|Semester and Year||SP 2012|
|Time||3:30 PM - 4:45 PM|
|Foundation Requirement||SOC, GLOBAL|
Human rights has become the privileged political vocabulary for justice in a range of contexts: from Untied Nations meetings on the millennium development goals to media reports on Darfur, from court rooms adjudicating the treatment of Guantanamo detainees to street protests the regarding the WTO. Why does rights talk have such traction? What historical dynamics have shaped this development? What are it implications for different groups? Moreover, what ‘counts’ as a human rights within the dominant framework? This course studies the discourses, practices and institutions of human rights by engaging with the politics of human rights as a local/global movement for social change, a contested family of legal rules and norms, and a repertoire of globalized vocabularies and policy prescriptions enhancing and delimiting justice. This will be a conversation about the work 'human rights' does in relation to systemic injustices and dominant ideologies - the activism and social change agendas that it enables, and those it closes off; what it privileges and legitimates and what it obscures and excludes; its desires and obsessions and its phobias and repulsions. The first part of the course will look at key debates that have structured the histories, normative premises and institutional framework of human rights. The second part of the course will look at how human rights laws and norms have been imagined, invoked and negotiated in relation to specific topics; these will include questions of socio-economic justice, racism, war crimes, multi-national corporations, sexuality, torture and taboo. The central text will be the International Human Rights Lexicon by Susan Marks and Andrew Clapham. We will also read a series of human rights cases and other background readings by authors such as Talal Asad, David Kennedy, Wendy Brown, Makau Mutua and others.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)