Professor Leslie E. Sponsel teaches the undergraduate course ANTH/PACE 345 Aggression, War and Peace, available for both students of the Department of Anthropology and the Matsunaga Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In spite of its title, in recent years the course program shifted into a pioneering approach of addressing nonkilling from an athropological perspective. Hundred of students have benefited over the years from Leslie’s teachings, that extensively use the learning materials developed by the Center for Global Nonkilling, including the books Nonkilling Global Political Science, Toward a Nonkilling Paradigm, Nonkilling Societies, and Nonkilling Spiritual Traditions.
The syllabus of ANTH/PACE 345 Aggression, War and Peace divides the course in three parts. Part I Anthropology provides anthropological background by focusing on a critical analysis of competing ideological conceptions of human nature illustrated by a controversial ethnographic case and based on Sponsel’s recent book: Yanomami and Anthropology in the Amazon: Culture, Politics, Ethics, and Rights (2018). Part I also scrutinizes the development of professional ethics in anthropology in relation to wars and the specific recent case of the Human Terrain System in Iraq and Afghanistan. Part II Nonkilling explores the nonkilling possibilities and actualities of societies and also of anthropology and other academic disciplines, using various CGNK edited materials. Part III Religions explores the relationships of world religions with violence, war, nonviolence, peace, and human rights. This last part changes seasonally, and has included other focus such as climate change in previous years.
The main ideas of Sponsel’s approach can be found in the introductory chapter of the book Nonkilling Societies, that explores the role, possibilities and responsibilities of anthropology as a field in bringing about a killing-free world. Some of the core materials of the the course ANTH/PACE 345 Aggression, War and Peace are offered below for free download so they can be used for independent self-guided study or adaptation for other educational programs. Some PDF presentations have been edited to remove images where copyrights are unclear.