The Colgate Scene
November 2004

Weapons and War: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
 

This course considers how the horizons of science and technology have been shaped by the quest for ever-more powerful or sophisticated weaponry; how the creation of new weapons changes the nature of war and peace; how new weapons may impact our lives and the planet; terror as a weapon and scientific and social responses to it; the role of media images in the public consciousness of weaponry and war; and impacts of the global arms trade.

Texts
War and Cinema, Paul Virilio (the publisher reprinted the book specifically for the course)
Crimes of War, Roy Gutman (Ed.) and David Rieff
What Every Person Should Know About War, Chris Hedges '79
A History of Bombing, Sven Linqvist

Students ask
The day after Jody Williams's keynote lecture, students in the Weapons and War class had the chance to follow up with her in a 70-minute Q&A session. Here is just a sampling of the questions they asked her.

Katelyn Macrae '05: What responsibility do we have to a country that we have bombed or placed landmines in to clean up our mess? Or does it become the UN's or the Red Cross's responsibility to go in and take care of that?

John Moore '05: Do you think that banning landmines was a start of, or part of, a trend toward more responsible military planning? Or is it an isolated incident based on the particular horror of landmines?

Ben Blake '06: How much is the United States' resistance to the Ottawa Treaty due to the fact that we here in the U.S. don't have to deal directly with landmines? In other words, we don't have to walk outside and worry about stepping on a mine . . .

Drew Spievack '05: For those struggling Third World nations and organizations that say that landmines are the only means to protect themselves from a superior force, what alternatives would you offer them for their security dilemma?

Tori Buonanno '05: After land has been cleared of mines and determined that it's safe for use, how does the ICBL or other organizations involve themselves in relocating families back onto the land? Is it divided up equally or do people already own it?

Adam Mitchell-Hardt '05: Especially in the face of our [U.S.] resistance to the Ottawa Treaty, and considering that you started out as a non-governmental organization with a small staff, how difficult was it to get your voice heard and get your message across and have enough countries [on board to accomplish the ban]?

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