Cynthia Boaz


Cynthia Boaz
On Sabbatical

Ph.D., University of California at Davis


Civil Resistance, Human Rights, Political Communication and Media, Gender and Politics, Quality of Democracy, Political Development, Politics of Science Fiction and Fantasy


Dr. Boaz joined the faculty of Sonoma State University in Fall 2008. Her expertise is in nonviolent strategy, civil resistance, quality of democracy, and political communication and media. Her doctorate was granted by the University of California at Davis in 2003. She was previously on the faculty at the State University of New York at Brockport from 2004-2008.  

Dr. Boaz is academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, a Washington DC based human rights foundation that collects and disseminates knowledge on civil resistance. Her work with ICNC has sent her to conferences in India, Australia, Chile, Spain, and around the United States, including the annual Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict, at Tufts University, where she has served as an instructor on five occasions (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014). She considers her interview with Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran to be a highlight of her work in this field. Dr. Boaz continues to work alongside notable veterans of the struggles in South Africa, Serbia, Burma, and the US Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. James Lawson. She has served as an instructor at the illustrious James Lawson Institute on two occasions (2013 and 2017). Dr. Boaz is a prolific writer and has contributed to many news and commentary-based media, including Truthout, Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Waging Nonviolence, Alternet, and Open Democracy.  

At Sonoma State, Dr. Boaz is the Faculty Advisor for the award-winning Model UN delegation, which every Spring participates in the National Model United Nations conference in New York City, and is POLS department Internship Coordinator. She is also the campus representative for the Truman Scholarship.   

Dr. Boaz is an affiliated scholar with the UNESCO Program in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain, where she has taught courses in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011 and advises both MA and PhD graduate students. She is founding board member of the Sonoma Independent, a grassroots media organization.  For her Fall 2015 sabbatical, she rented a 200-year old stone cottage in West Cork, Ireland.

Selected Publications & Presentations

“Islamophobia and Nonviolence in a ‘Christian Nation,’” Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Peace (Jolyon Mitchell, Lesley Orr, Martyn Percy, and Francesca Po editors), forthcoming 2020.

"How Speculative Fiction Teaches Us About Gender and Power in International Politics: A Pedagogical Overview,” International Studies Perspectives, forthcoming 2019.

“Must We Change Our Hearts Before Throwing Off Our Chains?” in Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies, Houston Wood, editor. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 2017.

“Introduction to Nonviolent Conflict,” in Conflict Transformation: Essays on Methods of Nonviolence, Rhea DuMont and Tom Hastings, editors. McFarland Press, 2013. 

“Media’s Major Misconceptions of Nonviolent Action,” in Censored 2012: The Top Censored Stories of 2010-2011, Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, editors. Seven Stories Press. Fall 2011. 

“Nonviolent Skills versus Violent Conditions: Iranian Women’s Movement and Codepink: Women for Peace” in Peace Movements Worldwide: History, Psychology, and Practices, Marc Pilisuk and Michael Nagler, editors. Praeger/Greenwood Press. 2010.

“Orange Revolution” Documentary Film Study Guide for students and activists (with Hardy Merriman, Steve York, and Miriam Zimmerman). Commissioned by PBS in collaboration with York/Zimmerman Productions. 2009.

“Nonviolent Resistance, not Violent Repression, is the True Story from Burma,” in Nonviolent Social Change Journal, Manchester College, Winter 2008.