James Dawes is a Professor of English at Macalester College, a private liberal arts college in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University, and received his Ph.D. in English Literature from Harvard University and his M. Phil. from Cambridge University. Dawes’s areas of study include American literature, human rights, and literature and philosophy. He is also the founder and Director of the Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. James is the author of The Novel of Human Rights (Harvard University Press, 2018), Evil Men (Harvard University Press, 2013), winner of the International Human Rights Book Award; That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity (Harvard University Press, 2007), Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist; and The Language of War (Harvard University Press, 2002).
He has written for or appeared as the feature guest on media outlets ranging from National Public Radio, the BBC, and Bulgarian National Radio to the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and CNN.com. Times Higher Education writes of his book Evil Men: “Horror and terror are etched into every page. Atrocities are reflected upon—sometimes calmly; other times with cold fury. The book’s author, James Dawes, forces us to think carefully about the ethics of telling stories—true ones—about acts of staggering cruelty. Disturbingly, it is a book about friendship, too. When we are brought face to face with men who raped, tortured and murdered men, women and children, where should we look? Straight into their eyes, he advises… A complex, albeit totally absorbing and brilliant book.”