Symposium – Contested Histories of Human Rights (March 9,2012)


Welcome Keynote. 10:00 – 10:30 am

    Keith David Watenpaugh
    Associate Professor and Director, Human Rights Initiative, UC Davis
    “Some Further Notes on the Road to San Francisco:’ Contesting Human Rights Histories”

Panel One. 10:45 – 1:00 pm

    Pamela Ballinger
    Associate Professor of History and Cuny Chair in the History of Human Rights, University of Michigan
    “Human Rights: A History of Exclusions?”

    Glenn Mitoma
    Assistant Professor in residence, University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute
    “Catastrophic Failure or Critical Foundation? Reconsidering Human Rights in the 1940s”
    Keith David Watenpaugh
    Associate Professor and Director, Human Rights Initiative, UC Davis


    Caroline Shaw
    Assistant Professor of History, Bates College
    “Local Rights versus Refugee Rights: Empire, International Migration and Human Rights, 1876-1940s”
    Mark Toufyan
    Assistant Professor of Law, University of Ottawa
    “He descends as the representative of humanity”: Tehlirian, Historical Truth and the Work of Trauma as Event
    Linde Lindvist
    Doctoral Candidate in Human Rights Studies, Lund University
    “Shrines and Souls”- The Politics of Religious Liberty and the Emergence of International Human Rights”
    Pamela Ballinger
    Associate Professsor of History and Cuny Chair in the History of Human Rights, University of Michigan

Lunch. 1:00 – 2:00 pm Panel Two. 2:00 – 3:00 pm

    Brad Simpson
    Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs and Director of Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project, Princeton University
    “Human Rights are like Coca Cola’: Contested Human Rights Discourses in Suharto’s Indonesia 1968-1980”
    Sylvanna Falcon
    Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, UC Santa Cruz
    “Understanding Feminist Transformations in Human Rights Activism in the Americas”
    Richard Hiskes
    Sr. Political Theorist and Associate Director of University of Connecticut Human Rights Center

Break. 3:00 – 3:30 pm

Panel Three. 3:30 – 4:00 pm

    Patrick Labuda
    Ph.D. Candidate in History, University of Virginia
    “Human rights, the International Criminal Court and perception of sovereignty and post-colonialism in central Africa”

    Matthew Shannon

    Ph.D. Candidate in History, Temple University

    “Competing Visions of Modernity: Iran, the International Community, and Human Rights during the 1970s”

    Corrie Decker

    Assistant Professor of History, UC Davis

Plenary. 4:45 – 5:30 pm

    Pamela Ballinger
    Richard Hiskes
    Keith Watenpaugh

Call for Papers: Contested Histories of Human Rights, UC Davis March 9, 2012

The UC Davis Human Rights Initiative, in cooperation with the Davis Humanities Institute, invites submissions for the 2nd Annual Spring Human Rights Symposium – Contested Histories of Human Rights.

The purpose of the symposium is to better understand current debates about the history of human rights, their violation and protection. Among the questions posed: Is there a history of human rights that predates World War II in the international treaties, compacts and humanitarian practices of the interwar period? What international interventions and ideologies in the period before World War II contributed to the emergence of the human rights discourse in the post-war period? What role have human rights played in post-World War II anti-colonial struggles? How have human rights discourses changed since the Cold War, and in what ways have people come to employ the language of human rights in their legal, political and cultural struggles? The HRI is particularly interested in scholarship around these questions from the perspective of the histories of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Historians and scholars in other disciplines employing historical methodologies are invited to submit a 300-word abstract and brief c.v. by email to Keith David Watenpaugh, Director, Human Rights Initiative ( Deadline for application is December 1, 2011.

Funding for travel may be available due to a generous grant of the UC Davis Academic Senate Committee on Research.