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Current Students

A few of our current students include:

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Sahar Namazikhah is a journalist with seventeen years of professional experience with the leading independent and nongovernmental newspapers of Iran, and subsequently in the United States.  She is the Director of Iran Programs at the S-CAR’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University through Nonviolence International.  She pursues international projects about domestic and international conflicts related to Iran. Her main concentration is on conflict prevention. Women bridging in conflict-stricken countries and ethnic minority rights are the two current projects under her directorship at SCAR.

In 2005, she was selected as a Sauvé Scholar at McGill University in Canada. This prestigious award and scholarship goes to those young leaders from across the globe whose unique initiative, motivation, vision, and awareness of international and domestic issues shows a strong desire to affect and change the world.  During her time as a Sauvé Scholar, in collaboration with McGill’s department of Sociology, she completed her project on “Iranian Immigrant Women in Canadian Civil Society”, which focuses on three generations of Iranian women in Canada and their contributions to Canadian civil society, and addresses the question “Why do immigrant women activists prefer to pursue social activities rather than political activities?”

Sahar Namazikhah has published hundreds of editorials, op-eds, and analytical reports on religious and cultural conflicts, ethnic minorities, student and women’s movements, civil society, and international organizational conflicts. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Literature, Master’s degree in Comparative Religions and Mysticism, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuiliding.

 

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Bernard Londoni is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has focused his research on sexual violence in the region.  Bernard has a BA in International Relations and Political Science from Lynn University, Boca Raton Florida and completed his MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) in spring 2011. Bernard currently works as Regional Security Analyst for Africa at iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, Annapolis, MD. He is also a regular contributor of the online forum – Unchain Africa Press where he has published several articles on issues related to conflict resolution, politics, social economic and development. Before joining S-CAR, Bernard was a staff intern at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Africa Program. He also served as the Regional Director for Americans for Informed Democracy and was a steering committee member for Africa Action students’ network.is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bernard lived and traveled to several African countries including Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

 

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Elizabeth Mount is the Dean’s Fellow on Gender and Violence at the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, where she is focusing her dissertation research on the relationship between masculinity and aggression, specifically addressing the mechanisms by which cultural concepts of masculinity are leveraged to insight genocide and mass atrocities.   Her past work focuses specifically on methodologies applicable to gender focused research ,and her MA thesis is in the final stages of editing for inclusion in Advances in Gender Research Vol. 18b (Emerald 2013).  In 2012 she was a fellow at the Faculty of Sociology at the National Research University- Higher School of Economics in Moscow, where she completed research on the implications of cultural norms of masculinity on legislative responses to gender-based violence.

 
Michael Loadenthal is a proud father, anarchist organizer, clandestine conspirator, and academic insurgent based in Washington, DC.  Over the past fifteen years he has been involved in a number of  anti-authoritarian projects around the world, and at present focuses his energies on developing challenges to the State’s criminalization of dissent.  Throughout high school and college, he worked for Planned Parenthood at both the affiliate and federal levels. For seven years Michael was employed in clinics and schools as an educator, counselor, and provider of direct care and abortion services.  He completed two B.A.s in 2006 (American University) in “Women’s and Gender Studies” and “International Peace and Conflict Resolution.”  In 2010, he completed a Master’s degree in “Terrorism Studies” at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (University of St Andrews), focusing his dissertation on a data-driven defense of direct action and economic sabotage.  In 2011, Michael began teaching “Terrorism and Political Violence” at Georgetown University, and later that year, began a doctoral Fellowship at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (George Mason University).  Currently, he splits his time between raising a vegan daughter, researching Statecraft, teaching theory, writing constantly, and agitating for a better world.  He regularly publishes propaganda and political theory under a variety of pseudonyms, and is the co-writer of the blog “Thoughts of a Pregnant Vegan,” thoughtsofapregnantvegan.wordpress.com.

Michael’s research deals with issues of Queer theory and gender in a variety of ways.  In 2012 he published “Operation Splash Back!: Queering Animal Liberation Through the Contribution of Neo-Insurrectionist Queers” in the Journal for Critical Animal Studies’ special issue on Queer theory and anti-speciesist praxis.  This paper examines newly emergent anti-assimilationist Queer networks and argues for the expansion of the theory of intersectionality amidst understanding of newly apparent spheres of oppression.  Currently he is in the process of publishing a Queer theory analysis of the X-Men movie franchise, examining the films for homonormative and Statist tendencies.  This paper has recently been presented at a variety of conference settings including the North American Anarchist Studies Network and the Lavender Languages Queer Linguistics conferences.  In addition, Michael is awaiting publication of several book chapters dealing with the police’s use of sexualized infiltration targeting anarchist, animal liberationist and radical environmental movements.  This inquiry adopts Michel Foucault’s work to examine the disciplinary power of disrupting social movements through sexualized violence and seeks to expose neoliberal Statecraft for the violence it perpetuates.  In the past Michael has written and lectured extensively about revolutionary Queer direct action networks, and the roles played by women in armed movements including Hamas, the Iraqi insurgency, and the revolutionary left.  Though a fair number are awaiting edits and publication, a portion of his work can be found at http://gmu.academia.edu/MichaelLoadenthal.

 

NinaeditedNina Selwan is a continuing S-CAR student from our MS program with a BA in Psychology from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GMU. She has also spent four years studying law and psychology in the North Caucasus, Russia – her native region. Her primary geographic focus is the post-Soviet space, and, particularly, the North and South Caucasus. Nina’s past research has focused on the Russo-Georgian conflicts, roles of and impact on women in the Russo-Chechen conflicts, and domestic violence in Russia. Over the past several years, Ninahas been involved in various projects within the framework of the “Point of View” process under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Allen Nan. Nina was also a part of the research on the dynamics of nation-building project and inter-group relations in post-apartheid South Africa under the guidance of Dr. Karyna Korostelina in 2010-2011. In 2009-2010, Nina has served as the Caucasus Project Officer at The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and as the Civil Society Liaison at the Inspection Panel of The World Bank. Currently, Nina alternates the roles of Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at S-CAR.

In her dissertation research, Nina is hoping to explore the intersection of socio-cultural phenomena and dynamics which are conducive to perpetuating domestic violence in Russia. Instead of viewing the latter in isolation, domestic violence will be treated as a symptom of more serious and protracted dynamics characteristic for the Russian society. It is of interest to explore how inter-personal domestic relations are affected by broader socio-cultural processes and gender group dynamics. By nesting domestic abuse within the larger societal context, it is hoped to tease out primary variables perpetuating gender-oppressive stereotypes and discourses, regulating gender relations in private and public spaces and normalizing instances of abuse among both, men and women. Elucidating such causality, it is speculated, will trigger a debate on a host of issues relating to gender, sex, sexuality, and gender equality. The analysis of narratives of survivors of domestic abuse and abusers themselves will be complemented by the analysis of state-authorized discourses and practices, while employing post-modern, critical, and feminist methodological frameworks. Although the interest toward the issue of domestic violence was initially triggered by disturbing occurrences of abuse against Russian women, it is planned to design an applied project component which could help desensitize Russian men and women toward the “banality” of violence, be in physical, sexual, psychological, or economic.


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