Human Rights and the Humanities Week March 5-9, 2012

Complete Schedule of Events

The Human Rights Initiative, which has been made possible by a significant grant from the Academic Senate, in cooperation with the UC Davis Humanities Institute and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, is pleased to inform you of the schedule of events for this year’s Human Rights and the Humanities Week (March 5-9, 2012).

Human Rights and the Humanities week is designed to explore the way the question of human rights can and should connect with the multifaceted mission of UC Davis.  The events of Human Rights and Humanities week encompass undergraduate teaching, graduate professionalization, faculty research and community outreach.  Indeed, each of the week’s events highlight opportunities for excellence in all of these aspects of our mission and will lay the groundwork for future programmatic and philanthropic development.

The week begins with the Provost’s Lecture in Human Rights (March 5)Provost Hexter is underwriting the first of what is hoped to become a yearly event. Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch will give a community lecture titled At Last, an Arab Spring: Black Swans of the Middle East – Human Rights Watch Reports from the Ground.  The event is from 7:30-9:00pm at the UC Davis Alumni and Visitors Center (AGR Room). Before joining Human Rights Watch, Whitson worked as an attorney in New York for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The week will continue (March 7) with a presentation by Richard Hiskes, a senior political theorist at the University of Connecticut, in the Mellon-sponsored Environmental Humanities Seminar, directed by Louis Warren and Julie Sze.  Professor Hiskes is the Associate Director of UConn’s Human Rights Center, amongst the largest and best funded in the nation.  He also directs their Human Rights Minor and Major.  Professor Hiskes will remain on campus the rest of the week and will participate in the other scheduled events.  In addition, Professor Hiskes has generously offered to meet with our academic leadership to discuss the academic, philanthropic and administrative aspects of UConn’s Human Rights program.

On March 8, the HRI’s first graduate student symposium will take place.  Organized by UC Davis graduate students Andrea Dooley (CST) and Katherine Unger (Poli Sci), this all-day symposium will gather graduate students and post-docs from campus and beyond under the theme Human Rights in the Aftermath. As part of program, and in cooperation with Cultural Studies, John Erni, Chair of Cultural Studies at Lingnan Univerity in Hong Kong (coeditor of Internationalizing Cultural Studies and author of the forthcoming Cultural Studies and Human Rights) will deliver a keynote.

The week concludes (March 9) with the 2nd Spring Human Rights Symposium: Contested Histories of Human Rights. Organized by a committee of historians including Director of the Hemispheric Institute of the Americas, Charles Walker, Victoria Langland, Corrine Decker and Keith David Watenpaugh, the all-day symposium will be a high-profile event and attract scholars in the emerging field of human rights history.