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Heather Werner ’02 (Bath, Pa.), a double major in Anthropology and sociology and German, is studying the morality of war as an EXCEL Scholar with Stephen E. Lammers, Helen H.P. Manson Professor of the English Bible.

“Dr. Lammers is interested in the way in which the uses of airpower have affected discussions of the morality of war,” says Werner. “I will be using my German language ability to read and report on German accounts of Allied air actions during the Second World War.”

“Currently, I am collecting and cataloguing materials related to the war in Afghanistan,” continues Werner. “Among other issues, the classification and treatment of the prisoners of the United States and its Afghan allies is of interest, since these men are prisoners in a new kind of war. Second, I will be working on the way in which new uses of airpower have permitted the United States to announce new military doctrine on how it will fight wars in the future. This opens up new areas of moral inquiry for Professor Lammers.”

Werner will be summarizing official statements and news reports for Lammers and assisting him in organizing the materials for publication.

Lammers has been working for a number of years on rethinking what it means to have a Christian teaching on justifiable war in the modern world.

“In particular, I am convinced that the way in which modern warfare uses technology and the way in which the modern nation state uses war call for a rethinking,” says Lammers. “I have written some papers on bombing. My next paper, hopefully, will be a programmatic statement about what the difficulties of Christian ‘just war’ teaching are in modern circumstances and where we might go from here. Immediately, of course, the war in Afghanistan interests me as an example of this new kind of state-sponsored war.”

Werner did a study at American University in Washington, D.C. through its Peace and Conflict Resolution Program, which involved a trip to Quebec, an internship at Search for Common Ground in its production division, Common Ground Production, a course, and a research project. During the fall semester, Werner conducted an independent study on the acculturation and assimilation of Muslim immigrants in German society with Edward R. McDonald, professor of foreign languages and literatures.

“Prior to September 11, I already had interest in learning more about the Middle East and possibly that will be a direction to focus on further when in graduate school,” says Werner. “But for now, anything I can learn is beneficial. My interest grew out of not only my friendships with those from Middle Eastern countries, but also from my studies in Bonn, Germany, in the summer of 2000 when I came in contact with Muslim men from Middle Eastern countries. Due to my interest in the cultural norms, as well as my own opinion of media and its presentation of world and national events, this project seemed to be close to a godsend for me.”

“Projects like this allow us to see another part of the world that we might not have the chance to visit as well as appreciate [cultural] differences,” continues Werner. “The plethora of resources and references available at each student’s fingertips at Lafayette is incredible. Lafayette College is a great academic environment for this type of project.”

Werner approached Lammers about assisting on this project despite having never taken a course with him. “Professor Lammers is deeply interested in this area and is more than willing to assist me in my own understanding of it,” she says. “I am thoroughly enjoying my research project.”

“For Heather it is an opportunity to learn about how a project coheres,” says Lammers. “She is working on a very small part of it right now. By the end of the semester, I hope she will understand how I am making my argument and what it is necessary for me to do in order to make such an argument.”

“Like most of our students, Heather is good-natured, forgiving her teacher for more of his faults than she ought,” continues Lammers. “She is willing to work, even beyond the requirements of the EXCEL project. This sense of dedication is much appreciated by me.”

In addition to the EXCEL work, Werner is assisting Lammers with his response to a recent statement issued about the war in Afghanistan. In early February, a group of well-known intellectuals met to release and discuss a letter supporting the government’s war on terrorism. Signed by 60 prominent American scholars, “What We’re Fighting For: A Letter From America” defends the conflict on the basis of the principles of a “just war.” Lammers was notified by Eerdmans Publishing that the company wants to publish a book with the statement and responses.

“As a result of a paper I gave in January on justice and the war in Afghanistan, I have been asked to join 25 other scholars in a response to a statement (recently) released on that topic,” says Lammers. “I have given Heather a copy of the statement, which is mentioned in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and have asked her to do an initial analysis.” Together, they will write the response.

During the interim session between regular semesters, Werner traveled to Russia and Poland to take the Lafayette course Russia and Poland: Past and Present. Last semester, Werner took the Qualitative Methods of Research class led by Dan Bauer, professor of anthropology and sociology, and worked with a team of students to develop an ethnography on the subject of rodeos, producing a video running 12 to 15 minutes long and a written report. According to Bauer, “The primary goal of an ethnography is to give people a view of what it’s like to be a member of a community that they haven’t directly experienced.”

A graduate of Northampton Senior High School, Werner is involved in Residence Hall Council, Lafayette Christian Fellowship and Lafayette Leadership Institute. She also is a member of Alternative School Break Club, having traveled to New Mexico and Arizona during her sophomore spring break to do painting on a Navajo reservation. She was named an alternate for this year’s service project in Hungary.

She has been active with International Students Association, Asian Cultural Association, Lafayette African and Caribbean Students Association, German Club, Student Alumni Association, Emile Durkheim Society (the anthropology and sociology club), and Delta Delta Delta sorority. She has also been a resident adviser, Chaplain’s Office intern, Computing Services employee, Allen P. Kirby gym monitor and substitute, and America Reads tutor.

After graduating, Werner will spend a year in Germany in the CDS International “Congress Bundestag program for Young Professionals.” Founded in 1968, CDS International is a non-profit organization that provides international practical training opportunities for young professionals, students, educators, as well as labor, business and government representatives.

Categorized in: Academic News