Human Rights and the Body is a response to the crisis in human rights, to the very real concern that without a secure foundation for the concept of human rights, their very existence is threatened. While there has been consideration of the discourses of human rights and the way in which the body is written upon, research in linguistics has not yet been fully brought to bear on either human rights or the body. Drawing on legal concepts and aspects of the law of human rights, Mooney aims to provide a universally defensible set of human rights and a foundation, or rather a frame, for them. She argues that the proper frames for human rights are firstly the human body, seen as an index reliant on the natural world, secondly the globe and finally, language. These three frames generate rights to food, water, sleep and shelter, environmental protection and a right against dehumanization. This book is essential reading for researchers and graduate students in the fields of human rights and semiotics of law.
Annabelle Mooney is Reader in Sociolinguistics at the University of Roehampton, UK.