How do people keep their humanity during war? Indeed, what does the very term humanity signify during political upheavals in which simply surviving becomes an act of faith, courage and desperation? Scholars have suggested it is meaningless to speak in terms of morality and ethics when dealing with events such as the Holocaust. Is this true? In the face of the brutality of war must we abrogate our morality? How can we best gain insight into these questions and what role does narrative play in the process? In this two-day conference, a series of panels will address how people keep their humanity during war and, in particular, how the stories people tell about their lives during war both help us understand how people think about such topics and how the construction of particular narratives shapes and leads us to different moral outcomes.

March 17-18, 2017
Humanities Gateway Building, Room 1030

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017

9:00-9:30 a.m. 
Registration, Continental Breakfast

9:30-9:45 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions - Kristen Monroe, Director UCI Ethics Center, Carol Burke & Cecile Whiting. UCI Directors of the Digital War Project, Mellon Foundation

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Digital War. Daniel Brunstetter, John Emery, Joseph Darda, Heather Roff, Carol Burke, Matthew Payne, Aaron Trammell. Drones, war in the fifth domain, cyberwar, digitizing the battlefield, and controlled vision in war games

12:00-1:00 p.m. 

1:00-3:00 p.m.
Defying the Nazis Film by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky 
Discussion: Artemis Joukowsky and Elizabeth Bolger. Moral Injury and Meaning Making in and after War. Michael Spezio. Psychology & Neuroscience, Scripps College & Institute for Systems Neuroscience, University of Hamburg Medical Center, Eppendorf, Hamburg.

3:00-3:15 p.m. 

3:15-5:15 p.m. 
The Ethics of Narrative. Personal Stories, Family Stories. Mimi Chubb and Alice Fahs, UCI Department of History. War Trauma, Family Feuds and Healing. Paula Garb, UCI, Citizen Peacebuilding 


9:00-9:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

9:30-11:30 a.m.
Martin Heisler, Contextualizing the Ethics and Morality of Actions in Traumatic Times: A Political Sociology Perspective. U of Maryland "Is Complex Thinking Always Better? Is War Always Worse?" Peter Suedfeld, University of British Columbia.

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
The Importance of Stories during War. Jim Glass, U of Maryland.
An Artist as Soldier: Seeking Refuge in Love and Art in Wartime. Barbara Heisler

1:00-2:00 p.m.
LUNCH - Courtyard

2:00-3:30 p.m.
Illustrations and On-going work. "Narratives of relief work: When the War in Syria Crossed the Aegean." Angeliki Kanavou, UCI Tobis Fellow, Dominique Marinello, UCI, and Julie Van, Psychology, CSUF. Is there a place for the past in the future? Narratives of continuity in post-war Cambodia. Katrin Travouillon, UCI Tobis Fellow.

3:30-3:45 p.m.

3:45-5:30 p.m.
Trauma and War: Regaining Agency through Narratives. Carol Burke, Department of English and Journalism, UCI Stories and Silences: Trauma and the Legacy of Loss, Identity and Continuity. Lawrence Sporty, Psychiatry, UCI

This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Social Sciences Parking Structure for $2 per hour or $10 per day.
Please RSVP to Marilu Daum at or 949.824.2566.

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