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Saturday, September 23, 2023

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Rebecca Bartel Rebecca Bartel

New Fred J. Hansen Chair of Peace Studies Named

Rebecca Bartel will lead scholarly research and academic engagement and outreach from 2021-23.
By SDSU News Team

Rebecca Bartel, associate professor in San Diego State University’s Department for the Study of Religion, has been named Fred J. Hansen Chair of Peace Studies at the College of Arts and Letters.

The Hansen Chair is awarded to outstanding scholars whose research and teaching focus on peace and nonviolence.

Bartel, associate director for the Center for Latin American Studies, has centered her research and work on themes of social justice, political economies of war, and efforts at peacebuilding in Latin America and the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Dr. Bartel’s selection provides an opportunity to expand the international focus of the Hansen Chair and continue to build SDSU as a leader in this area,” CAL Dean Monica J. Casper said.

Bartel’s first book, “Card Carrying Christians: Debt and the Making of Free Market Spirituality in Colombia,” is an ethnography of the entangled relationships of debt, belief, violence, and the aspirations of everyday Colombians to bring about peace and prosperity in their lives.  

She has also written numerous articles and chapters on forgiveness, violence, peace agreements, and the economics of war and peace in Colombia. Bartel has presented at dozens of national and international conferences and organized or co-organized four conferences and workshops.

“Peace is not simply the absence of war,” Bartel wrote in her application. “Peace, if we anticipate it to be sustainable and generate new conversations about the future of democracy and civil society, is the presence of justice, equity, and the guarantee of social, economic, and political rights for all persons.  

“These convictions, that peace grows through the cultivation of justice and equity, shapes my vision for the work of the Hansen Chair of Peace Studies.”

Bartel succeeds Hank Johnston of the Department of Sociology as Fred J. Hansen Chair and will hold the position for two years.

Building on the work of previous Hansen Chairs, Bartel said she plans to expand student internship opportunities in peace-building and social justice. She will also collaborate across campus to amplify research and teaching about peace in numerous disciplines; partner with campus organizations such as the Center for Human Rights to offer peace-related programming and activities; strengthen relationships in the broader San Diego/Tijuana social justice communities; and convene noted scholars and practitioners to develop best practices for peacebuilding.