Carolyn J. Dean’s The Moral Witness: Trials and Testimony after Genocide (Cornell University Press, 2019) examines the cultural history of the idea of the “witness to genocide” in Western Europe and the United States. She portrays the witness in non-traditional genocide court trials as the moral compass. In fact, many of these “moral witnesses” were not utilized for their testimony to identify perpetrators or mass murder, but rather a symbolic voice for survivor’s that would not normally be admissible in traditional legal proceedings.
Dr. Dean is the Charles J. Still Professor of History and French at Yale University and is the author of several other books focused on morality and genocide. The Moral Witness is part of the Cornell University Press’s series Corpus Juris: The Humanities in Politics and Law.