested in the topics of conflict, violence, and peace, from a wide range of departments across campus.

Dr. Fiona Barlow

May 1, 2017

Coming in May, date and location TBA

Dr. Fiona Barlow is a social psychologist, having completed her PhD approximately 6.5 years ago. Her work focuses on looking at factors that sever intergroup relations, the emotions that explain such severance, and the factors that bring groups back together. On an applied level she looks at relations between Gay and Straight, Aboriginal and Asian and White, and normal weight and over-weight people (to name but a few).

More recently she has expanded her research scope to begin looking at the heritability of social attitudes, with a large scale twin study with the Australian Twin Registry. Data collection for this work has commenced, with completion scheduled for mid 2016. In 2012 she was awarded both a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellow and a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, each worth over $300,000 over three years. At the end of 2015 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (Level 2), valued at over $800,000. This was one of 50 Future Fellowships awarded to scientists nationwide, and one of only two in psychology.

Dr. John Drury

April 12, 2017

Coming in April, date and location TBA

John Drury completed his first degree at the University of Sussex, and his MSc and PhD at the University of Exeter. He has also studied and worked at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Abertay Dundee, and the Trust for the Study of Adolescence. He came back to Sussex in 1998, where he is currently Reader in Social Psychology.

He is Deputy Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange (Impact) in the School of Psychology. He is convenor for the following modules: Psychology of Crowds and Collective Action; Social Research Methods in Psychology; Discourse Analysis for Psychology (mini-module). He is also the UCU rep for Psychology.

Drury's work on mass emergency behavior has been used by the emergency services, the Department of Health, and Birmingham Resilience. A United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction case study, based on his research, can be found here. He convenes a module on the Psychology of Crowd Safety Management for live event safety professionals at Bucks New University. He has also worked with government departments, arts and theatre groups, social media businesses and community organizations, including Public Health England, eResponse Crowd Safety, the Event Safety Institute, the 'As You Are' centre, Fabrica Gallery, NixonMcInnes, Club Penguin, The Fusebox, Pure360, Salon, and the Bank of Ideas. For further details of his Community and Business links, see Impact & Influence


John Prendergast

February 16, 2017

Tentative date, location TBA

John Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has focused on peace in Africa for over thirty years. He is the Founding Director of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also the Co-Founder of The Sentry, a new investigative initiative focused on dismantling the networks financing conflict and atrocities. John has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.  He has been a Big Brother for over 25 years, as well as a youth counselor and a basketball coach.

John is the author or co-author of ten books.  His latest book, Unlikely Brothers, is a dual memoir co-authored with his first little brother in the Big Brother program. His previous two books were co-authored with Don Cheadle:Not On Our Watch, a New York Times bestseller and NAACP non-fiction book of the year, and The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa's Worst Human Rights CrimesHe is also beginning a book project on the Congo with Ryan Gosling and New Yorker writer Kelefa Sanneh.

John also serves as Executive Director of Not On Our Watch, the foundation founded by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt.

John appears in the Warner Brothers' motion picture "The Good Lie," starring Reese Witherspoon.  He is a primary subject of the book by Jane Bussman, "A Journey to the Dark Heart of Nameless Unspeakable Evil."

During his time in government, John was part of the facilitation team behind the successful two-year mediation led by Anthony Lake which ended the 1998-2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the deadliest war in the world at the time.  He was also part of peace processes for Burundi (led by President Nelson Mandela), Sudan (led by Lazaro Sumbeiywo) and Congo.

Under the Enough Project umbrella, John has helped create a number of initiatives and campaigns.  With George Clooney, he co-founded the Satellite Sentinel Project, which aims to prevent conflict and human rights abuses through satellite imagery. With Tracy McGrady and other NBA stars, John launched the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program to fund schools in Darfurian refugee camps and create partnerships with schools in the United States. Through the Enough Project, he conceived the Raise Hope for Congo Campaign, highlighting the issue of conflict minerals that fuel the war there and supporting a more comprehensive peace process, and its companion Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. He also helped direct the Sudan Now campaign, which supported the holding of a peaceful referendum for South Sudan. 

John has been awarded six honorary doctorates. He is or has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, Yale Law School, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Claremont McKenna College, Kean University, American University, American University in Cairo, the University of San Diego, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, Albright College, St. Mary's College, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Eckerd College.

John has appeared in four episodes of 60 Minutes, for which the team won an Emmy Award, and helped create African characters and stories for two episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, one focusing on the recruitment of child soldiers and the other on rape as a war strategy. John has also traveled to Africa with NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s Nightline, The PBS NewsHour, CNN’s Inside AfricaNewsweek/The Daily Beast, and The New York Times Magazine.

He has appeared in several documentaries including: Merci Congo, When Elephants Fight, Blood in the MobileSand and Sorrow, Darfur Now, 3 Points, and War Child. He also co-produced with Martin Sheen and Melissa Fitzgerald the documentary After Kony: Staging Hope, which focuses on Northern Uganda. John partnered with Downtown Records and Mercer Street Records to create the compilation album “Raise Hope for Congo,” combating sexual violence against women and girls in Congo.

He has been profiled in The New York Times MagazineVanity FairMen's VogueTime, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Oprah MagazineThe HillCapitol File, ArriveInterview, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

John has received the following awards: Vital Voices Solidarity Award, The Huffington Post Game Changer Award; the United Nations Correspondents Association Global Citizen of the World Award; the Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award; the Princeton University Crystal Tiger Award; the U.S. Department of State Distinguished Service Award; the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution Award; Outstanding Literary Work for Not on Our Watch at the 39th NAACP Image Awards; 12th Annual Moste Lanterns Award; Global Action Humanitarian Award; American University School of International Services Alumnus of the Year; Southern California Mediation Association Randolph Lowry Lecturer Award; Dispute Resolution Services Louis M. Brown Conflict Prevention Award; Leon H. Sullivan Foundation Special Service Award; Temple University Alumni Fellow; Kean University Human Rights Institute Award; the State Department’s Superior Honor Award; and the Champion of Human Life Award from The Values Network.