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Faculty Profiles

Renée Nicole (‘Nikki’) Souris Smith

Assistant Professor, Law & Society, School of Arts and Communication

Personal Overview

Dr. Nikki Souris Smith is Assistant Professor of Law & Society in the School of Arts & Communications, where she teaches courses in the Humanities and Pre-Law Programs. Before coming to Florida Tech in 2019, Dr. Souris Smith taught for 5 years in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC. She also served both as a Visiting Scholar with the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at the George Washington University in Washington DC, and as a contractor in the Office of Research and Data for the United States Sentencing Commission of the US Federal Judicial Branch. Dr. Souris Smith has acquired extensive teaching experience in legal, political, and moral theory, as well as in law and society. Her research presents empirically-informed analyses of complex questions that intersect law, morality, and politics. Dr. Souris Smith's recent work examines the relationship between moral development and criminal responsibility, especially as applied to child soldiers, and explores questions concerning the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court in its efforts to combat the problem of child soldiering.

Educational Background

PhD, Law & Society, and Political Theory, American University
MS, Justice, Law and Criminology, American University
BA, Philosophy and Political Science, Bucknell University

Recognition & Awards

2019 Young Scholar Award, 1st Place, International Society for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, American Section
2019 Young Scholar Award, 3rd Place, International Society for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Global Competition
2015 Young Scholar Award, 1st Place, International Society for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, American Section

 Professional Experience

2019-Present, Assistant Professor, Law & Society, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne FL
2014-2019, Professorial Lecturer, Department of Justice, Law and Criminology, American University, Washington DC
2014, Visiting Scholar, Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, George Washington University, Washington DC
2008, Contractor, Office of Research and Data, United States Sentencing Commission,  US Judicial Branch, Washington DC

Courses Taught 

Florida Institute of Technology, School of Arts & Communications
Civilization 2: Renaissance to Modernity (HUM2052)
Intro to Law (HUM 2041)

American University, Department of Justice, Law and Criminology 
Western Legal Tradition (JLC 110)
Philosophical Problems in the Law (JLC 201)
Justice, Morality, and the Law (JLC 308)
Self, Responsibility, and the Law (JLS 396)
Contemporary Legal Theory (JLS 410)
Interpreting the Nuremberg Trials (JLC 490)
Africa and the Legitimacy of the International Criminal Court (JLC 490)
Theories of Punishment (JLC 676, graduate level)

American University, Department of Government
Individual Freedom versus Authority (GOVT 105)
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties (SPA 351)
Feminist Political Thought (GOVT 486)
Human Nature and Responsibility (GOVT 490)

American University, Honors Programs and Other
U.S. Law and Legal Systems (GNED 140)
Criminal Law and Theory (GNED 140)
Problems in Neurolaw (IDIS 196)
Children, Crime, and Punishment (HNRS 196)
Judging Atrocity (CORE 105)
The ICC Examined (SPA 300)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Souris Smith, Renée Nicole (In Preparation). “Is Using Child Soldiers a Malum in Se International Crime? A Reply to William Schabas and Margaret deGuzman.” 

Souris, Renée Nicole (Forthcoming). “Dignity, Development, and the Gravity of Child Soldiering.” Archives for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Souris, Renée Nicole. “Virtue Ethics, Criminal Responsibility, and Dominic Ongwen.” 19(3) International Criminal Law Review (2019): 475-504.

Souris, Renée Nicole. “Child Soldiering on Trial: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Responsibility in the Lord’s Resistance Army.” 13(3) International Journal of Law in Context (2017): 316-335.

Book Chapters

Souris, Renée Nicole. (Forthcoming). “African Challenges to the International Criminal Court: An Example of Populism?” In Democracy, Populism, and Truth, edsMark Navin and Richard Nunan (Springer).

Souris, Renée Nicole. “Parents, Privacy, and Facebook: Social and Legal Responses to the Problem of Over-Sharing.” In Core Concepts and Contemporary Issues in Privacy, eds. Ann Cudd and Mark Navin (Springer, 2017).