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Gandhi-King Lecture in International Relations and Peace Studies

"Noncooperation: The Heart of Nonviolent Struggle"

As Mahatma Gandhi said in 1905, "Even the most powerful cannot rule without the cooperation of the ruled." Mary Elizabeth King will explore this simple yet profound idea through a thought-provoking lecture. In her talk, King will address civil resistance and peace, both here in the United States and worldwide.

About the Speaker 
Mary King

Mary Elizabeth King is a professor of peace and conflict studies at the UN-affiliated University for Peace. She is also a Distinguished Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford and affiliated with American University’s School of International Service.

A political scientist and author of a number of recognized books on civil resistance, King's latest is "Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India: The 1924–25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change" (Oxford University Press, 2015). Her academic specialty in the study of nonviolent civil resistance movements dates to her decision at age 22 to work for the U.S. civil rights movement, first in Atlanta and then Mississippi, on the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. At age 23, she spent Christmas in Atlanta’s city jail “Big Rock.” 

She is co-author of the historical document “Sex and Caste,” published by Liberation magazine in April 1966, which resulted from conversations among women SNCC organizers and is now considered a catalyst for the women’s liberation movement of what would become called second-wave feminism. As a presidential appointee in the Carter administration, she had worldwide oversight for the Peace Corps and responsibility for the domestic VISTA program and other national volunteer service programs. King currently serves on the board of the Albert Einstein Institution in Boston and is director of the new James Lawson Institute.

About the Gandhi-King Lecture Series
This lecture series celebrates the work and wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The annual lecture for the WVU and Morgantown communities discusses the ongoing significance of a peaceful, non-violent approach to dealing with national and international problems, issues and conflicts. Whenever possible, the lecture will make connections between contemporary India and the United States. The donors' goal is for the WVU community to learn about and consider the continuing legacy of Gandhi and King.