2013 Seminars, Conferences and Other Events

CPACS organises regular seminars and other events at the Centre or at other locations on the University of Sydney Camperdown campus.

CPACS seminars are generally free or require a small charge, and are open to anyone interested.

REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS & THE PNG SOLUTION: PANEL DISCUSSION AND Q&A EVENT

Recent changes to Australian refugee and asylum seeker policies, including the PNG Solution and the commitment to “turn back the boats”, have witnessed each major party attempt to win over the populace with harsher policies. Frequent outcries over the impact of detention on detainees and the inhumane responses to asylum seekers and refugees within detention facilities seem to have been to no avail. Such harsh policies have become the norm rather than the exception to the rule.

Our panelists explored why this is so, how we got to this point and whether there is a more humane way to do this work among various other issues.

Panelists:
Dr Lucy Fiske: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney
Mr Gregory Lake: Former Immigration Department Official
Dr Devorah Wainer: Department of Sociology and Social Policy University of Sydney
Dr Ryan Schram: Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney

Chair: Dr Susan Banki: Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

Monday 21 October 2013, 5-7pm, H. R. Carne Lecture Theatre, R. M. C. Gunn Building, Regimental Drive, University of Sydney.

HUMANISING THE ENEMY: A STORY OF HOPE IN THE ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Jews against the Occupation, Global Social Justice Network and Palestinian-Jewish Dialogue Group organised the presentation of an inspiring new documentary Within the eye of the Storm which features two former combatants, a Palestinian and an Israeli, working together for peace and a nonviolent solution to the conflict.

The film was followed by a Q&A workshop discussing the documentary and implications for building peaceful relationships to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Guest speakers included:

Abe Quadan: conflict resolution practitioner, CPACS Council member and co-founder of Palestinian-Jewish Dialogue Group; Donna Jacobs Sife: storyteller, Programs Director of Together for Humanity and co-founder of Jewish Voices for Peace and Justice; Neven Bondokji: researcher on Islamic movements, Islam and peacebuilding, and conflict resolution, and trainer in youth development.

Date: Monday 19 August 2013
Time: 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm
Venue:
H R Carne Lecture Theatre
R. M. C. Gunn Building
Regimental Crescent
University of Sydney

GloSo website

LITERATURE AND PEACE: PEACEMAKING IN THE FICTION OF MICHAEL ONDAATJE, GRAHAM SWIFT, AND IAN MCEWAN

The history of war is as long as that of human beings, and the consequences of war have increased with time. While peace cannot be defined easily, the difficulties do not reduce its importance. Peace is a dream for numerous writers and other people around the world. The three novels of this research project belong to the second part of Hsu’s study on the issue of literature and peace. Here he focused on Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table, Swift’s Wish You Were Here, and McEwan’s Chesil Beach, and argues that The Cat’s Table is about hospitality and the construction of a peaceful community, Wish You Were Here is about how people can set themselves free from the war on terror, and Chesil Beach is about misunderstanding, and how a love ethic can contribute to peaceful co-existence. Because of Alain Badiou’s interest in the neglected elements in a situation and the eruption of the new, his understanding of events is the major theoretical framework subtending this study.

Speaker: Professor Shou-Nan Hsu. Shou-Nan Hsu, professor in the Department of English at National University of Tainan, Taiwan, is currently the chairperson of the department. His major interests are minority literature, literary criticism, and contemporary philosophy.

Time & Venue: Wednesday 7 August 2013, 12.30 – 2.00 pm, Woolley Common Room, University of Sydney.

THE UNITED NATIONS IN TIMOR-LESTE: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL

Maria Raquel Freire, University of Coimbra, Portugal

A seminar co-hosted by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre.

This session discussed the role of the United Nations (UN)
in the peacebuilding process in Timor-Leste, looking at the
differentiated presences of the UN and how it has contributed
(or not) to the consolidation of the state. Adopting a critical
approach regarding the UN interventionist model, it was argued
that predefined models of intervention are limited in face of
challenging contexts. The integration of the local dimension
in peacebuilding processes, and the definition of ways of
articulation between formal and informal policies and practices
are fundamental. The case of Timor-Leste served as an
illustration of the challenges faced, lessons learned and
possible ways ahead.

Maria Raquel Freire is a researcher at the Centre for Social
Studies and tenured professor of International Relations
at the School of Economics of the University of Coimbra.
Her research interests focus on peace studies, particularly
peacekeeping and peacebuilding; foreign policy, international
security, Russia and the post-Soviet space.

Time & Venue: 4pm-6pm, Monday 29 July 2013. Mackie Seminar Room 114, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney.

AN INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION WITH A FOCUS ON NATURAL HEALING

Numerous studies have shown that regular meditation improves health, memory, sense of self and empathy, and alleviates stress. CPACS Visiting Professor, the Venerable Thich Minh Tam accompanied by a Tibetan monk, gave an introduction to meditation with a focus on natural healing.

Time & Venue: Wednesday May 29th from 5 - 7pm, CPACS Gallery, Mackie Building, University of Sydney

WHY ARE SRI LANKAN TAMILS SEEKING REFUGE IN AUSTRALIA?

Refugees from war and repression in Sri Lanka have a genuine fear of persecution in a country rapidly deteriorating into dictatorship. Tamil communities are terrorised by a tyrannical regime, and political and judicial safeguards are being destroyed. But even if their claims are accepted, asylum seekers here in Australia are detained indefinitely because ASIO deems them to be a potential security risk. Some have gone on hunger strike. ASIO assessments cannot be challenged in court and the victims have no right to see the evidence against them.

Time & Venue: Weds 8 May, 4.30pm to 6.00pm, New Law School Annexe SR 346.

For further details and to view the poster, please click here

‘TERRORISM' IN MIDDLE EASTERN JOURNALISM

How are the phenomena labeled in the West as ‘terrorism’ defined and debated in local media outlets in Afghanistan, Iran, Middle East and North Africa?

Speaker: Nushin Arbabzadah

Nushin Arbabzadah is a lecturer in International Area Studies at the UCLA International Institute and a Research Scholar at the Center for the Study of Women, also at UCLA. A former BBC journalist, she is the author of several books including Afghan Rumour Bazaar (Hurst Publishers, 2013).

In the Afghan Rumour Bazaar, she reveals the everyday absurdities of lives framed against the backdrop of a savage war. Among the individuals, fables and dilemmas are ‘Why are Imams Telling Us About Nail Polish?’, ‘Afghanistan’s Jewish Heritage’, ‘The Resurgence of Afghanistan's Spiritual Bazaar’, and Malalai of Maiwand, who turned her headscarf
into a banner and led a successful rebellion against the British.

Time & Venue: Weds March 27, 12.30 - 2.00 pm, Mackie Building Rm 107, University of Sydney.

For further details and to view the poster, please click here

TEN YEARS TO THE DAY SINCE THE INVASION OF IRAQ BEGAN...

What did the anti-war protests achieve?

  • Speakers:
    Donna Mulhearn, Peace activist and Human Shield, just returned from latest visit to Iraq.
    Associate Professor Jake Lynch, Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney.

This event also featured the World premiere of Lion Hearts. A short film by Nuts and Balts Media, reflecting with Australian peace activists from 2003.

Time & Venue: Weds March 20, 5.00 - 6.30 pm, New Law Building LT 024, University of Sydney.

For further details and to view the poster, please click here