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Grant number: AQ-248219-16

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University of Rochester (Rochester, NY 14627-0001)
William H. Bridges (Project Director: September 2015 to present)

NEH Enduring Questions Course on When War Should End

The development and teaching of a new lower-division undergraduate course to explore the question of when war should end.

This course invites students to consider a question that has been asked since antiquity: when should war end? Just War theory provides students with a vocabulary to debate when war should begin (jus ad bellum) and how it should be conducted once it has begun (jus in bello). Given, however, that the United States—as one of my students recently reminded me—has been at war for the entirety of the living memory of contemporary college students, it is just as important that students have an intellectual apparatus, vocabulary, and conversations on when and how war should end—jus post bellum. If, as Carl von Clausewitz wrote in On War, “there is in every combat a point in time when it may be regarded as decided” and “to have a clear notion [of] this point [in] time is very important,” then the value of this course is that it provides students with: 1) intellectual frameworks that make that point visible and 2) practice in articulating their vision of that point.

Project fields:
Comparative Literature

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$19,783 (approved)
$19,783 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2016 – 3/31/2018