Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

2024 PCS Honors Examiners

Welcome to our 2024 PCS Honors Examiners! These seven distinguished scholars and activists bring together years of theory and practice in peacebuilding and peace studies, and represent the intersection of fields including legal studies, international education, political science, Middle East studies, anthropology, gender studies, and sociology.

Dr. Dana Burde

Dr. Dana Burde’s research focuses on conflict, peacebuilding, and education. Her work explores how to increase access to quality education to underserved populations, including girls, and has transformed how research in education in emergencies is conducted, as well as how governments educate their citizens. Her scholarship has appeared in the Comparative Education Review, American Economic Journal—Applied, Review of Educational Research, and has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio. Her work has been funded bythe Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation, US Institute of Peace, UK Department for International Development, Danida, Malala Foundation, and USAID. Her book, Schools for Conflict or for Peace in Afghanistan (Columbia University Press) won the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Burde has lived and worked in South America, West Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central and South Asia.

She is Associate Professor of International Education and Politics, Director of the International Education Program at NYU Steinhardt, and the founding Editor-in-Chief of the INEE-NYU Journal on Education in Emergencies. She is also an associated faculty member at NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Wagner, the Center for Economic Research and Policy in Pakistan (CERP), and the Association for Analytic Learning in Muslim Societies (AALIMS). She was the founding Executive Director of NYU in Afghanistan (now closed). Burde received her PhD from Columbia University; EdM from Harvard University; and BA from Oberlin College.

Dr. Elena Caruso

Dr. Elena Caruso is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo, Canada and a Visiting fellow at the Department of Law, European University Institute, Italy. Her research mainly focuses on social movements and law, reproductive rights, and empirical legal studies. Her work mainly concerns the relationship between feminist movements and abortion law in Italy, from the 1970s to today.

Elena is also a fellow of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, based at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She held visiting fellowships at the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney, Melbourne Law School, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Cardiff School of Law. In July 2023, Elena obtained a PhD from Kent Law School, England. Prior to her doctoral studies, she obtained a MA in Law from the University of Catania, Italy and an LLM in International Law from Kent Law School.

Elena has an online presence on X/Twitter as elena_caruso_ and on her website, elenacaruso.co.uk.

Dr. Tarek El-Ariss

Dr. Tarek El-Ariss is the James Wright Professor and Chair of Middle Eastern Studies at Dartmouth College. In 2021, he earned a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete his new book, Water on Fire: A Memoir of War. Trained in philosophy, comparative literature, and visual and cultural studies, he works across disciplines and languages to examine notions of the subject, community, and modernity. His research interests include Arabic literature, culture, and the arts; literary theory, new media, and digital humanities; Nahda and modernity studies; travel writing and the war novel; sci-fi and utopia studies; 18th- and 19th-century French philosophy and literature; and gender and sexuality studies. He is author of Trials of Arab Modernity: Literary Affects and the New Political and Leaks, Hacks, and Scandals: Arab Culture in the Digital Age, and editor of the MLA anthology, The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda.

Dr. Maia Hallward

Dr. Maia Carter Hallward is Professor of Middle East Politics in the School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development at Kennesaw State University and Director of the PhD in International Conflict Management program. She is associate editor of the Journal of Political Science Education, and served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 2015-2023. Dr. Hallward received her PhD in International Relations from American University’s School of International Service, with concentrations in Peace and Conflict Resolution and Critical Geopolitics. She is the author or co-author of seven books, including NGOs and Human Rights (Univ of Georgia Press, 2021), Understanding International Conflict Management (Routledge, 2020), Global Responses to Conflict and Crisis in Syria and Yemen (Palgrave Pivot 2019), Struggling for a Just Peace: Israeli and Palestinian Activism in the Second Intifada (University of Florida Press, 2011) and Understanding Nonviolence: Contours and Contexts (Polity Press, 2014). Maia has lived in the Middle East for over four years and was a Fulbright Scholar in Amman, Jordan in 2022. She is a co-editor of a forthcoming book on The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and a co-editor of the forthcoming SAGE Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies. Dr. Hallward has led study abroad trips to Jerusalem multiple times, as well as to Morocco and Geneva, Switzerland. As a high school and college student Dr. Hallward sought every opportunity she could to travel and did study-learning-working trips in Germany, Honduras, Colombia, Japan, and Ramallah among others.

Dr. Nell Gabiam

Dr. Nell Gabiam is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Political science and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies program at Iowa State University. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. She is the author of The Politics of Suffering: Syria’s Palestinian Refugee Camps, which was published in May 2016 by Indiana University Press. While her earlier research focused on the politics of humanitarianism and development in Palestinian refugee camps, her more recent research focuses on Palestinians displaced by the ongoing Syrian war and has taken her to Jordan, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, France, Sweden, and Germany.

Dr. Gabiam was also recently involved in an NSF-funded collaborative research project that examined challenges to housing re-settled refugees in Iowa. Finally, she is currently participating in a collaborative documentary project that explores the experiences of Palestinian refugees displaced to Europe as a result of the war in Syria.

Dr. Isis Nusair

Dr. Isis Nusair is a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies & International Studies at Denison University. She is the co-editor with Rhoda Kanaaneh of Displaced at Home: Ethnicity and Gender Among Palestinians in Israel and translator of Ever Since I Did Not Die by Ramy Al-Asheq. Her upcoming co-edited anthology with Barbara Shaw focuses on feminist collaboration in teaching and learning. She is completing two book manuscripts on Iraqi women refugees in Jordan and the USA, and on refugees from Syria in Germany. Isis is the co-writer/director with Laila Farah of the one-woman performance Weaving the Maps: Tales of Survival and Resistance. She is currently researching gendered, racialized, and sexualized torture from Abu-Ghraib to Gaza, and the body of war in Syrian TV series post 2011. She serves on the editorial committee of the International Feminist Journal of Politics. She previously served on the editorial committee of MERIP and as a researcher on women’s human rights in the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch and at the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. Isis is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures and the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. She is a member of the Transnational and Palestinian Feminist Collectives and Faculty for Justice in Palestine.

Dr. Kurt Schock

Dr. Kurt Schock is a Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, Newark. His interests are in social movements and peace and conflict studies, and his research has spanned three substantive areas, which are approached from comparative and cross-national perspectives: structural sources of violent political conflict; civil disobedience and unarmed resistance; and struggles for land in the Global South. His books include Civil Resistance Today (Polity, 2015), Civil Resistance: Comparative Perspectives on Nonviolent Struggle (editor, University of Minnesota Press, 2015), and Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies (University of Minnesota Press, 2005). Unarmed Insurrections was awarded Best Book of the Year by the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association and published in Spanish as Insurrecciones No Armadas: Poder Popular en Regimenes No Democráticos (Editorial Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia, 2008). He has also published in social movements journals, such as Mobilization, peace and conflict studies journals, such as Journal of Conflict Resolution and Journal of Peace Research, and contributed numerous chapters to edited volumes.

His current research addresses social movements struggling against capitalist land dispossession in Brazil and India. He examines how movements challenge the state and processes of dispossession in their struggles for land rights, while simultaneously building direct democracy at the grassroots. He served as Convenor of the Nonviolence Commission of the International Peace Research Association from 2008 to 2014.