Essex Public International Law Lecture: Passion and International Law of War Scholarship

  • Mon 10 May 21

    17:00 - 18:00

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Professor Naz Khatoon Modirzadeh, Harvard Law School

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Public International Law Lecture

  • Event organiser

    Law, School of

Please join us for the latest instalment of the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series.

The Essex Public International Law Lecture Series welcomes you to the latest instalment presented by Professor Naz Khatoon Modirzadeh, Harvard Law School and chaired by Dr Emily Jones from the School of Law at the University of Essex.


In this lecture, I will explore how international legal scholarship about war, written at a time of war, ought to be read. Can and should we demand doctrinal rigor and analytical clarity, while also expecting that scholarship makes us feel something, that it connects us to the author, that it captures the intimacy and emotion that human beings experience in relation to war? I use two eras of international legal scholarship on war, namely, the Vietnam era and the War on Terror to illustrate key moments in the field that were typified by very different kinds of writing and the corresponding differences in thinking and feeling. I argue, in part, that in contradistinction to Vietnam era scholarship a particularly influential strand of contemporary scholarship on the United States’ War on Terror adopts a view that is aridly technical, a contextual, and a historical. In short, it lacks passion. This lecture will draw upon my article, Cut These Words: Passion and International Law of War Scholarship.


Professor Naz Khatoon Modirzadeh is the Founding Director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict and is Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School.


About the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series

The Essex Public International Law lecture series is founded, hosted and co-chaired by Dr Meagan Wong and Dr Emily Jones based in the School of Law. This is a weekly lecture series featuring judges of international courts and tribunals, leading academics, and practitioners of international law from governmental service, international organizations, and private practice from across the globe. The series prides itself on building on two important intellectual traditions of international law: formalism and international legal practice, and international legal theory including postcolonial and feminist perspectives. 

We welcome all students, academics, practitioners and legal advisors to join us.

How to register

You can register here for the event which will be held on zoom.

For further information

Please contact Dr Meagan Wong, meagan.wong@essex.ac.uk and Dr Emily Jones, e.jones@essex.ac.uk.


Dr Emily Jones

School of Law, University of Essex

Dr Emily Jones is an international lawyer whose interdisciplinary work combines theory and practice. Her work cuts across: gender and international law; international environmental law; science, technology and international law; posthuman legal theory; gender and conflict; and political economy, imperialism and international law. Within these areas her current work focuses on the rights of nature, military technologies (including autonomous weapons systems and human enhancement technologies) and the regulation of deep-sea mining and of greenhouse gas removal technologies. Emily’s work has been published in journals such as the Australian Feminist Law Journal, London Review of International Law, Radical Philosophy, Feminist Legal Studies and Feminist Review.

Dr Meagan Wong

School of Law, University of Essex

Dr Meagan Wong is a Lecturer in Law at the School of Law, University of Essex, where she is the Director of the LLM in International Law degree. She is a generalist public international lawyer and has advised States on a broad set of issues of international law, including the law of treaties, jurisdiction, international institutional law, and the relationship between international law and domestic law. She has published on canonical aspects of generalist public international law and is the author of a forthcoming monograph with Cambridge University Press, titled ‘Responsibility of States and Individuals: Aggression at the International Criminal Court.

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