Monday, October 8, 2012

Go On! Lincoln's Code talk launches Emory project

(Go On! is an occasional item on symposia and other events of interest)

I am pleased to announce the launch of the Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society, initiated upon my move this year to Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.
On Monday, October 22, 2012, Yale Law Professor John Fabian Witt (left) will give a public lecture at 4 p.m. at Emory Law.
Witt's book Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History – the name evokes the 1863 Lieber Code (prior posts) – recently had a rave review in The New York Times.
His lecture is titled  “Sherman at Atlanta: The Moral Structure of the Laws of War.” Here's a synopsis:
'In the midst of his infamous assault on Atlanta, William Tecumseh Sherman issued an unsettling moral critique of the international laws of armed conflict. Why, Sherman asked, should the law evaluate his conduct in the short run? Weren't the ultimate ends of the war the best measure of its conduct? Sherman's questions about ends and means are eternal. They run through American history, and they underlay the logic of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. What few have observed is that these same questions animated Abraham Lincoln's little-known but powerful transformation of the modern laws of war – a transformation that is still with us today.'
Offering comments will be Dan Reiter, Chair of Emory's Department of Political Science, and Catherine Lutz, the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at Brown University. A reception will follow.
For more information about the Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society, which aims to bring interdisciplinary work on war to bear on the law of war and national security, please contact me at

No comments: