Seminars & Events

Spring 2016

3 February: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

"The Law in These Parts:" Screening and Interview with Israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

"The Law in These Parts:" Screening and Interview with Israeli filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Wednesday, February 3rd
7:00 p.m.
Keefe Theater

Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values? Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the entire world.
     The men entrusted with creating this new legal framework were the members of Israel's military legal corps. Responding to a constantly changing reality, these legal professionals have faced (and continue to face) complex judicial and moral dilemmas in order to develop and uphold a system of long-term military “rule by law” of an occupied population, all under the supervision of Israel's Supreme Court, and, according to Israel, in complete accordance with international law.
     The Law in These Parts explores this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years. The film attempts to ask some crucial questions that are often skirted or avoided: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principles of rule-of-law? Should it? What are the costs that a society engaged in such a long term exercise must bear? And what are the implications of the very effort to make a documentary film about such a system?

Sponsored by the Lamont and Lurcy Lecture Funds, Hillel, & the departments of History and of Law, Jurisprudence, & Social Thought.

FALL 2015

10/11 October: Cheyette Symposium & Memorial Service

Fredric L. Cheyette

"Land, Law, and Lordship in Medieval France:
A Memorial Symposium for Fredric L. Cheyette"
Saturday, October 10th - 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pruyne Lecture Hall - Fayerweather 115

A Celebration of the Life of Fredrick L. Cheyette (1932 - 2015)
Sunday, October 11th - 1:00 p.m.
Johnson Chapel

More details, including programs, for Symposium and Memorial Service.

24 September: Hugh Hawkins Lecture

Pekka Hämäläinen

Pekka Hämäläinen

Rhodes Professor of American History, Rothermore American Institute, Oxford University

"The Comanche Empire and the Grand Narrative of American History"

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 4:30 p.m.
Paino - 107 Beneski Hall


"Pekka Hämäläinen, Rhodes Professor of American History, specialises in early and nineteenth century American history and has particular interest in Native American, environmental, and borderlands history.  His 2008 book The Comanche Empire received several awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Merle Curti Award, the Caughey Prize, the Norris and Carol Hundley Award, the John C. Ewers Award, the William P. Clements Prize, the Kate Broocks Bates Award, the Great Plains Distinguished Book Award, the Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit, and Recognition of Excellence Award in the Cundill International Prize in History."

Research Summary: This presentation tells the story of an empire that, according to conventional histories, did not exist: the nomadic empire built by the Comanche Indians in what today are the American Southwest and the northern states of Mexico. The Comanche empire rose on New Spain’s northern borderlands in the eighteenth century, reversing the usual colonial dynamic, and it was an empire riddled with contradictions. Comanches created a deeply hierarchical social world, but they did not absorb others into a single imperial framework, preferring strategic fluidity over direct control. They acquired dependents, forged vast hinterlands of extraction, and extended their sway over surrounding societies, but they did not seek subject people or extraterritorial colonial possessions. They organized themselves into a cohesive confederacy, but there was no supreme ruler or bureaucracy. They were racially color-blind people who nonetheless built a burgeoning slave system in which captivity, servitude, and adoption shaded into one another. These contradictions, Professor Hämäläinen argues, were not some kind of nomad’s handicap; they were essential to the remarkable ascendancy of the Comanche nation.

The annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture is sponsored by the Department of History at Amherst College and named in honor of Hugh Hawkins, Professor Emeritus of History and American Studies.

22 September:  Ofer Ashkenazi Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Ofer Ashkenazi Lecture

"Nazi Germany and the Transnational Peace Movement of the 1930s"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 5:00 p.m.
Pruyne - 115 Fayerweather Hall

Ofer Ashkenazi is a senior lecturer in history and the director of the Koebner-Minerva Center for German History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of the books Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012) and A Walk into the Night: Reason and Subjectivity in Weimar Film (Am-Oved, 2010).

Research Summary: This talk examines a remarkably peculiar chapter in the history of the Nazi regime’s foreign policy, namely, its pre-1938 relations with the international peace movement. While the persecution, imprisonment and public humiliation of pacifists was prevalent in Nazi Germany, Hitler's government did tolerate and, in some cases, encourage particular antiwar initiatives in the early years of the Third Reich. The talk will analyze the involvement of high-ranked Nazi officials in the activities of international peace organizations and situate it within two historical contexts: the debates—and confusion—within the Nazi leadership regarding the objectives of the regime’s foreign policy; and the debates—and confusion—within the peace movement following the international conflicts of the early 1930s.

This event is sponsored by the History Department and the Corliss Lamont Lecture Fund.

Last Updated: 30 Sept 2015 TLR


Chapin Hall