Law Professor Chris Jenks receives 2014-15 Fulbright Grant

Fulbright program

Law Professor Chris Jenks receives 2014-15 Fulbright Grant

Chris Jenks, SMU Dedman School of LawChris Jenks, an assistant professor in SMU’s Dedman School of Law, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant to spend six months in Australia researching how emerging technologies impact accountability in armed conflict.

Jenks, who joined the Dedman Law faculty in 2012, teaches and writes on the law of armed conflict and criminal justice. He also is director of the law school’s Criminal Justice Clinic. Beginning in January 2015, he will work in Melbourne at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law (APCML), a collaborative initiative between the Australian Department of Defense and Melbourne Law School.

At the APCML, Jenks will work closely with Bruce Oswald and Tim McCormack, two of the world’s foremost experts on international humanitarian law. McCormack, the founding director of the APCML, also serves as Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

“The APCML is the only entity in the world applying a systematic and holistic approach to technology and the law of armed conflict,” Jenks says. “It’s the best place in the world  to study the subject. I’m very excited by and for this opportunity.”

Jenks explains his Fulbright research: “Right now if there’s an air strike and civilians are killed, the law of armed conflict and state practice provide a framework through which we can determine when someone is criminally liable. But when the air strike is autonomous, or it is a cyber attack, who’s to blame? The commander? The software designer? A civilian programmer who may have entered the wrong line of code two years prior? We need to think more about and address such issues before they inevitably arise,” he says.

An internationally respected expert on the law of armed conflict, Jenks is co-author of a law of armed conflict textbook and co-editor of a forthcoming war crimes casebook. He served as a peer reviewer of The Tallinn Manual on the international law applicable to cyber warfare and the U.S. Army’s field manual on the law of land warfare. He has published articles on drones, child soldiers, extraordinary rendition, law of war-based detention, targeting and government contractors.

Jenks came to SMU following a 20-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army. In 2003, he was the lead prosecutor in the Army’s first counterterrorism case. In 2004, he deployed to Mosul, Iraq and served as chief legal advisor on investigations and as prosecutor for crimes against the civilian population, detainee abuse and friendly-fire incidents. Rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel, Jenks worked as the deputy chief of the U.S. Army’s litigation division, as an attorney adviser at the Department of State and the United Nations, and as chief of the International Law Branch of the Office of The Judge Advocate General in the Pentagon.

Jenks has received the Valorous Unit Award, the Bronze Star, and the Expert Infantryman and Parachutist Badges. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Arizona College of Law, the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, and Georgetown University Law School.

Written by Denise Gee

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April 7, 2014|For the Record, News, Year of the Faculty|

Theatre Professor Blake Hackler receives Fulbright Scholars Grant

Blake Hackler, assistant professor of theatre in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Grant to conduct teaching and research in Bulgaria.

Hackler will be in residence at New Bulgarian University in Sofia from January through June 2015, where he will teach and direct theatre, focusing on physical acting techniques. He will also observe and work with the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory, an internationally recognized theatre based in Sofia that produces highly physical interpretations of classic plays.

“My research and performance interests explore the ongoing disembodiment of the ‘actor-in-training’ as a result of deepening reliance on technology,” said Hackler. “Eastern Bloc theatre-makers, both pre- and post-Glasnost, have constantly pushed the boundaries of what the physical body can and should be capable of representing. It will be invaluable to spend time training and observing both the students and actors of Bulgaria and learning from them.”

Hackler joined the Meadows School faculty in fall 2011 and teaches four courses, including acting for both sophomores and first-year graduate students; theatre games and improvisation for graduate students; and “Acting in Song” for students pursuing the new minor in musical theatre. He also holds a teaching appointment at Yale University.

As an actor, Hackler has appeared in productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatres throughout the country, working with such acclaimed directors as Michael Mayer, Scott Ellis, Alex Timbers and Mike Alfreds. In New York, he worked with theatres including Playwrights Horizons, York Theatre, The Ohio, and Roundabout, as well as creating the role of Moritz Stiefel in the original New York workshop of the Tony-award winning musical Spring Awakening.

In Dallas, he is a company member at the nationally recognized Undermain Theatre, and has also appeared at the Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Second Thought Theatre and Theatre Three. Currently, he is the acting coach for comedian Lisa Lampanelli as she prepares her one-woman show, Skinny Bitch, for a Broadway run.

Hackler has taught at Roosevelt University, AMDA, the National Theatre Workshop for the Handicapped, and through the Kennedy Center as an Artist-in-Residence.  He also has studied with the SITI Company and its artistic director Anne Bogart and is a member of AEA and AFTRA. He received his M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 24, 2014|For the Record, News, Year of the Faculty|

Research Spotlight: Learning from the past

Chimu ceramic lizard, PeruAmanda Aland, a graduate student in archaeology in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student fellowship to conduct archaeological fieldwork and research in Peru.

In March 2009, Aland returns to a site on Peru’s northern coast, called Santa Rita B, where she spent several months last year excavating with the support of a National Science Foundation grant.

There, she and students under her direction unearthed evidence that the Incas had left their mark after conquering the region’s Chimú empire in the 15th century.

“We found Chimú pottery and architecture that show Inca influences,” she says, in addition to centuries-old animal matter and human remains.

During her 10-month Fulbright fellowship, Aland hopes to learn the extent of the Incas’ influence on the Chimú people through further excavation and laboratory analysis of her findings. “We want to piece together how the two empires interacted,” she says. “Did they go to war, or make peace living under new rules? We always can learn from the past.”

Aland, a Dallas native, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Southern California in 2004. At SMU, she has studied archaeological theory, methods and grant writing while directing summer field research in Peru. She earned her Master’s degree in anthropology from the University in 2006. (Above, a Chimú ceramic lizard from the Santa Rita B site.)

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See a slide show from Santa Rita B in Peru

March 24, 2009|Research|
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