Read Cynthia Cohen's notes on feminist epistemology, aesthetic ways of knowing and peacebuilding

Video: Presentation by the Ulafa’a Visual Artists of Bahrain

Read Reflection on Farhat Abgaria’s Visit by Cynthia Cohen 

Exhibit: BLUE - Read the interview on BrandeisNOW

Anna Khandros: The Politics Perspective on Peacebuilding

Program works with art to create peace

Past Events

Aug 31 - Sept 3, 2018
IMPACT Design Lab

March 6-12, 2018
De-Colonizing Approaches to Arts-Based Peacebuilding
Dr. Babu Ayindo in Residence at Brandeis University

May 2, 2017
Film Festival: Documenting the Immigrant Experience

February 4, 2017
Activism Through Song: Advancing Social Justice Through Folk Music, A Concert and Discussion with Magpie

October 13, 18, & November 1, 2016
Imagining Freedom | Creating Justice
Salon Series

April 14 - 17, 2016
Shout the Big Dreams - Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

February 2, 2016
Freedom Underfoot: Performance by Germaine Ingram

September 28 - October 8, 2015
Now As Then: We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest
Events focusing creative attention on the struggle for voting rights

April 24, 2015
A Mini-Festival of Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation

March 2 - 5, 2015
Fatu Gayflor and Toni Shapiro-Phim in Residence

November 5, 2014
Music and the Cultural Survival of Indigenous Peoples: The Andean Q’eros and Amazonian Wachiperi Peoples of Peru

May 2014
A Call to Action - A Way Out of No Way: Learning from Jane Sapp's Life, Stories and Songs via Indiegogo
Jane at Piano

February 1-10, 2014
"Seeking Lives of Purpose"
Part of 'DEIS Impact 2014

January 28-29, 2014
Possibilities and Dilemmas of Incorporating Sacred Elements into Art for Social Change

September 17-19, 2013
Panel on Resilience, the Arts and Social Transformation
Vancouver, Canada

June 20-21, 2013
Community Arts Lab - Arts Festival and Conference
Utrecht, Netherlands

April 19-28, 2013
Bahrain/Brandeis: Ulafa’a
Reconciliation Art Project

September 21-23 &
28-30, 2012
Facilitating Encounters through Art

December 1-2, 2011
Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence

October 23, 2011
"Acting Together on the World Stage" Boston Premiere

October 21-23, 2011
Weekend Intensive:
Peacebuilding and the Arts: Community Cultural Development

April 12, 2011
Nexus of Arts and Social Transformation

More Past Events

Read about the Acting Together launch on BrandeisNOW. More details on the Ethics Center website.


Guidelines for cosponsorship of your campus events.

Upcoming Events

Poetry Reading & Choreopoem Performance – Ashley-Rose and Melissa Alexis
Followed by: Rhythm, Rhyme & Revolution: A Workshop on the Arts as a Tool for Resiliency

ashley roseApril 8
5:00-6:00 pm reading and performance;
6:00 pm food and workshop
Location: Brandeis University, Atrium – Mandel Center for the Humanities
photo: Ashley-Rose

An award-winning Haitian-American educator, organizer, and poet from Boston, Ashley-Rose’s poetry has been featured in The Anthology of Liberation Poetry, alongside the work of Tony Hoagland and Black Arts Movement co-founder Askia M. Touré. She gave one of the first TEDex talks in Boston based on her poem “The Other Side of Ruggles.”As a storyteller, she’s also been featured on PBS’s Stories from the Stage. Ashley-Rose was honored by Mayor Marty Walsh with the OneIn3 Impact Award as one of the most influential people under age 35 in Boston. In 2016 she was awarded Boston’s Extraordinary Woman Award for her work with arts, education, and community development in Boston.

A dance artist/educator, certified yoga teacher, and writer, Melissa Alexis (M.F.A. Dance, Sarah Lawrence College) founded Cultural Fabric & The Healing Arts Institute to foster mindfulness through movement in service of healing justice and inclusion. A first-generation Trinidadian-American, her movement research is rooted in exploring the intersection of African, Eastern, and Western perspectives, as well as psychology, social justice, sustainability, and mindfulness studies. 

Please bring something to write with, paper, and a writing surface (a book or notebook).

Sponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) and cosponsored by the English department.

Questions? Contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

CAST Minor Poster

Presentations of Creative and Scholarly Work

by Candidates For Faculty Position
With the Interdisciplinary Minor In Creativity, The Arts, And Social Transformation (CAST)

Applied Theatre and Its Tensions: Community-Based Devising with British Muslim Youth
Asif Majid

Monday, April 8, 1:00pm
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

Drawing on the author’s theatre-making fieldwork with British Muslim youth in Manchester and excerpts from the radio play that resulted from it, this presentation will consider the tensions that applied theatre practice must negotiate as it engages various communities.

She’s Acting Up, Again: Creating Activist Performances with Teenage Girls
Dana Edell

Monday, April 15, 1:00pm
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

Dana Edell will share selected challenges, strategies, and ethics of creating anti-racist, feminist theater with girls of color and will present a theoretical, ethical and personal analysis of how girls use theater for social, political, and personal transformation


Critical Artist-Scholar Collaborations in the Aftermath of War and Displacement
Toni Shapiro-Phim

Wednesday, April 17, 1:00pm
Location: Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

 Cultural anthropologist Toni Shapiro-Phim discusses artists as public intellectuals, and scholars as creative contributors, in efforts to counter the shattering of self and community that results from mass violence.

CAST Minor Poster

CAST Capstone Presentation
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Location: Brandeis University, Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex 209

The Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) graduating minors will be presenting their final projects. Minors include: Gemma Curnin, Kiaina Gomez, Remony Perlman, Jean Poulard, and Sarah Terrazano.

The capstone project, a core part of the CAST minor, can be fulfilled as an internship, directed study, special topics course, or capstone series. Students will be discussing and reflecting on their work during this celebratory evening.  

Dinner will be served. 

Questions? Contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

Uncommencement and CAST Graduation
Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Brandeis University,Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex Atrium 

Come celebrate with the graduating seniors and graduate students whose work has been an integral part of the Ethics Center, as well as those fulfilling the minor in CAST. 

This year’s event honorees include: Amna Ahmed, Armine Avetisyan, Abby Bergman, Julia Brown, Gemma Curnin, Yuval Derry, Vidit Dhawan, Ece Esikara, Alexander Feldman, Klaina Gomez, Andrew Jacobson, Alyssa Kann, Kate Kesselman, Samantha Lauring, Siwar Mansour, Madison Matthews, Santiago Montoya, Remony Perlman, Jean Poulard, Hannah Recknor, Sage Rosenthal, Elisabeth Shaller, Doron Shapir, Ravi Simon, Brandon Stanaway, Hannah Sussman, Maxwell Tang, Sarah Terrazano, and Yiyi Wu.

Good food served! All are welcome. 

Questions? Contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

This Place/Displaced

Play: This Place/Displaced
May 2 – May 4, 2019
Times: 7:30 pm May 2, 8:00 pm May 3-4
Location: Merrick Theatre, Spingold

Artists’ Theater of Boston (ATB) has partnered with Boston-area residents who have experienced eviction and displacement to create a new work exploring gentrification, loss of community and local memory, and the fight to have a home. This Place/Displaced weaves together stories of advocacy, change, and resistance by eight playwrights including Kirsten Greenidge (Obie winning Milk Like Sugar), David Valdes Greenwood (IRNE nominated Bully Dance), and MJ Halberstadt (Eliot Norton Award winning Losers, or The Launch Prize), with original music by composer Max Kennedy. Directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden, Artistic Associate and Casting Director at Company One Theatre, This Place/Displaced is a timely reflection of Boston’s need to prioritize equity and justice for all its residents. Following its August run at the Charlestown Working Theater, ATB brings the production to Brandeis, accompanied by conversations with anti-displacement activists, playwrights, and company members, and opportunities to advocate for just communities. 

Sponsored by the Minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) with financial support from The Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation (through the support of Naomi Sinnreich, P’13).

The event is free and open to the Brandeis community. 

Questions? Contact ethics@brandeis.edu.

Call for Papers: Creative Approaches to Transitional Justice: Contributions of Arts and Culture
2020 Special Issue, International Journal of Transitional Justice
Deadline for submissions: July 1, 2019

Guest Editor:
Cynthia Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University’s International Centre for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, US.

creative approaches

The International Journal of Transitional Justice invites submissions for its 2020 Special Issue, Creative Approaches to Transitional Justice: Contributions of Arts and Culture, to be guest edited by Cynthia Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University’s International Centre for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, US.

This Special Issue invites works that document, critically engage with, and imagine new forms of artistic and cultural research and practice in/with transitional justice processes. The Issue seeks creative approaches crafted to address the legacy of human rights abuses and to effect social reconstruction and transformation through transitional justice in the wake of widespread violence and oppression. We welcome a variety of forms, including scholarship, practitioners’ reflections and creative works suitable for presentation in print format and on the journal’s website.

Submissions are invited on any questions and themes related to creative approaches to transitional justice. The submission deadline is July 1, 2019. Learn more about the submission guidelines. Papers should be submitted online through the IJTJ webpage at academic.oup.com/ijtj. For further information, please contact the managing editor at ijtj@csvr.org.za. View the full flyer.