Technology and the Ethics of War (MAIS 529) Graduate Spring 2019 – Lecturer for the Master of Arts in International Studies Program Syllabus
Traced the evolution of just war thinking and the laws of war from ancient Rome to today.
Examined the impacts of various military technologies – e.g. crossbow, smart bombs, drones etc. – on discussions of war ethics.
Issues in National Security (MAIS 507) Graduate Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Fall 2018 – Lecturer for the Master of Arts in International Studies Program Syllabus
Explored U.S. national security policies, procedures, and outcomes during the Cold War through the Global War on Terror
Interdisciplinary focus from historical, psychological, ethical, feminist, security studies, and international relations standpoints
Viet Nam: War, Peace, and Legacy (POLS 355/PCST 355) Undergraduate Spring 2018 – Lecturer for the Department of Peace Studies Syllabus
Examined Vietnamese history, nationalism, anti-colonial movements through the overthrow of French colonialism
Explored the causes and consequences of US intervention in Vietnam through diplomatic history, memoirs, film, and popular culture
Introduction to International Relations (POLS 41A/INST 14) Fall 2014, Spring 2017 – Graduate Teaching Assistant
Just War Revisited (POLS 135B/INST 131A) Winter 2017 – Graduate Teaching Assistant
Understanding ethics of war through the historical perspective of just war theory applied to contemporary conflicts
Introduction to Political Theory (POLS 6C) Spring 2014, Winter 2016
In depth reading and discussion of: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau
Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide (POLS 145) Winter 2015, Fall 2016 – Graduate Teaching Assistant
Psychology and ethics through the narrative lenses of experiences in war and genocide from WWI to Rwanda
U.S. "War on Terror" (INST 175A/SOC 170B) Winter 2014 – Graduate Teaching Assistant
Sociological and political understanding of the U.S. War on Terrorism from the end of the Cold War through Iraq and Afghanistan
American Government (POLS 21A) Spring 2015, Fall 2015 – Graduate Teaching Assistant
International Studies Public Forum (HUM/INST/SOCECOL 183) Spring 2016 – Graduate Teaching Assistant
A lecture series where scholars from around the world are invited to present their research to international studies majors
How do we teach students about war and ethics? War is unique insight into the boundaries of what it is to be human: the intense personal experiences of living through or fighting in war, the inhumanity of killing, and the moral dilemmas that call into question everything we think we know about ourselves, others, and what it means to act morally in the most difficult circumstances. Teaching such a topic can never be adequately encapsulated by one academic discipline, hence each course I teach is a course in International Relations, history, psychology, sociology, security studies, political economy, art, philosophy, and literature. Immersing students in the experiences and narratives of those in combat, living through bombings, saving strangers, or committing crimes against humanity, allows students insight into the boundaries of human experiences and to empathize, which is the first step every student must take in my courses before we can discuss ethics. When I am in front of the class, I aim to avoid abstracting from concrete realities of war, because the poet or artist often captures something that the IR textbook misses, and the historian can speak to the wider context of influencing factors in victory/defeat, while various theories of International Relations offer students different lenses to explain the war in a wider geo-political and economic context. While the subject matter is often emotionally exhausting, the students have consistently remained deeply engaged in the material through various pedagogical exercises that keep the students interrogating their own preconceptions, each other, and critically engaging in various texts. For example, the exercise that students enjoy most is forcing them to sit in the seat of the decision-maker when deciding whether or not to undertake a drone strike, based upon real life cases of US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. Students are given bits of intelligence (often incomplete) and a window of opportunity within which to launch their hellfire missile (throwing their pens to the front of the classroom). After which they are each given the real life outcome of their decisions, which sometimes is taking out high-level Al-Qaeda operatives, while other times it is killing civilians in a wedding party. This exercise demonstrates to the students the concrete ethical and strategic dilemmas of the contemporary War on Terror which many of them were unaware of, teaches them how to access databases and analyze conflicting information to piece together the puzzles of a secret program kept out of public view, in order to gain a holistic view of the various forms of 'warfare' today. Ultimately, I want students to leave the classroom understanding the real-world consequences of political decisions, an understanding of International Relations, the ability to critically analyze information from academic and non-academic sources, and to engage in the world as informed citizens.