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Academic Year 2008-2009



The 2009 Koford Lecture


Philip C. Bobbitt

Columbia Law School



"Terror and Consent"


3:30 p.m. on April 13, 2009

Kirkbride Hall, room 100


This annual lecture is named in honor of our long-time friend and former Director of Legal Studies, the late Kenneth J. Koford. The lecture series is co-sponsored by the Legal Studies Program and the Department of Economics in the Lerner College of Business & Economics.


We are please to announce that our speaker this year is Philip Bobbitt, Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence Columbia Law School.  Professor Bobbitt joined Columbia in 2007. Before coming to Columbia, Bobbitt was A.W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law at the University of Texas Law School and remains a Senior Fellow in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas.  He has taught as a visitor at Oxford University, Harvard Law School, and Kings College in London.  Bobbitt was awarded an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Princeton University (1971), a J.D. from Yale Law School (1975), and a Ph.D. (History) from Oxford University (1983).


Philip Bobbitt is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Life Member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. He is a member of the Commission on the Continuity of Government. He served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Henry J. Friendly (2 Cir.), Associate Counsel to the President, the Counselor on International Law at the State Department, Legal Counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra Committee, and Director for Intelligence, Senior Director for Critical Infrastructure and Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council. He is a former trustee of Princeton University.


Professor Bobbitt has published seven books: Tragic Choices (with G. Calabresi) (Norton, 1978), Constitutional Fate (Oxford, 1982), Democracy and Deterrence (Macmillan, 1987), U.S. Nuclear Strategy (with L. Freedman and G. Treverton) (St. Martin's, 1989), Constitutional Interpretation (Blackwell, 1991), The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (Knopf, 2002), and, most recently, Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century (Knopf, 2008).  Senator John McCain has praised Terror and Consent as “the best book I’ve ever read on terrorism,” and Henry Kissinger called Bobbitt, “perhaps the most important political philosopher today.”  Tony Blair wrote of Terror and Consent, “It may be written by an academic but it is actually required reading for political leaders.”  Professor Bobbitt will lecture on themes from Terror and Consent. 








David A. Harris

University of Pittsburgh School of Law


 "Local Police Enforcing Immigration Law:

Why the Obvious Answer Might Be Wrong"


Monday, November 17th

Gore 116



David A. Harris is Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the leading national authority on racial profiling. His 2002 book, Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work, and his scholarly articles in the field of traffic stops of minority motorists and stops and frisks, influenced the national debate on profiling and related topics. His work led to federal efforts to address the practice and to legislation and voluntary efforts in over half the states and hundreds of police departments. Professor Harris has testified three times in the U.S. Senate and before many state legislative bodies on profiling and related issues. His 2005 book, Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing, uses case studies from around the country to show that citizens need not trade liberty for safety; they can be safe from criminals and terrorists without sacrificing their civil rights if law enforcement uses strategies based on prevention.

 Professor Harris is a graduate of Northwestern University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.M from Georgetown University Graduate School of Law. Harris writes and comments frequently in the media on police practices, racial profiling, and other criminal justice and national security issues. He has appeared on The Today Show, Dateline NBC, National Public Radio, and has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times, among many others. In 1996, Professor Harris served as a member of the Civil Liberties Advisory Board to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. Before he began teaching in 1990, Professor Harris was a public defender in the Washington, D.C. area, a litigator at a law firm in Philadelphia, and law clerk to Federal Judge Walter K. Stapleton in Wilmington, Delaware.

Co-sponsored by:  UD Legal Studies Program, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Black American Studies, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Department of History, and Urban Affairs and Public Policy.




Faculty Forum



Legal Studies Program

faculty research seminar

Kris Weller

Ph.D. Candidate

History of Consciousness Program

University of California Santa Cruz

“Minding Minds:  Species, Sanity, and Law”

Wednesday October 15

12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Alfred Lerner Hall 231

 Kris Weller is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California Santa Cruz.  In her talk, she will address the figure of the human in the American legal tradition. Beginning with an analysis of a 1979 New York high court case that consolidated and dismissed two cases on appeal — one concerning the neglect of animals in New York City zoos and the other the neglect of humans recently discharged from New York state mental hospitals — Weller will examine the interplay between captivity and categorization. She argues suggest that not only is captivity dehumanizing, but that the act of capturing is humanizing, such that we protect in law an unwritten right to capture that inheres in the fully human legal subject. One consequence of this defining right to capture is the necessity of maintaining a capturable class, a grouping based on the idea of the animal but which always has included a variable range of categorized humans as well. She argues that the maintenance of the socio-legal distinction between humans and other animals guarantees the failure of human rights campaigns to imagine and articulate, much less achieve, social equality among humans.







Past Events



Academic Year 2008-2009

To see events held during the 2008-09 academic year, click here


Academic Year 2007-2008

To see events held during the 2007-08 academic year, click here


Academic Year 2006-2007

To see events held during the 2006-07 academic year, click here


Academic Year 2005-2006

To see events held during the 2005-06 academic year, click here


Academic Year 2004-2005

To see events held during the 2004-05 academic year, click here


The Koford Lecture Series

To see past speakers, click here




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