Berkley Center Annual Report 2019-2020

September 15, 2020

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the continued rise of authoritarianism and populism led to exclusionary policies toward minorities and vulnerable people worldwide. The assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani heightened tensions between the United States and Iran and sparked concerns of additional conflict in the Middle East. At home, the United States faced a polarized political climate with the impeachment of President Donald Trump and the upcoming 2020 presidential election. And global society experienced unprecedented health, social, and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This past year, our research, teaching, and outreach at the center explored the religious dimension of these and other international developments.

Highlights include:

  • Two major conferences on Russia in the global culture wars and on Catholic approaches to nuclear disarmament.
  • A center-wide effort that examines how religion factors into the current refugee crisis, considering its role in shaping conflict and peacebuilding, as well as how those on the ground manage the trauma of forced migration.
  • Celebrating 10 years of the Education and Social Justice Project, which provides Georgetown undergraduates summer research fellowships to explore issues at the intersection of education and society.
  • Quickly adapting to the shift to a virtual environment in March 2020, resulting in cutting-edge research on faith engagement in the COVID-19 pandemic and online events that brought together experts for reflection on key political, ethical, and social issues in the coronavirus crisis and response.
  • ​Utilizing the inclusive pedagogies that we have developed under the Doyle Engaging Difference Program to support faculty and students in online teaching and learning, allowing our students to continue their education even when they could no longer travel abroad for research and classes.

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