Reading Group: War, Trauma & Law

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
WED 6:15 - 8:15 pm TNH 3.129

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This reading group will bring together the disciplines and professions of law and psychiatry to consider the trauma of war—both individual and societal—and various legal and institutional mechanisms that have been created to respond to that trauma. Our readings will include literary representations of war (Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls), journalistic accounts of the My Lai Massacre and of Abu Ghraib, psychoanalytic accounts of war and of individual and collective trauma (from Freud to Wilfred Bion), international criminal law cases, and scholarship on humanitarianism, the law of war and international criminal justice. The Reading Group will be co-taught by Professor Karen Engle (law) and Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg (psychiatrist and Fellow-in-Residence at the UT Humanities Institute). Both have worked extensively, albeit from different perspectives, on issues of war and violence. The Reading Group will meet two hours every other Wednesday evening. Students will write several reaction papers to the reading assignments during the semester. Grading will be credit/no credit.


Headshot of Sonnenberg, Stephen M. Sonnenberg, Stephen M.
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