JUPS Founders Awarded Vicennial Medals
Professors Mark Lance and Henry Schwarz, founders of the Justice and Peace Program at Georgetown, were awarded their Vicennial Medals at the Spring 2012 Faculty Convocation for their 20 years of service to Georgetown University.
Each year, the university recognizes academic faculty and staff with Vicennial Medals for their 20 years of service to Georgetown. Gold medals are awarded to full-time faculty, and silver medals to part-time faculty.
The JUPS Program had its beginnings in the early 1990s when Professor Sam Marullo, who was then part of the Sociology Department, and Amy Hubbard (COL ’77), both of whom were trained in Peace Studies, wanted to start a program at Georgetown.
“We thought then that there was no place for sustained serious reflection on issues of justice, reflection that would bring in relevant empirical work and serious philosophical and political reflection,” explains Professor Lance, “We also knew that there were many students who were interested in and would benefit from such an intellectual program. Many were getting bits and pieces of the Peace and Justice field; many were involved as activists in issues of Peace and Justice, but no academic program put the relevant pieces together. So we just decided to, well, build it and see if they came.”
Professor Marullo and Dr. Hubbard then recruited one of the Jesuits who was then at GU, and asked Professor Lance to join. “I had no real academic background in the area, but was an activist, and committed to peace and justice as social causes,” explains Professor Lance. “We brainstormed a program that would be feasible at GU, and then went through the laborious process of getting approval, first in the SFS and the College. When the program started, I took over as the first director.”
Professor Lance’s research is mainly in philosophy, but he has taught several courses in the program, and has brought students into contact with a wide range of people in the activist/organizing community through his contacts from over 20 years of involvement in movements.
Professor Lance believe that the program needs to expand in two ways: first, that it needs a tenure track line to make the program permanent; and second, to form a major. “The former is required for the latter,” explains Professor Lance, “It is not responsible to offer a major when the vast majority of the teaching is done by folks in other departments who teach only on loan to JUPS. In my view that is the only way to guarantee the continuation of the extraordinary contribution that JUPS makes to the character of GU…This is the vision I have for the program. Georgetown says that social justice is central to its mission as a Jesuit university. It has always been my view that this must be reflected in the central element of the university – it’s teaching mission. And if social justice is to be central, it can’t just be a course here and a course there throughout the curriculum. There has to be a program that brings the various disciplinary approaches together.”
Professor Lance is teaching a JUPS course on Anarchist Theory in Fall 2012.
On a last note, Professor Lance encourages students to think seriously about what they want to do with their lives. “…Use this time to think very seriously about what you want out of your life…How does working for a more just world, and forming a just and democratic community in your life fit into such things as career and family? This is your chance to think about that alongside other smart committed people. Don't waste that.”
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