This seminar will consider a number of contemporary human rights and social justice issues in Europe and the United States, with attention to the similarities and differences in the ways they are addressed in each place. It will be organized around six pairs of leading scholars and practitioners from Europe and the United States who will come to Austin to present papers that will be the focus of the course. Students will spend two weeks considering each pair of papers. During the first week, students will meet to discuss the papers in a traditional seminar format. In the second week, the authors will present their papers, and will engage in dialogue with each other and the seminar students, as well as with other students, faculty and staff who choose to attend the talk. Students will thus have the opportunity both to engage in their own critical discussion of the work and to observe and participate in a conversation with the authors in a broader audience.
The speaker pairs will consider a variety of timely human rights topics, including counter-terrorism, labor rights, immigration, racism and xenophobia, gender equality, human rights enforcement, and approaches to memory and human rights.
Students will be expected to engage actively in class discussions, to write short critical papers responding to some of the papers presented in the course, and to write a longer essay on a topic related to the themes that arise during the semester.