Peace Studies

Les Field, Ph.D., Director (Anthropology)
Peace Studies Program Office: Anthropology 161
MSC01 1040
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-5205

Desi Brown, Academic Advisor and Administrator
Peace Studies Program
(505) 277-2501

Core Curricula Instructors
Thomas Allena, Peace Studies
Rosemary Blanchard, Peace Studies
Desi Brown, American Studies and Peace Studies
Sarita Cargas, Ph.D., Peace Studies and University Honors
Kenneth Carpenter, Global Education Office
Santos Chandrashekar, Women Studies
Teresa Cutler-Broyles, Cinematic Arts
Les Field, Ph.D., Anthropology and Peace Studies
Kyle Fiore, English
Allen Ferguson, English
Shirley Heying, Ph.D., Anthropology and Peace Studies
Christopher Ramirez, Office of Equity and Inclusion
Renee Wolters, Peace Studies

Peace and Justice Studies Fellow
Shirley Heying, Ph.D.

Academic Curriculum Development Committee
Thomas Allena, Peace Studies
Randall Amster, Peace and Justice Association President (Advisory)
Sarita Cargas, Ph.D., Peace Studies and University Honors
Les Field, Ph.D., Anthropology and Peace Studies
George Lopez, Ph.D., Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies (Advisory)
Alex Lubin (American Studies)
Jennifer Moore, J.D., School of Law
Sharon Nepstad, Ph.D., Sociology (Advisory)
Joachim Oberst, Religious Studies
Mark Peceny, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Deborah Roberts-Harris, Ph.D., Teacher Education
William Stanley, Ph.D., Political Science (Advisory)

Advisory Committee
Anita Amstutz
Desi Brown
Vernon Butler
Teresa Cutler-Broyles
Nikki Louis
Kiran Katira
Sayrah Namaste
Christine Rack
Christopher Ramirez
Barri Sanders
Daniel Schwartz
Susan Schuurman
Dan Young


The Peace Studies program is an interdepartmental and transdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the causes, consequences and solutions of all types of conflict through the attainment of either an undergraduate Minor or Certificate tailored to meet a student's needs and areas of academic interest. The program allows students the opportunity to examine alternatives to violence and to reflect upon the nature of peace as a sustainable condition at the individual and collective levels. Interested students are strongly encouraged to meet with the program advisor early to develop their own set of program goals and coursework within the established framework of program requirements.

In the twenty-first century, the problem of violence exists on multiple levels, from domestic abuse and entrenched poverty to international armed conflict, terrorism and counterterrorism. We face the prospect of a nuclear conflagration on one side, with the daily reality of low-technology conflicts in dozens of countries on another. In the organized violence of warfare, far more civilians die than soldiers, small arms destroy more than sophisticated weaponry, and war-related poverty, displacement, and disease are the biggest killers of all. Moreover, in refugee camps and urban communities alike, the pervasive incidence of violence within families and communities feeds and is fed by violence in its other forms. Human rights abuses and immigration problems exist not only across the ocean, but also in New Mexico where we face issues of racism, classism, oppression, poverty, immigration rights, education problems and much more. Students are given the opportunity to look at global situations, and to then examine what is occurring in their own communities where they are tasked with finding viable, sustainable solutions to these complex situations.

Using the disciplinary frameworks found within the College of Arts and Sciences, such as Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Communications and Journalism, Economics, English, Geography, History, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Sustainability Studies, and Women Studies. Students become grounded in effective methodological research and action. By learning effective critical thinking skills in all the program course offerings, and borrowing from the transdisciplinary pedagogy of the College of Education School of Law, Community Engagement Center, Research and Service-Learning program, Honors College and more, students become more engaged in their classroom subjects and their own community via experimental education opportunities in a way that leads to higher levels of learning and commitment to bettering the world around them.

Ultimately, the goals of the Peace Studies program reinforce the overall goals of liberal arts education and critical thinking skills development: to inform, to enrich and to strengthen humanistic values within our society. The Minor and Certificate both offer a unique, interdisciplinary addition to existing programs at the University of New Mexico and is readily integrated into undergraduate programs in other schools and colleges within the university system. Careers in armed forces, education, foreign service, health and human services, law and law enforcement, management, public service and the fine arts are enhanced by the study of conflict and its peaceful resolution. Understanding issues of social and environmental justice are imperative in today’s world and learning how to use ‘peace making’ tools as actions against the structural violence that surrounds us everyday is a necessity for our planet’s (and humanities) survival.

The UNM Peace Studies Program is a collaborative association of UNM faculty, staff, students and administrators with support from affiliated organizational and community members. The program is committed to a strong citizenship role within the University; participating in campus and community events relevant to critically understanding social and environmental justice issues and looking at ways to peaceably reduce the violence caused by them. The program is home to the Albuquerque Action Alliance, a network of graduate and undergraduate student groups and leaders dedicated to making the world a better place; Students Organizing Actions for Peace (SOAP); and the weekly People before Profit Film Series. Through both classroom and experiential learning opportunities, students are invited to think critically about the world, to act creatively, and to fashion their own and the collective future in a holistic and supportive educational environment.

Associated Programs

Undergraduate Program


PCST 102. Introduction to Peace Studies. (3)

PCST 240. International Politics. (3)

PCST 306. Peace and Conflict. (3)

PCST 307. Nonviolent Alternatives. (3)

PCST 340. Topics in Peace Studies. (3 to a maximum of 15 Δ)

PCST 400. Peace Studies Internship. (3)

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809