Literature and Peace Studies

  • Sandra M. GustafsonEmail author
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


Gustafson lays foundations for reflecting on the relationship between “Literature and Peace Studies.” Observing the relative paucity of work on literature and peacebuilding, Gustafson initially draws on Stephen Pinker’s work on the historical reduction of violence, and particularly his argument that the development of the novel was one of the causes of the humanitarian and rights revolutions. Gustafson claims that by contributing to greater empathy, the novel helped cultivate more peaceful environments. She also draws upon Lederach’s work on the moral imagination, especially the value of developing webs of relationships, using it as a foundation for “the peacebuildier’s hermeneutic.” This in turn enriches her discussion of Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony (1977), and two Gulf War novels that interrogate different forms of militarism.


Peacebuilding Peace studies Literature Novel 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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