Panel discussion featuring the following presenters and topics:
Helen Benedict (Columbia University): title forthcoming
Robert Donia (University of Michigan): “Warriors and Humanitarian Workers: Fraught and Changing Relations from Vietnam to Bosnia and Kosovo”
Ian Fishback (University of Michigan): “Civil-Military Relations in Iraq and Afghanistan Deployments”
David Scott, MD (Captain, Medical Corps, USN (RET)): “Evolution of Military-Humanitarian Healthcare Missions”
This symposium explores possible future directions in the realms of war and peace, focusing on the inextricably entangled nature of these two spheres. Technologies of war and violence, such as drones and nuclear weapons/energy, for instance, also possess many peacetime functions. Humanitarianism similarly blurs the lines between war and peace, given that humanitarian initiatives may not only respond to situations of war but may aim to forestall it–sometimes through preemptive military actions. With the rise of unconventional and robotic warfare, too, the “front” becomes a hybrid of fighting and governance, raising pointed questions as to the future boundaries between civilian and soldier. The three panels comprising this symposium explore these and many other timely issues.
Helen Benedict is a professor of journalism at Columbia University. She is a novelist and journalist specializing in social injustice and the effects of war on soldiers and civilians. Her most recent writings have focused on women soldiers, military sexual assault, and Iraqi refugees, and she is credited with breaking the story about the epidemic of sexual assault of military women serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Her work on these subjects include her new novel, “Wolf Season,” (Bellevue, 2017), her previous novel “Sand Queen” (Soho Press, 2011) and her non-fiction book, “The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq,” (Beacon Press, 2009), which won her the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism in 2013.
Robert Donia is an American historian who studies the human rights movement and the history of Southeast Europe. He served in the US Army from 1969 to 1972 with deployments to Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. He received his PhD in history from the University of Michigan in 1976 and has since authored or edited seven books in his fields of study, most recently a work about the war and war crimes in Bosnia (1992-1995), Radovan Karadžić: Architect of the Bosnian Genocide (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He has been called as an expert witness to testify in fifteen war crimes trials at the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Jane and more cats than allowed by city code.
Ian Fishback is a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Michigan. His research interests are political and moral philosophy, moral psychology, conflict studies, the law of armed conflict, and criminal law. He is writing a dissertation on the relationship between the morality and law with respect to two principles: proportionality and necessity. Ian has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Prior to transitioning to academia, he served as an officer in the paratroopers and Special Forces from 2001-2010, including four combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as a philosophy instructor at West Point from 2012-2015. TIME magazine named Ian one of the 100 most influential people in the world for his role in reforming detainee treatment standards in the US military from 2005 to 2006.
David Scott received his BS from the University of Michigan in 1970 and his MD from the University of Minnesota in 1974. He practiced Internal medicine in Minneapolis until 2008. In 1987 Dr. Scott joined the Navy Reserve where he served with the Marine Corps 4th Medical Battalion until his retirement in 2008. He was officer in charge of the Minneapolis detachment and became an authority on cold weather operations and participated in numerous winter exercises in Alaska, Iceland, and Norway. In 2003, he was mobilized for the start of the Iraq War and served at several facilities in Kuwait and Iraq.
Dr. Scott returned to Ann Arbor in 2008 and in 2013 received a BA degree in History from the University of Michigan. He is employed by the Ann Arbor VA Health System and is the author of the novel Short Season.
This LSA Bicentennial Theme Semester event is presented with support from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the University of Michigan Bicentennial Office. Additional support provided by the Department of History and the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies.