Eric Lepp

Visiting Assistant Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies

Eric Lepp

(519) 885-0220 ext. 24259
Office:  CGUC 4207

BA, University of Waterloo, 2005
BSW, University of Waterloo, 2006
MA, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 2012
PhD, University of Manchester, Manchester, England, 2018


Research Areas:

Side-by-sidedness; spaces of encounter and coexistence; identity and conflict; resistance to power; conflict transformation; implications of international intervention in conflict settings; peace education

Courses Taught:


PACS 201 – Roots of Conflict, Violence, and Peace (Fall 2021)
PACS 203 – A History of Peace Movements (Winter 2022)
PACS 316/PHIL 329 – Violence, Nonviolence and War (Fall 2021)


PACS 610 – Contemporary Nonviolent Movements (Winter 2022)


Eric Lepp is a peace scholar whose current research explores spaces of contact and the construction of community that includes the ‘other’ in conflict-affected societies. He is particularly interested in the counter-cultural, resistant, and unexpected spaces where peace is being enacted and imagined against a backdrop of division.

Current Projects:

Side-by-side in the land of Giants: A study of space, contact and civility in Belfast – Primary Investigator

Eric is finishing up publications from his PhD research which engaged the legacies and challenges of the longstanding conflict in Northern Ireland within the unorthodox space created by ice hockey in Belfast. Through research conducted side-by-side the supporters of the Belfast Giants, his research focused on the everyday and the banality of ‘getting on with it’ in the shadows of longstanding division.   

Rewards and Risk, Benefits and Burden: Side-by-Side Adaptation in Small Island Communities – co-Investigator with Greg Oulahen (X University, Toronto, Canada)

This project was awarded a 3-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant in July 2020. This research explores climate change and island life in Canada, in particular the political challenges implicit in the benefits and burdens of adaptation. The project directly engages tensions of policy and practice as they are experienced across urban and rural life, and across the Indigenous-settler relationship on Canadian islands.

Reading socio-political and spatial dynamics through graffiti in conflict-affected societies co-Investigator with Billy Tusker Haworth, Birte Vogel, Catherine Arthur (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester) and Dylan O’Driscoll (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute).  

This is an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research project that utilises street art and graffiti to offer a commentary on contested spaces. In this project graffiti is seen as particularly valuable in (post)conflict societies undergoing social and political transformation, as understanding the writing on the walls furthers knowledge of peace and conflict practices, and contributes to understandings of dynamic everyday interactions with (and in) space.

Selected Publications:

Journal Articles

  • Vogel, B., Arthur. C., Lepp, E. O’Driscoll, D. and Haworth, B.T. (2020). “Reading social-political and spatial experiences through street art in conflict-affected societies”. Third World Quarterly 41 (12): 2148-2168. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2020.1810009
  • Lepp, E. (2018). “Division on Ice: Shared Space and Civility in Modern Belfast” Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 13 (1): 32-45. DOI: 10.1080/15423166.2018.1427135

Book chapters

  • Lepp, E. (2021) “Read the Room: Side-by-Side Methodology in a Belfast Ice Hockey Arena”. In R. Mac Ginty, R. Brett and B. Vogel (eds.), Companion to peace and conflict fieldwork. London: Palgrave Macmillan: pp. 321-337. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-46433-2_22


Audiovisual Media and Exhibitions

Selected Activities:

Scholarly Presentations

  • “Repairing Societies after Conflict”, Paper Presentation. Canadian Peace Research Association Annual Conference. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, June 3, 2021. (Virtual)

  • “Subdued Reconciliation: Side-by-Side in a Belfast Ice Hockey Arena”,  Paper Presentation. ‘Reconciliation and Peace’ Panel. International Studies Association, April 7, 2021. (Virtual)

  • “Reading socio-political and spatial dynamics through street art in conflict-affected societies”, Paper Presentation. ‘Popular Culture and Dynamics of Peace and Conflict’ Panel.  International Studies Association, April 6, 2021. (Virtual)

  • “Indiana Jones and the temple if scholarly doom/eternal light: Navigating peace and conflict fieldwork”, Round Table Participant. Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group. British International Studies Association, November 3, 2020. (Virtual)

  • “Side-by-Sidedness: A conceptual rethinking of post-peace agreement encounter in everyday Belfast”, Paper Presentation. Building Sustainable Peace Conference. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies – South Bend, Indiana, USA, November 8, 2019.

  • Simplicity Beyond Complexity: Everyday peace in post-peace agreement Belfast”, Paper Presentation. ‘Emerging Geographies of Everyday Peace’ Panel.  Royal Geographical Society – London, England, August 30, 2017

  • “What about ‘getting on with it’ in post-peace agreement Belfast?”, Paper Presentation. ‘Restoring peace: building post-conflict societies’ Panel. Desmond Tutu Centre, Liverpool Hope University – Liverpool, England, July 3, 2017.   

  • Arena of Resistance: Contending prescribed reconciliation and division in Belfast”, Paper Presentation. Conference: Resistance(s): Between Theories and the Field, Université Libre de Bruxelles – Brussels, Belgium, December 14-15, 2016. 

  • “Sitting side-by-side: Perspectives of the everyday”, Postgraduate Research Presentation. Mundane Methods Event (ESRC), University of Manchester – Manchester, England, November 8, 2016.

  • “Division on Ice: A study of social change in modern Belfast”, Paper Presentation. Peace and Justice Studies Association, Selkirk College – Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, September 23, 2016.

Invited Lectures and Roles

  • “Practical Approaches to Studying Conflict Affected Societies”, Invited Guest Lecturer. Department of Politics, University of Manchester – Manchester, England, April 22, 2021. (Virtual)

  • “Bombing Walls: Graffiti and Street Art in Conflict-Affected Spaces”, Invited Speaker. HCRI Speaker Series. University of Manchester – Manchester, England, March 4, 2021. (Virtual)

  • Side-by-Sidedness: A conceptual rethinking of post-peace agreement encounter in everyday Belfast, Invited Speaker. Faculty Forum – Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, October 23, 2020. (Virtual)

  • “Peacebuilding 101”, Invited Workshop Facilitator. Peace Innovators Program, The Ripple Effect Education (TREE) – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada,  August 22, 2020.

  • “Side-by-Sidedness: A conceptual rethinking of post-peace agreement encounter”, Invited Speaker. SIPRI Speaker Series, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Stockholm, Sweden, June 24, 2019.

  • “Peace is Everybody’s Business”, Invited Guest Lecturer. Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Waterloo – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, October 1, 2019.

  • “Side-by-Sidedness: Resistance and Sanctuary in a Belfast hockey arena”,  Invited Speaker. HCRI 10 Year Anniversary Research Seminar Series, University of Manchester – Manchester, England, October 23, 2018.

  • “Media and Creativity in Humanitarianism and Conflict”, Invited Panel Chair. ‘Aid, Conflict and Peace: Collaborative Research Symposium’, University of Manchester – Manchester, England, October 23, 2017.

  • Social Change and Social Relationships After War”, Invited Panel Discussant. Adam Curle Symposium, University of Bradford – Bradford, England, September 5, 2016.

  • Writing about Violence”,  Invited Workshop Facilitator. Global Development Institute, University of Manchester – Manchester, England, February 29, 2016.

  • “Does the World Care About Peace in Mindanao?”, Invited Guest Lecturer. Sociology Department, Assumption College of Davao – Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines, October 13, 2011.

Fellowships and Awards


  • Curriculum Fellow, International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, Washington DC, 2020-2021.
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester, 2019-2022.

Teaching Awards

  • Outstanding Supervisor Award Nominee, Nominated by students for the Faculty of Humanities Outstanding Supervisor Award. Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester, 2019.
  • Teaching Advancement Award, Funding awarded by School of Arts, Languages and Cultures to conduct pedagogical research focused on “Teaching peace in a time of growing nationalism” – University of Manchester , 2019.      
  • Teaching Excellence Commendation - Course: Conflict Analysis, Global Development Institute, School of Environment, Education and Development – University of Manchester, 2017 & 2018.

Academic Awards

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute PhD Studentship – University of Manchester
  • Full PhD Scholarship, 2014-2018
  • Joan B. Kroc Peace Studies Academic Scholarship – University of Notre Dame. Full MA funding, 2005-2006

Active Memberships

  • International Studies Association – Peace Studies Section
  • Peace and Justice Studies Association
  • Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada