Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Center for Human Rights and International Justice

Other BC and Area Events



‘Drones in Focus’ Conference

Boston College
14-15 November, 2014

This event is free and open to the public. Registration required here »

‘Drones in Focus: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Drones and Remote Warfare’ is the first professional academic conference of its kind. Brought to you by Boston College and its Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA), this event will be held on November 14th and 15th, 2014.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or ‘drones,’ represent a revolutionary development in war-making technology, and have had implications for a great many academic and artistic disciplines. As professional academics, it is common for theologians often talk to theologians, philosophers often talk to philosophers, and poets to poets, but what we all ought to do, at least once, is talk to each other. ‘Drones in Focus’ provides just such an opportunity.

On November 14-15, 2014, we will bring together lawyers, theologians, philosophers, poets, playwrights, military strategists, historians, political scientists, and interested audience-members to engage the many implications of drones and remote warfare. We are confident that we will leave, if not with better answers, than at least with better questions about this relatively new method of war making. We are proud of our scheduled speakers, and as you will see in the below descriptions, many have already made significant contributions to the on-going discussion of drones.

Conference speakers include (subject to change):

  • Julian Bourg, Associate Professor of History, Boston College.
  • Joe Campo, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force and PhD Candidate, Air University. Working dissertation title: The Psychology of Killing with Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
  • David Deptula, Lieutenant General, retired, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.
  • Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College. Author, Targeted Killing and the Ethics of Drone Warfare (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming).
  • Frank Garcia, Associate Dean of Global Initiatives and Professor, Boston College Law School.
  • Kim Garcia, Poet and Creative Writing Instructor, Boston College.
  • John Kaag, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Global Studies PhD program, University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Co-author, Drone Warfare (Polity, forthcoming).
  • Walt McGough, Playwrighting Fellow, Huntington Theatre Company. Playwright, Pattern of Life (New Repertory Theatre, 2014).
  • Avery Plaw, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and Co-founder, ‘UMass Drone.’
  • Allan A. Ryan, Adjunct Professor of Law, Boston College Law School, and Director of Intellectual Property, Harvard Business School.
  • Brian Glyn Williams, Professor of Islamic History, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Author, Predators: The CIA's Drone War on al Qaeda (Potomac Books, 2013).

Direct questions to the event’s organizer, Joe Chapa (Graduate Student, Boston College Philosophy Department),



Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Fulton Hall, Room 415


The film follows three Roma (commonly known as "Gypsy") children in a rural Transylvanian village who are among the pioneer participants in an initiative to integrate the ethnically segregated Romanian schools.

Panel discussion following film:

The Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

GABRIEL KREINDLER, PhD Student, Department of Economics, MIT

Sponsored by: Global Practice and Children, Youth and Families Concentrations      

* Our School BC Screening flyer.docx
Download the flyer for the "Our School" Film Screening.