Seminar Topic for 2003-04: "War"

The Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA) wishes to announce that its theme for the 2003-2004 academic year is "War." In conjunction with this theme, the Center will conduct a year-long faculty and graduate student seminar, host a series of lectures, and hold a Spring Colloquium. We invite all members of the CU community to join in a broad, interdisciplinary conversation focused on war -- and peace.

CHA Fellowships: four faculty members and four graduate students were selected as CHA Fellows for 2003-2004. The fellows will meet together in a year-long seminar and will present the results of their work in the Spring 2004 Colloquium.

Guest Speakers, Artists, Performers: CHA is interested in hearing from the CU community about distinguished visitors who would contribute to an exploration of our theme. In addition, we would like nominations, including self-nominations, of faculty at CU; one of our colleagues will be selected by CHA's Steering Committee to join our distinguished guests as part of this series. We imagine a series involving 5-6 speakers, artists and/or performers. Please send suggestions to

Courses: CHA is interested in learning about courses at all levels (graduate and undergraduate, freshman and honors seminars) that would incorporate some aspect of the theme. Our hope is to encourage active participation in CHA events and to engage the whole campus in a reflection on the theme in conjunction with the lecture series and Spring colloquium. Please send course information to

Fellows will receive support for their participation in the seminar and colloquium. These funds will afford a two-course per year release for faculty participants, release graduate students from some teaching duties, and provide modest research stipends to the fellows. Funding for the seminar is provided by the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School.

To help members of the campus community to decide how they might participate in CHA's exploration of the theme, "War," we offer the following thoughts on some of the many directions in which the topic might lead:

As we put out this call, mankind is engaged in more than thirty armed conflicts; the United Nations is engaged in peacekeeping missions in fifteen nations where war threatens. Our own nation prepares for a new war while it also feels itself engaged in an ongoing, open-ended "war on terrorism." Over two hundred years ago Kant wrote, "Perpetual peace is no empty idea, but a practical thing which, through its gradual solution, is coming always nearer its final realization." For those of us who have lived through the "cold war" and now the "war on terrorism," it seems at times as if instead we are committed to perpetual war, whether hot, cold, or covert. In pessimistic counterpoint to Kant, Foucault writes that no "phenomena in a political system should be interpreted except as the continuation of war. . . Even when one writes the history of peace and its institutions, it is always the history of this war that one is writing."

What is the response of the humanities and arts to this pervasiveness of war and the continuation of war by other means? What role do the humanities and arts play in the culture of war? How do they contribute to the practice of peace? Blake in Milton argued that a culture based on the Greek and Latin classics, "the silly Greek & Latin slaves of the Sword," promoted a culture of "Corporeal War" as opposed to the "Mental" struggles he believed to be inspired by a correct reading of Biblical texts. Others have found religion itself as a main cause of war. For some, the humanities and arts offer an alternative to or refuge from war, but Milan Kundera has written, "War and culture, those are the two poles of Europe, her heaven and hell, her glory and shame, and they cannot be separated from one another." How do we think about the violence and art, thought and struggle? Alternatively, how do we imagine as humanists and artists a world of perpetual peace?

The Center for Humanities and the Arts wants to explore "War" from a wide interdisciplinary range of humanistic and artistic experiences. We want to think about our topic in all times and in all cultures. Some of the topics that might be explored include:

  • War and Peace
  • The art(s) of war; the science of war; war and technology
  • The arts and humanities in war time; the aesthetics of war; aestheticizing war
  • War stories / Spectacles of war
  • Cultures of Combat / Practicing Pacifism
  • History and the role of military history
  • Women and war; feminist perspectives on war
  • War through the ages and across cultures
  • Glory and horror / Victory and defeat
  • War and religion / holy wars
  • War and nationalism/country
  • War and propaganda

"War" Colloquium: March 4-6, 2004

The Colloquium will be convened at the British Studies Center, Norlin Library
Please check individual events for locations

Thursday, March 4: Center for British and Irish Studies
1:00 Opening of the Colloquium: Jeffrey N. Cox, Director, CHA
Welcome: Carol Lynch, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Chancellor for Research

1:15 Panel 1: Histories of War, Brief and Grand
Chair: Eric White (CU-Boulder)
Mary Favret (Indiana University), "A Brief History of theMeaning of War"
Fred Anderson (CU-Boulder), "Re-thinking the Grand
Narrative: The Relationship of War and Freedom in American History"

2:45 Break

3:00 Panel 2: War and Political Theory
Chair: Michael Levine (U of Western Australia)
David Mapel (CU-Boulder), "The Right of National Defense"
Noam Zohar (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University), "Innocence and Complex Threats: Upholding the War Ethic and the Condemnation of Terrorism"

4:30 Break

5:00 First Keynote Address: Elaine Scarry (Harvard U), "War and the Social Contract"
Introduction: John Stevenson (CU-Boulder)

Friday, March 5: Center for British and Irish Studies
9:00 Panel 3: Rhetorics of War and Crisis
Chair: Jeffrey Franklin (CU-Denver)
Ira Chernus (CU-Boulder), "National InSecurity, Homeland
InSecurity: The Wartime Discourse of Franklin D. Roosevelt"
Lori Peek (CU-Boulder), "Constructing the Enemy during Times of Crisis"

10:30 Break

10:45 Second Keynote Address: Michael Sherry (Northwestern U), "Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Sex and War"
Introduction: Thomas Zeiler (CU-Boulder)

Lunch on your own

1:30 Panel 4: War Media
Chair: Bruce Holsinger (CU-Boulder)
Kate Van Orden (U of California at Berkeley), "The Military Renaissance: Machiavelli, Ancient Music, and the Art of War"
Geoffrey Klingsporn (CU- Denver), "War, Film, History"

3:00 Break

3:15 Panel 5: Philosophizing War
Chair: Claudia Mills (CU-Boulder)
Alison Jaggar (CU-Boulder), " 'Terrorism': Its Use and Abuse"
Michael Levine (University of Western Australia), "Sacred Cows and the Changing Face of Discourse on Terrorism: Cranking it up a Notch"

4:45 Break

5:00 Third Keynote Address: David Carrasco (Harvard U), "Anguish and Mourning From Now Til the End of the World: Genealogies of a Massacre in Mexico"
Introduction: Rodney Taylor (CU-Boulder)

7:00 "War" Art Exhibition, curated by George Rivera (University of Colorado at Boulder) Gallery Sovereign, 1537 Pearl Street, Boulder
Featuring a film by CHA Fellow Sama Alshaibi: "Wadda I'l Sallah" (Goodbye to the Weapon)

Saturday, March 6: Center for British and Irish Studies
9:00 Panel 6: Suffering, Individual and Communal
Chair: Christopher Braider (CU-Boulder)
Diana Shull (CU-Boulder), "The Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 and popular movements against the British Empire"
Abigail Gosselin (CU-Boulder), "Share and Shame: Community Membership and Response to Suffering"

10:30 Break

10:45 Panel 7: War and Medicine
Chair: Richard Martinez, M.D. (CU- Health Sciences Center)
Juliet Gilbert (CU-Boulder Law School), "Refugees as Torture Victims"
Ken Lichtenstein, M.D. (CU-Health Sciences Center), "Physician Responsibility in the Nuclear Age"
Ruth Oratz, M.D. (Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, Rose Medical Center), "The Doctor and the Damned: Jewish Doctors in the Nazi Death Camps"

Saturday, 1:00-5:00 and Sunday, 10:00-1:00: "Unseen Costs of War: Impacts and Recovery for Soldiers, Families and Society" Muenzinger Auditorium, E050
A symposium sponsored by Magis Group, LLC and CHA

7:30 Dario Fo's A Tale of a Tiger, adapted and performed by Ami Dayan, Old Main
Chapel / Sponsored by Farrand Academic Program, Conference on World Affairs, and CHA

"War" Art Exhibition

February 27- March 11, 2004
Gallery Sovereign
1537 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO

Opening reception on Friday, February 27th, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Center of Humanities and the Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder in conjunction with the WAR Colloquium.

"WAR" is an exhibition that seeks to address the inhumanity of war and armed conflict. It follows the artistic tradition established by Francisco de Goya in his Disasters of War series. Pablo Picasso, Kathe Kollwitz, Leon Golub, and others also made major contributions to our understanding of war and torture. This exhibition is about war in our time – a new millennium where wars in Afghanistan and Iraq loom large on the American conscience.

Most of the artists in this exhibition are from the Boulder-Denver area and include local artists who are from Iraq and Russia.  The exhibition also includes a group of invited artists from Spain because their country joined us in our war in Iraq. The exhibition reflects the visual thinking of artists in "our home town." It is hoped that the exhibition will generate dialogue on war so that we can reflect on our values in times of crisis.

George Rivera, Ph.D., Curator

Ximo Aldás, Sama Alshaibi, Ricky Armendariz, Dan Boord, Albert Chong, Jose L. Cueto, Dennis Dalton, Jerry De La Cruz, Joe Farbrook, Carlos Fresquez, Jerry Gilmore, Quinten Gonzalez, Daniel J. Henry, Juan Canales Hidalgo, John Hull, Jared King, Beth Krensky, Chris Lavery, Tracey Mackprang, Sylvia Montero, Tony Ortega, Alfredo Ortiz, Yana Payusova, Elías Pérez, LisaNa Red Bear, George Rivera, Nuria Rodríguez, Garrison Roots, Yumi Roth, Sheryl Shapiro, Luis Valdovino.

Spring 2004 "War" Film Series

All films are presented by the Center for Humanities and the Arts and Film Studies Program.  Organized and introduced by James Palmer and Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.  Offered as part of CHA's theme "War."  For more information, contact

Wednesday, January 28, 4:00pm, Humanities 1B50
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957, B&W, 86 minutes)
Based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb, Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory is based on the true story of a WW I incident in which three soldiers were executed as scapegoats after their French commanding officer set them an impossible military goal. Comparable to All Quiet on the Western Front, Kubrick's direction gives the battle sequences and the gripping drama an epic splendor, while raising deep moral questions about death, war, and the soldier's duty.  Paths of Glory was made in Germany, to avoid alienating French producers, but was still banned in France, Switzerland, and in many U.S. army bases until the 1970s. With Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, and Adolphe Menjou.

Wednesday, February 25, 4:00pm, Humanities 1B50
Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964, B&W, 94 minutes)
Voted by the American Film Institute one of the funniest movies ever made, Dr. Strangelove is a zany look at the absurdity, paranoia, and flat out insanity of the Cold War. A renegade general overtakes a US military base and sets off the "doomsday device," while the US President, the Soviet Ambassador, and a mysterious former Nazi-turned-US-intelligence, Dr. Strangelove, try to save themselves in a fallout shelter for VIPs. But within the comedy lies an aggressive indictment of "defense" systems as offense, and of the failure and hypocrisy of diplomacy, ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"). After all, bombs are made to go off, so why worry, just love the bomb... Based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George, with a screenplay by Kubrick, George, and Terry Southern. With Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, and Slim Pickens.

Wednesday, April 21, 3:30pm, Humanities 1B50
Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987, color, 117 minutes)
Alternately hysterical and harrowing, Full Metal Jacket has been hailed as one of the best war films ever made, because of its unusual look at the training and "conditioning" of Marine recruits and their conversion by the military into "killing machines." A satire of military institutions comparable to Robert Altman's M.A.S.H., Full Metal Jacket looks not only at Vietnam, but at the deep ideological and psychological torture that war can be, and at the dehumanizing, violent, and misogynistic mentality of military training. ("This is my rifle; my rifle is my best friend..." Based on the novel The Short Timers by Gustav Hasford, with a screenplay by Hasford, Kubrick, and Michael Herr.  With Mattew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, Arliss Howard, and Lee Ermey.

2003-04 Lecture Series

Thursday, October 23, 2003, 4:00pm, Old Main Chapel
Margot Norris, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
"Shifting and Shifty: Justifying Killing in War"

Thursday, November 6, 2003, 4:00pm, British Studies Room of Norlin Library
Chris Hedges, author and NY Times reporter
"What Every Person Should Know About War"

Thursday, January 22, 2004, 4:00pm, British Studies Room of Norlin Library
Francis Beer, Professor of Political Science, CU-Boulder
"War and Peace in the 21st Century"

Monday, February 16, 2004, 4:00pm, British Studies Room of Norlin Library
John W. Dower, Elting E. Morrison Professor of History, MIT
"Race and Power in the Pacific War"

Seminar Participants

Fred Anderson: Professor, Department of History
Fred Anderson has published a number of articles, reviews, and books, including A People's Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War (U of NC Press, 1984), which remains in print as a University of North Carolina paperback; the Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 (Alfred A. Knopf & Faber and Faber 2000); and his current book, co-authored with Andrew R.L. Cayton is The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000 (forthcoming 2004). His project while at the Center for Humanities & the Arts will be to write a "companion volume" to a four-part Public Broadcasting Service documentary series on the Seven Years' War, The War That Made America, which is scheduled for production in 2004 and broadcast in 2005.

Ira Chernus: Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at CU-Boulder. His research focuses on issues of peace and war in the United States, past and present. He has published widely on the public discourse about nuclear weapons, in its cultural and religious contexts. He has recently published two books on Dwight D. Eisenhower and has a third in preparation. He has also written a text on the idea of nonviolence in U.S. history.

Alison Jaggar: Professor, Departments of Philosophy and Women's Studies
Alison M. Jaggar earned her PhD from SUNY-Buffalo in 1970 and joined the faculty at CU-Boulder in 1990. Her areas of interest include contemporary social, moral and political theory, especially from a feminist perspective; some issues in practical ethics; theories of human nature; and philosophies of education. Her current writing projects include a book in progress entitled Sex, Truth and Power: A Feminist Theory of Moral Reason; a book of essays on sex equality; and an introductory text on feminist ethics. Long range projects include issues of global justice, democracy, development, and neo-colonialism. She hopes to teach a course soon on democracy and development.

David R. Mapel: Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
David R. Mapel is Director of the Keller Center for the Study of the First Amendment. His research interests in contemporary political theory include theories of social justice, political obligation and authority, and First Amendment issues. In international relations, his research focuses on the ethics of military force, global distributive justice and ideas of international society. He is the author of Social Justice Reconsidered (Illinois, 1989), and co-editor (with Terry Nardin) of Traditions of International Ethics (Cambridge, 1992) and International Society: Diverse Ethical Perspectives (Princeton, 1992). He is also co-editor (with Bonnie Honig) of Skepticism, Individuality and Freedom: The Reluctant Liberalism of Richard Flathman (Minnesota, 2002).

Geoffrey Klingsporn: Department of History, University of Denver
Geoffrey Klingsporn recently accepted a position in the Department of History at the University of Denver. He received his PhD in US History from the University of Chicago in 2000 and taught at CU-Boulder until Spring 2003. His research focuses particularly on the representation of war in popular media. He is currently completing his first book, Consuming War: the origins of American war films; while at the Center for Humanities and the Arts, he will continue the early stages of a project on the phenomenon of "war correspondence" after the First World War.

Sama Alshaibi: M.A. Candidate, Department of Art and Art History

Abigail Gosselin: Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Philosophy
Abigail Gosselin's philosophical interests include examining responsibility, autonomy, agency, and control in the areas of political philosophy, ethical theory, and applied ethics. Her dissertation addresses affluent individuals' responsibility toward addressing global hunger. She has given papers at the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (2002), the Radical Philosophy Association (2002), the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (2002), and the University of Colorado's Center for Social and Public Policy (2003). Her paper "Consuming Goods, Consuming Foods: Alienation, Consumption, and Disordered Eating" was published recently in the journal Discourse (Spring 2003). In addition, Abigail has organized two conferences on eating disorders, has volunteered at the CU Women's Resource Center, and is currently on the CU Eating Disorders Task Force.

Lori Peek: Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology
Lori Peek is a graduate research assistant at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado. Her dissertation research focuses on Muslim university student experiences following the events of September 11, as well as more general social psychological issues of gender identity, religiosity, ethnic minority visibility, and group solidarity following crisis events. For the 2003-04 CHA seminar, Ms. Peek will complete a historical comparative exploration of the sociological responses of select national, ethnic, and religious minority groups in the U.S. during times of war.

Diana Shull: Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History
Diana Shull's focus in her PhD program is on modern British history with a special interest in the British Empire. Her current research for her dissertation focuses on the connections between the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, the British response to the epidemic, and the series of revolts and riots that occurred during the 1920s throughout the British Empire. She has presented papers on British history and the British Empire at the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies and the Middle Atlantic Conference on British Studies.