Women of peace highlight Coe’s Thursday Forum

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March 28, 2014 | 10:31 am

The work of 15 women who have won the Nobel Peace Prize will be featured in February at Coe College’s Thursday Forum lecture series.

Beginning Feb. 7, Associate Professor of Political Science Kimberly Lanegran examines the process through which the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, summarizes the work of the 15 women of peace, and identifies three main ways in which these women seek to foster peace.

One path to the Peace Prize has taken women through international peace-making institutions and movements. Jane Addams (1931) of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Jody Williams (1997) of the Ban Land Mine Campaign exemplify this approach.

A second group of women received the prize for work in domestic peace movements. Lanegran will focus on the contributions of Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan (1976) from Northern Ireland and Leymah Gbowee (2011) from Liberia.

Finally, a small number of Peace Prize winners directly participate in politics so as to foster peace. Aung San Suu Kyi (1991) of Myanmar/Burma and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011) of Liberia chose this path.

Themes throughout class discussions will include the degrees to which feminism – a focus on rights of women – and religion motivated each peace-maker, how each woman selected her personal strategy, and how seemingly “ordinary” women can respond to tragedy and injustice with extraordinary passion and impact.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with coffee and pastries from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. A luncheon is offered at the conclusion of each series.

The courses are open to all adults. The cost is $30 for a four-week course paid on the first day, or $12 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Thursday Forum gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

“Women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates” – Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28.

“Contemporary Energy Issues” – March 7, 14, 21, 28.

“Great American Film Directors of Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’” – April 4, 11, 18, 25.

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