This course begins with the premise that universal human rights are constructed, not discovered. Using genealogy as a historiographical method, we will outline a general history of rights discourses that both preceded and followed the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our goal is to untangle the different discursive threads that comprise this rich and varied field. The first half of the course involves unpacking multiple traditions of rights discourse, including natural rights, political and civil rights, social and economic rights, and minority rights. The second half explores the evolution of human rights through the related concepts of Holocaust memory, self-determination, neoliberalism, and humanitarianism.
HRI 534 - History of Human Rights