James Dawes, Associate Professor of Literature and Founder and Director of the Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., delivered a lecture titled “War Crimes and Representation” Monday, Feb. 8. Dawes, who has authored two books on narrative representations of the torture and trauma associated with war, centered his talk on the deathbed confessions of non- American former war criminals. In attendance were students of professors Faith Barrett and Lena Khor, who have incorporated a consideration of Dawes’s work into their respective classes on Civil War literature and human rights. In his introduction, Dawes admitted, “I’m uncomfortable giving this talk.” He explained that the testimonies, which he recorded first-hand, were difficult for him to present for a number of reasons. Outlining the problems in relation to the events themselves and to the audience, Dawes delineated an issue he refers to as “the pornography of evil.” Occasionally making the executive decision not to read a direct passage aloud, Dawes chose to leave out what he perceived to be unnecessary graphic details. However, studding the lecture with personal narratives provided Dawes with a backdrop upon which he could assess both the fashioning of such narratives and their retelling. In the question and answer session that followed the lecture, Dawes continued to struggle with his presentation of these confessions. Dawes kept repeating that he does not know what to do with the information with which he has been entrusted. He acknowledged that he feels he is entering into a form of betrayal. Though he is equipped to take on the task of retelling the narratives, he cannot always “do what they want [him] to,” which often involves the communication of these men’s political beliefs. However, Dawes restated his simple mission, which was to comply with the repeated request in common with all those from whom he received a confession: “Please make sure you tell these stories.” Particularly addressing the students present, Dawes insisted on the importance of sharing these narratives, especially with prospective participants in the future of the human rights movement. His persistent questioning of the most appropriate method of sharing these narratives was applied to the larger perspective, and he maintained that only through talks like these can the human rights movement learn to deal with such confessional narratives.