Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights : History, Politics, Practice book cover
1st Edition

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights
History, Politics, Practice

ISBN 9781138482265
Published November 7, 2018 by Routledge
368 Pages

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Book Description

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights: History, Politics, Practice is an edited collection that brings together analyses of human rights work from multiple disciplines. Within the academic sphere, this book will garner interest from scholars who are invested in human rights as a field of study, as well as those who research, and are engaged in, the praxis of human rights.

Referring to the historical and cross-cultural study of human rights, the volume engages with disciplinary debates in political philosophy, gender and women’s studies, Global South/Third World studies, international relations, psychology, and anthropology. At the same time, the authors employ diverse methodologies including oral history, theoretical and discourse analysis, ethnography, and literary and cinema studies. Within the field of human rights studies, this book attends to the critical academic gap on interdisciplinary and praxis-based approaches to the field, as opposed to a predominantly legalistic focus, drawing from case studies from a wide range of contexts in the Global South, including Bangladesh, Colombia, Haiti, India, Mexico, Palestine, and Sudan, as well as from Australia and the United States in the Global North.

For students who will go on to become researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and activists, this collection of essays will demonstrate the multifaceted landscape of human rights and the multiple forces (philosophical, political, cultural, economic, historical) that affect it.

Table of Contents

Introduction Rajini Srikanth and Elora Halim Chowdhury

Part I. Human Rights Discourse: Context and History

Chapter 1: Imaginary and Real Strangers: Constructing and Reconstructing the Human in Human Rights Discourse and Instruments

Mickaella Perina

Chapter 2: Rise of the Global Human Rights Regime: Challenging Power with Humanity

Darren Kew, Malcolm Russell-Einhorn, and Adriana Rincón Villegas

Chapter 3: Between Nothingness and Infinity: Settlement and Anti-Blackness as the Overdetermination of Human Rights Andrés Fabián Henao-Castro

Chapter 4: Human Rights, Latin America, and Left Internationalism during the Cold War

Steve Striffler

Chapter 5: Women, Gender, and Human Rights

Nada Mustafa Ali

Chapter 6: The United States-Mexico Border and Human Rights

Luis F. Jiménez

Chapter 7: Unintended Consequences in the Postcolonies: Struggling South Africans Experience Rights Discourse As Disempowering

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks

Part II. Critical Areas in Human Rights

Chapter 8: The Mysterious Disappearance of Human Rights in the 2030 Development Agenda

Gillian MacNaughton

Chapter 9: Addressing General Recommendation No. 35 from an Intersectional Perspective on Violence, Gender and Disability in Mexico

Ana María Sánchez Rodríguez

Chapter 10: Global LGBTQ politics and Human Rights

Jamie J. Hagen

Chapter 11: Refugee Camps and the (Educational) Rights of the Child

Rajini Srikanth

Chapter 12: Persistent Voices: A History of Indigenous People and Human Rights in Australia, 1950s-2000s

Maria John

Part III. Praxis and Human Rights

Chapter 13: So, You Want to Work in Human Rights?

Jean-Philippe Belleau

Chapter 14: Migrant Workers in the Gulf: Theoretical and Human Rights Dilemmas

Amani El Jack

Chapter 15: Ethical Reckoning: Theorizing Gender, Vulnerability, and Agency in Bangladesh Muktijuddho Film

Elora Halim Chowdhury

Chapter 16: Right Now in No Place with Strangers: Eudora Welty’s Queer Love

Avak Hasratian

Chapter 17: On The Human Right to Peace in Times of Contemporary Colonial Power

Adriana Rincón Villegas

Chapter 18: Beyond Dignity: A Case Study of the Mis/Use of Human Rights Discourse in Development Campaigns

Chris Bobel

Chapter 19: Teaching Health and Human Rights in a Psychology Capstone: Cultivating Connections between Rights, Personal Wellness and Social Justice

Ester Shapiro, Fernando Andino Valdez, Yasmin Bailey, Grace Furtado, Diana Lamothe, Kosar Mohammad, Mardia Pierre and Nick Wood


Bryan Gangemi And Rita Arditti



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Rajini Srikanth is Professor of English and Dean of the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA. Her research interests include the intersection between literature and human rights, post-apartheid South Africa, comparative race and ethnic studies, and Asian American literature. Her recent publications include Constructing the Enemy: Empathy/Antipathy in US Literature and Law (2012) and The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature (2016).

Elora Halim Chowdhury is Professor and Chair of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA. Her research interests include transnational feminisms, film and culture, and human rights narrative with an emphasis on South Asia. Her recent publications include Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh (2011) and Dissident Friendships: Feminism, Imperialism and Transnational Solidarity (2016).