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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2022-23

HIST 96.33 Global History of Human Rights

This course aims to complicate histories of human rights that imagine that such rights only or primarily exist in Euro-American contexts and have to be exported — either through humanitarian or military intervention — to the Global South. To this end, we will look at rights movements in Middle East, Latin America, and Asian contexts, and attend to the often-complicated history of such movements in the context of imperialism and war. In this course, we will ask: What are human rights, and what is their history? What is the relationship between human rights and earlier languages of rights? What counts as a human right? Can there be a universal standard for human rights despite social difference? What political and ethical possibilities have been opened for marginalized communities by the language of human rights, and what possibilities have been foreclosed by the often-singular focus on human rights as a panacea against all social ills? And finally: do our demands for human rights work to make the world a more just place, and are these demands enough?



Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:NW

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Class of 2023 and Before Major Dist: INTER; Class of 2024 and Beyond Major Dist: modern.


  • Fall