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 and open to anyone interested. For some events there may be a small charge.


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.

Join in conversation with our panelists to explore 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.

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

Please bring your questions prepared so we can tailor the event to your interests!

CONTACT: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies - arts.cpacs@sydney.edu.au / 9351 7686
GloSo - ltow4463@uni.sydney.edu.au


The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Jews against the Occupation, Global Social Justice Network and Palestinian-Jewish Dialogue Group invite you to 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 will be followed by a Q&A FORUM discussing the documentary and implications for building peaceful relationships to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Guest speakers include:

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

H R Carne Lecture Theatre
R. M. C. Gunn Building
Regimental Crescent
University of Sydney

Click here for a map

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 focuses 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.

Wednesday 7 August 2013, 12.30 – 2.00 pm
Woolley Common Room, University of Sydney

For more information email arts.cpacs@sydney.edu.au or call (02) 9351 7686


Maria Raquel Freire
University of Coimbra

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

This session will discuss 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 is 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 will serve 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.

Monday 29 July 2013

Mackie Seminar Room 114
Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
University of Sydney

T +61 2 9114 0953

An introduction to meditation with a focus on natural healing

Who: CPACS Visiting Professor, the Venerable Thich Minh Tam accompanied by a Tibetan monk

What: An introduction to meditation with a focus on natural healing

When: Wednesday May 29th from 5 - 7pm followed by tasty vegetarian spring rolls after the class

Where: CPACS Gallery

Why: Numerous studies have shown that regular meditation improves health, memory, sense of self and empathy, and alleviates stress.

Cost: Donations

Why are Sri Lankan Tamils seeking refuge in Australia?

And why are we keeping them locked up?

Brami Jegan, Sri Lanka Human Rights Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney

Professor Ben Saul, Professor of International Law, University of Sydney

Dr Lesley Lynch, New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties
ASIO Campaign

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.

How do we change this?

New Law School Annexe SR 346, Weds 8 May, 4.30pm to 6.00pm

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?

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 it, 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.

Mackie Building Rm 107, Weds March 27, 12.30 - 2.00 pm

For more information: arts.cpacs@usyd.edu.au

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?

  • 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.

Also featuring: World premiere of

Lion Hearts

A short film by Nuts and Balts Media, reflecting with Australian peace activists from 2003.

New Law Building LT 024, Weds March 20, 5.00 - 6.30 pm

For more information: arts.cpacs@usyd.edu.au

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