University of Missouri-Columbia Peace Studies Conference September 21-22, 2022

How do we sustain or achieve peace in times of crisis? This question has challenged many people, including scholars, activists, policymakers, and students, who have been working on initiatives to achieve sustainable peace in local, national, and international communities.

They have worked diligently to effect harmonious coexistence within environments wracked by racial injustice, endemic poverty, civil unrest, conspiracy theories, antidemocratic trends, and threats to public health and the natural environment. At the same time, the work of many of these individuals, groups, or entities who have pursued sustainable peace initiatives, such as the harmonious coexistence of women’s rights and religion, politics and equality, and traditional and non-traditional social identities, are rarely in the spotlight, even the most deserving.

This conference seeks to uncover these works by bringing together a diverse range of scholars, activists, students, and policymakers from different countries to discuss their anti-conflict work based on quantitative and qualitative research across disciplinary boundaries. The 2022 Peace Studies Conference at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, will address the theme of Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in Modern Societies.

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Wednesday, September 21 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

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9:30 Coffee

10:00 Opening remarks – D.A. Dunkley, Director, Peace Studies, University of Missouri 10:10 Welcome – Cooper Drury, Dean, College of Arts and Science, University of Missouri


Session 1: 10:20–11:45 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

The Politics of Peace: Local, National, and Global

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  • Sean J. McLaughlin, Murray State University: “The Fog of Peace: Kennedy, de Gaulle, and Alternatives to War in Vietnam, 1961-63”


  • Soumya Ranjan Gahir, Ravenshaw University, India: “Regional Peacekeeping: An Empirical Alternative to UN Peacekeeping?”


  • Kelechi Onyeaka and Damilola Giwa-Daramola, University of Missouri-Columbia, “Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in Modern Societies: Poverty and Peace”


Session 2: 12:00–1:25 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

Religion and Peace

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  • Vedran Obućina, University of Regensburg, Germany: “Success or Failure of The Interreligious Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina”


  • Dave Gosse, University of the West Indies, Jamaica: “The Prophet of August Town: Race, Colonialism, and Peace”


  • D.A. Dunkley, University of Missouri-Columbia: “America’s First Black Priest and the Struggle for Peace”


  • C.W. Dawson, Westminster College and the Unitarian Universalist Church, Columbia, MO: “Colorism and Protestant Christianity”


Lunch: 1:25–2:00


Session 3: 2:00-3:25 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

Building Peace: Rotarian Stories

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  • A panel of Rotarians, moderated by a co-chair of Rotary District 6080’s Peacebuilder Committee will briefly review Rotary’s focus on and history of building peace in their communities, and share their own experiences as peacemakers. Moderator: Sarah Read, Co-chair Rotary District 6080 Peacebuilder Committee and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Columbia


Session 4: 3:40-5:00 (Venue: State Historical Society, MO)

Documenting Trouble and Resilience: Social Justice Photography, Then and Now

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W. Ralph Eubanks, University of Mississippi writer-in-residence, “Southern Landscapes, Southern Truths.”

Berkley Hudson, University of Missouri-Columbia (emeritus), “Photographing Trouble and Resilience in the American South”

Maxine Payne, Hendrix College professor of art, “Documenting People & Place.”

Rashod Taylor, Large format photographer/artist, “Growing Up Black in America.”



Thursday, September 22

9:30 Coffee


Session 5: 10:00-11:25 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

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  • Tola Pearce and Richard Hessler, “Presentation by the editors of the International Journal of Conflict and Reconciliation


Session 6: 11:25-12:25 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

War and Peace in Central Asia

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  • Mary Stegmaier, University of Missouri-Columbia: “The War in Ukraine from the Perspective of Kyrgyzstan”


  • Russ Zguta, University of Missouri-Columbia: “Russia’s War on Ukraine: A Historical Perspective”


  • Abdusabur Abdusamadov, University of Missouri-Columbia: “Central Asia and Russian- Ukrainian War”


Lunch 12:25-1:25


Session 7: 1:25-3:00 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

Political Transitions and Violence in Africa: Lessons Learned

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  • William Arrey, Protestant University of Central Africa, Yaoundé, Cameroon: “The Dynamics of Electoral Conflicts and Violence, and their Democratic Consequences


  • Nasir Ali, Somaliland, Somalia: “Ports and Politics in the Horn of Africa: Can Berbera Port Development Change Regional Political Dynamics?”


  • Pamela Machakanja, Africa University, Zimbabwe: “Envisioning Digital Pathways to Peace Building in the Covid-19 Era: The Case of Zimbabwe”


  • Mesfin Woledgebriel, University of Missouri-Columbia: “Political Transitions and Violence in the Horn of Africa: Lessons Learned from Ethiopian Case”


Session 8: 3:15-4:00 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)

Rotary Opportunities for Peacebuilders

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  • Rotary is the world’s largest service organization, connecting people and communities around the globe. A panel of Rotarians, moderated by a co-chair of Rotary District 6080’s Peacebuilder Committee, will discuss how the Rotary network can help you further your career as a peacebuilder. The panel will review Rotary Fellowships, the Rotary Action Group for Peace, global grants and other Rotary affiliated programs and resources. Moderated by Jacque Howard, Past District Governor and Co-chair of the Rotary District 6080 Peacebuilder Committee


Closing Session: 4:00-4:30 (Venue: Room 106A Ellis Library)