Currently viewing the tag: "Ginn Library"
Sitting in the Admissions Office, it can be difficult to gain real knowledge of all that’s going on at the School. And whatever I don’t know much about, I usually don’t write about. So I was lucky that the World Peace Foundation agreed to write a series of blog posts to describe their very interesting work. Here is the first post, written by Bridget Conley-Zilkic, the WPF Research Director and Assistant Research Professor at Fletcher. Two more posts will appear on the coming two Wednesdays.
One of the most fragile books on the shelves at Tufts University’s Tisch Library must surely be Jonathon Dymond’s excessively titled piece An Inquiry into the Accordancy of War with the Principles of Christianity and an Examination of the Philosophical Reasoning by Which It is Defended with Observations on the Causes of War and Some of Its Effects (1834), donated to Tufts Library in 1861. Its cover is a time-worn blue and gold; its pages have already faded from yellow to light brown. Is it possible that the founder of the World Peace Foundation (WPF), Edwin Ginn, pulled this same book off the shelves when he was a student at Tufts in 1858-1862? And would Ginn be proud to know that the foundation he created in support of world peace in 1910 came “home” in a manner of speaking to Tufts University’s The Fletcher School in 2011? For Ginn was not only a Tufts almnus and trustee, his name also graces the library at The Fletcher School, founded by his donation.
A self-made man and publisher of educational textbooks, Ginn was part of an emerging international movement at the turn of the last century that traced its conceptual roots to Immanuel Kant’s notion of “perpetual peace” based upon a “league of nations.” While not all were pacifists, many participants in the movement believed that advancing international commerce, democracy, law, and diplomacy would provide the building blocks for a definitive era of global peace.
The WPF was established in lines with this approach for the purpose of:
“…educating the people of all nations to the full knowledge of the waste and destructiveness of war and of preparation for war, its evil effects on present social conditions and on the well-being of future generations, and to promote international justice and the brotherhood of man, and generally by every practical means to promote peace and good will among all mankind.”
Edwin Ginn died on January 21, 1914. He did not live to witness the horrors of World War I, let alone those of World War II. But since his time, two of the three pillars of world peace that he identified have been constructed: inter-state cooperation through the United Nations and other bodies, and mechanisms for the lawful and nonviolent resolution of international disputes. By contrast, his third goal of disarmament has not been achieved.
Meanwhile, especially in the last half century, the number and intensity of violent conflicts has fallen, and their nature has changed. Today, war is often pursued by non-state actors, including informal globalized networks, and most violence takes place within countries, with blurred boundaries between armed conflict, crime and the enforcement of government will. These shifts in the trends of warfare deeply challenge the conceptualization and work of peace; a fact that animates the program of the World Peace Foundation today.
Beginning in 2011, with the move to The Fletcher School, Alex de Waal was brought on board as the executive director, and soon thereafter he hired Bridget Conley-Zilkic as research director and Lisa Avery as administrative assistant. The WPF today aims to provide intellectual leadership on issues of peace, justice and security. We believe that innovative research and teaching are critical to the challenges of making peace around the world, and should go hand in hand with advocacy and practical engagement with the toughest issues. As the Foundation enters its second century, our underlying theme is reinventing peace for the globalizing world.
In our next blog essay, learn about our on-going projects.
It is hot hot hot today, but on another day, when a walk outside would be more enjoyable, I’m going to saunter over to the gallery at the Aidekman Arts Center to check out two new exhibits. The first is The Boston–Jo’burg Connection — interesting art with an interesting back-story.
Rounding out my cultural field trip will be a second exhibit — photographs by university photographers. Though most of the pix are not closely linked to Fletcher life, I like to imagine that our students get out into the greater community now and then.
If you visit Fletcher this summer, consider leaving a little time to wander around the Tufts campus and check out the Arts Center. But if you don’t have time to cross campus, you don’t need to go culture-free. The Fletcher Perspectives exhibit of student photography is conveniently located in Ginn Library.
Perspectives is a student-run organization and it has just emerged from a year’s hiatus. The photos currently on display represent a variety of styles and locations, including this one from Turkey.
No plans for a visit this summer? Check out the complete collection online.
Tagged with: Ginn Library
An amusing notice crossed my inbox recently, inviting the community to a Social Hour at 5:30 today in the Ginn Library. The weekly Social Hours are a time when students, along with faculty and staff, come together for a little eating and drinking, and a lot of conversation. (Prospective students can join in following the Admissions Information Sessions each Thursday, starting next week.) Most of the Social Hours take place in the Hall of Flags, which already makes the Ginn Library venue a little unusual. But the invitation goes further, inviting us to break (almost) all the library’s usual rules. According to the notice, Ginn — staffed by librarians and tech experts who usually endeavor to maintain library decorum — will, for one hour, be the site of:
Brazilian BBQ from Oasis Brazilian
Beatles Rock Band
iPod Shuffle and other prizes raffled amongst rockers (see above)!
With food, drink, swag, exhibitionism, and gambling in Ginn Library, the message is clear: for one hour this week, community trumps research and assignments.
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