Tuesday, October 16, 2012

War, Security, Law, and Sherman at Atlanta

Sherman, leaning on breach of gun, and staff, at Atlanta
LHB Founder Mary Dudziak’s new Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society has been launched at Emory Law, where she is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law.  Emory’s announcement explains that “the project aspires to unite scholars in law, political science, human rights and history — as well as other academic disciplines at Emory — to examine issues surrounding war from a larger perspective.”  The first event, on Monday, October 22, is a public lecture by John Fabian Witt, "Sherman at Atlanta and the Moral Structure of the Laws of War”:
During his infamous assault on Atlanta, William Tecumseh Sherman issued an unsettling moral critique of the international laws of armed conflict: Why should law focus on conduct in the short run, rather than the ends of war?  Sherman's questions about ends and means animated Abraham Lincoln's little-known but powerful transformation of the modern laws of war--a transformation that is still with us today.
Witt's lecture draws upon his new book, Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History, copies of which will be on sale at the event, on Monday, October 22.  More information is here.  (And, while we're on the subject of Witt, check out his recent Balkinization post on the conspiratorial theory of the Santa Clara case and his reminder of the upcoming lecture on the subject by his Yale colleague Naomi Lamoreaux.)