In this class, students will develop their own writerly voice in relationship to the public, political, and academic discourses of armed conflict, law, human rights and diplomacy. By exploring and experimenting in genres of writing like the op-ed, the book review, the NGO advocacy report and legal arguments, we address the legal questions that increasingly frame our debates about warfare and develop a critical awareness of the strengths, limits and blind spots of the law-and-war discourse. The questions this class will investigate include: How does law justify and coordinate the use of lethal force? What makes a “just war” and how does it differ from “holy war” and “humanitarian intervention”? What has the UN Charter’s proscription of aggressive war meant in practice and theory? Do battlefield “rules of engagement” have the potential to cleanse war of “war crimes” or do such rules undermine military endeavors–or neither? The syllabus will include not only conventional academic writing from several fields (theology, economics, law, history) but also “raw” documents like military field reports, soldierly and diplomatic memoirs and bits of journalism.