Previous Speaker Series Events

The Human Rights Happy Hour Speaker Series features scholars and practitioners from around the world. These multidisciplinary lectures foster dialogue around complex human rights issues. Each lecture draws a wide array of students, faculty, and community members, creating an atmosphere characteristic of the collaborative nature of human rights work.

  1. Unsustainable Internation Law: Transnational Resource Extraction and Violence Against Women

    Speaker:
  2. Using Ghana’s Oil Wealth to Promote Social Rights: A Vanishing Dream?

    Speakers:
    • Lucie E. White Louis A. Horvitz Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
    • William E. Forbath Associate Dean for Research & Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law, Texas Law
  3. Writers from the South in the North

  4. Environmental Martyrdom & Defenders of the Forest

    Speaker:
    • Rob Nixon Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professorship in Humanities and Environment, Princeton University
  5. Building a Lasting Territorial Peace in Colombia

    Speaker:
  6. Extraction, Indigenous Rights and Prior Consent

    Speaker:
  7. The Recognition Gap: Why Labels Matter in Human Rights Protection

    Speaker:
    • Stacy Kosko Assistant Research Professor & Associate Director, Minor in International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland
    Professor Kosko will discuss how the formal categorizing of different types of ethnocultural minorities affects how international human rights law can protect them.
  8. The Exploitation Bias in the Transnational Law of Natural Resource Extraction

    Speaker:
    • Isabel Feichtner Assistant Professor of Law and Economics, Goethe University, Frankfurt
  9. Guatemalan Women Healing Toward Justice: The Sepur Zarco Case

    Speaker:
    • Maudí Tzay Alliance to Break the Silence and End Impunity
    Please join us for a talk on the recent landmark case that tried crimes against humanity for sexual violence and sexual and domestic slavery committed against Q’eqchí women at Sepur Zarco military base in Guatemala. Light lunch provided.
  10. Digital Archaeology: Tools for Truth and Justice in the Wake of El Salvador’s Amnesty Law?

    Speaker:
    • Angelina Godoy Helen H. Jackson Endowed Chair in Human Rights and Director of the Center for Human Rights, University of Washington
    As part of LLILAS Benson's “Digital Scholarship in the Americas” speaker series, Angelina Godoy discusses the amnesty law in El Salvador, examining the possible role of digital archaeology in the pursuit of truth and justice there.
  11. Extractive Industries and Inequality: Intersections of Environmental Law, Human Rights and Environmental Justice

    Speaker:
    • Sumudu Atapattu Director of Research Centers and Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin Law School
  12. Rival Kurdish Movements in Turkey: Transforming Ethnic Conflict

    Speaker:
    As part of the Turkish Ottoman Lecture Series, Dr. Gurbuz will present the situation of the Kurds in Turkey as a case study for attempting to understand the conditions that foster nonviolent civic engagement in emerging civil societies.
  13. Global Struggles, Local Battlegrounds: A Panel on Human Rights as Civil Rights at the State and Local Level

    Speakers:
    • Aimee Arrambide Program Manager and Reproductive Rights Policy Specialist, Public Leadership Institute
    • Ariel Dulitzky Clinical Professor and Director, Human Rights Clinic
    • Celia Israel Texas State Representative
    This panel will discuss how human rights are codified at the local and state level in Texas.
  14. Remembering Violence and the Violence of Remembering

    Speaker:
    • Khatharya Um Associate Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, University of California, Berkeley
    Professor Khatharya Um will discuss her recent book From the Land of Shadows (NYU Press, 2015), which examines the factors and conditions that produced the genocidal outcome in Cambodia, as well as the struggle of Cambodians, both in Cambodia and in the diaspora, to live with and transcend this historical trauma in the aftermath.
  15. Personal Injury Law and International Human Rights: Litigating Toxic Injustices

    Speaker:
    • Scott Hendler Attorney and Counselor at Law, Hendler Lyons Flores
    Austin attorney Scott Hendler will talk about his experience litigating against American corporations on behalf of Central American agricultural workers.
  16. Certifiably Fair: Can Consumers Monitor Human Rights?

    Speakers:
    • José Aylwin Adjunct Professor, Universidad Austral de Chile School of Law; Co-Director, Observatorio Ciudadano (Citizens’ Watch)
    • Jessica Champagne Director of Research and Advocacy, Worker Rights Consortium
    • Michael E. Conroy Co-founder of Colibrí Consulting – Certification for Sustainable Development
    • Julia Dehm Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Sean Sellers Co-founder and Senior Investigator, Fair Food Standards Council
    The roundtable will consider the possibilities and limitations of various forms of certification regimes for the realization, enforcement and governance of human rights.
  17. Policing the Police: the Federal Government’s Role in Reforming Police Practices

    Speaker:
    • Christy E. Lopez Deputy Chief, Special Litigation Section, Justice Department Civil Rights Division
    Please join us for a talk by Christy Lopez, a national expert on policing who led the DOJ’s investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department.
  18. Rights, Conflict & Crises

    Speaker:
    • Hina Jilani Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Human Rights Activist
  19. Rights, Resources, Territory: The Struggles of the Garifuna and Lenca in Honduras

    Speakers:
    • Berta Cáceres Coordinator, Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)
    • Miriam Miranda Chamorro Executive Director, The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)
    A Dialogue with the 2015 Rothko Chapel Óscar Romero Award Recipients
  20. The Arab Upheaval: Roots, Dynamics, and Prospects

    Speaker:
    • Gilbert Achcar Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  21. Battling for Immigrants’ Rights: Litigation, Advocacy, and Government Service

    Speaker:
    • Lucas Guttentag Senior Counselor to the Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security (
  22. The Ideological Origins of the Dirty War: Fascism, Populism, and Dictatorship in Twentieth-Century Argentina

    Speaker:
    • Federico Finchelstein Associate Professor of History, Chair of the Historical Studies Department, and Director of The Janey Program in Latin American Studies, The New School for Social Research
  23. The Armenian Genocide and Modernity

    Speaker:
    • Peter Balakian Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities; Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing, Colgate University
  24. Human Rights and the Politics of Migration: A Latin American Perspective

    Speaker:
    • Pablo Ceriani Professor of Law and Coordinator of the Migration & Human Rights Program, National University of Lanús (Argentina)
  25. The Place of Israel in Asia: Settler Colonialism, Mobility, and Memory among ’48 Palestinians

    Speaker:
  26. Whither the Arab Spring? Legal and Political Reflections on Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary Egypt

    Speakers:
  27. Criminalizing the Illegal Use of Force: Tragedy or Triumph?

    Speaker:
    • Donald Ferencz Visiting Professor, Middlesex University London, and Convenor, The Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression
  28. A Regulationist Perspective to Human Rights: Blueprint of an Inquiry

    Speaker:
  29. The Legacies of the September 11 Coup d’état in Chile: Four Decades Later

  30. Borrowing a Constitution: The U.S. Constitution in Argentina and the Heyday of the Argentine Supreme Court (1853-1930)

    Speaker:
  31. The Politics of Compliance with International Courts: A General Theory with Evidence from the European Court of Justice

    Speakers:
    • Matthew Gabel Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis
    • Clifford Carrubba Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of Law, Politics, and Economics, Emory University
  32. Politics of Inclusion: Women, Afrodescendants, and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America

    Speaker:
    • Mala Htun Associate Professor of Political Science, University of New Mexico
  33. Electing Judges: The Surprising Effects of Campaigning on Judicial Legitimacy

    Speaker:
    • James Gibson Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Citizenship and Democratic Values, Washington University in St. Louis
  34. The Social Construction of Human Rights in Africa

    Speaker:
  35. Inter-American Constitutionalism: The Creation and Internalization of Human Rights

    Speaker:
    • Jorge Contesse Professor and Director of the Center for Human Rights, Universidad Diego Portales (Chile)
  36. Muslims in Europe: Multiculturalism, Cultural Clash, Human Rights

    Speaker:
  37. Of Prosthetics and Pageants

    Speaker:
    • Mimi Thi Nguyen Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  38. Rights in Culture in Aotearoa, New Zealand: Treaty Rights and Human Rights

    Speaker:
    • Graeme Austin Professor, School of Law, Victoria University of Wellington
  39. Archiving Memory after Mass Atrocities

    Speaker:
    • John Ciorciari Assistant Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  40. From Monuments to Ladders: Collapsing Social Rights Typologies into a New Enforcement-Oriented Schema

    Speaker:
    • Tara Melish Associate Professor of Law & Director, Human Rights Center, University at Buffalo Law School, SUNY
  41. Legal Inequality and Domestic Violence. Who gets what and when at the Sub-national Level?

    Speaker:
    • Catalina Smulovitz Director, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina)
  42. Humanitarian Citizenship and Race: Katrina and the Global War on Terror

    Speaker:
    • Inderpal Grewal Professor and Chair of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University
  43. Un balance delicado: El defensor de derechos humanos en un gobierno democrático

    Speaker:
  44. Leap Frog Feminism: Learning about Human Rights Institution Building from Local Actors

    Speaker:
    • Julie Mertus Professor, School of International Service, American University (AU)
  45. Oil, Litigation and Conservation in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador: Can Cowode Law Protect the Rights of Indigenous Huaorani in the Oil Patch and Yasuni Biosphere Reserve?

    Speaker:
    • Judith Kimerling Professor of Law and Policy at The City University of New York
  46. Bringing Anthropology to Court: The Promotion of Trialogues for the Enforcement of Indigenous Rights

    Speaker:
    • Claudia Briones Professor and Director of the Graduate and Postgraduate Program in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National University of Rio Negro (UNRN) in Argentina
  47. Cycles of Right to Health Litigation: the Elusive Argentine Experience

    Speaker:
    • Paola Bergallo Professor, Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  48. TRIPS, Human Rights, and the Health Impact Fund

    Speaker:
    • Thomas Pogge Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University
  49. Temporalities of Struggle: National Liberation Movements and International Strategies of Rule

    Speaker:
    • Samera Esmeir Assistant Professor, Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley
  50. Asylum Rights between Left and Right: The German Case

    Speaker:
    • Lora Wildenthal Associate Professor, History Department at Rice University in Houston, Texas
  51. The Informal State in International Law: the United States, Gender and Unilateralism

    Speaker:
    • Karen Knop Professor of Law, University of Toronto
  52. Assessing the Distributive Impact of Social and Economic Rights Litigation: More Litigation = More Inequality?

    Speakers:
    • Daniel Brinks Associate Professor of Government and Co-Director, Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice
    • Varun Gauri Senior Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank
  53. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Reflections on a Joint Venture—Twenty Years Later

    Speaker:
    • Cecilia Medina Universidad de Chile and past president, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
  54. Neither Members nor Strangers: Imagining ‘The People’ in the Age of the Diaspora

    Speaker:
    • Adeno Addis William Ray Forrester Professor of Public and Constitutional Law, Tulane University
  55. Service Learning: A Roundtable Discussion on Community Engagement Programs

    Speakers:
  56. Analogies and Discontinuities in Colombia and Sri Lanka’s Violence

    Speaker:
  57. Armed Conflict and Collective Rights in the Southern Pacific Region of Colombia

    Speaker:
    • Eduardo Restrepo Professor of Anthropology, Pontífica Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia
  58. A Human Rights Perspective on Unparented Children & International Adoption

    Speaker:
    • Elizabeth Bartholet Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law & Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program, Harvard Law School
  59. Ruth First and the South African Struggle

    Speaker:
    • Gillian Slovo South African born novelist, playwright and memoirist
  60. Children and Armed Conflict

    Speaker:
    • Murhabazi Namegabe Director, Bureau pour le Volontariat au Sevice de l'Enfance et de la Santé (BVES), Democratic Republic of the Congo
  61. Does Torture Work?

    Speaker:
    • Lisa Hajjar Associate Professor & Department Chair, Law and Society, University of California, Santa Barbara
  62. The Development and Influence of Helsinki Watch

    Speaker:
    • Sarah Snyder Cassius Marcellus Clay Fellow, Department of History, Yale University
  63. Law, Locality, and International Human Rights

    Speaker:
    • Shirin Ebadi Nobel Peace Laureate (2003), civil rights activist and lecturer in law, University of Tehran
  64. Human Rights as Social Theory

    Speaker:
  65. Fighting for Human Rights in the Homeland

    Speaker:
  66. Women, Human Rights, and the ‘War on Terrorism’

    Speaker:
    • Gretchen Ritter Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas
  67. Song as Crime: the Prosecution of a Pop Star, and other New Cases on Incitement to Genocide

    Speaker:
    • Susan Benesch Visiting Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law
  68. UN Military Observers at Work

    Speaker:
  69. The Torture Team: International Criminal Liability for Lawyers?

    Speaker:
  70. The Philosophy of Punishment, Human Rights, and International Criminal Law

    Speaker:
    • Roberto Gargarella Professor of Constitutional Theory and Political Philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
  71. From Resistance to Governance: How the EPLF/PFDJ Experience Shapes Eritrea’s Regional Strategy

    Speaker:
    • Dan Connell Distinguished Lecturer in Journalism and African Politics at Simmons College
  72. Implementation of the Istanbul Protocol – A Summary Report of the Efforts to Eliminate Torture and Ill-Treatment in Mexico

    Speaker:
    • Alejandro Moreno Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean of Clinical Skills Integration, University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
  73. Tortured Thoughts: The Example Set by Ruth First from her Interrogation in 1963 to her Assassination in 1982

    Speaker:
    • Barbara Harlow Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English Literatures
  74. The US and Torture: History and Jurisprudence

    Speaker:
  75. Individual Body/Collective Body

    Speaker:
  76. A Genealogy of Caring: A Long View of the Figure of the Refugee

    Speaker:
    • Itty Abraham Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore
  77. What is International Human Rights Law? Three Applications of a Distributive Account

    Speaker:
    • Patrick Macklem William C. Graham Professor of Law, University of Toronto
  78. Delimiting Accountability: Writing History out of Justice

    Speaker:
    • Vasuki Nesiah Associate Professor of Practice, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University
  79. Globalization, States, and Social Rights: Negotiating Women’s Economic Citizenship in the Maghreb

    Speaker:
    • Valentine Moghadam Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and Director of the Women's Studies Program, Purdue University
  80. Legal Pluralism and Extra-Legal Property: Class, Culture and Law in Bogotá

    Speaker:
    • Daniel Bonilla Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes School of Law
  81. Indigenous Roads to Development; Indigenous Peoples, Afro-Indigenous Peoples and Reparations

    Speakers:
    • Karen Engle Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and Founder & Co-Director, Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice
    • Gerald Torres Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
  82. How Does One Assign Value to Culture?

    Speaker:
  83. Human Rights in Guatemala

    Speaker:
  84. Central American Migrants and Mexico’s Southern Border: Human Rights and the Criminalization of Poor Workers

    Speaker:
  85. Rule of Law in Wartime: The Issues and the Academic Program

    Speakers:
  86. Language Rights?

    Speaker:
  87. African Queen: the Real Life of the Hottentot Venus

    Speaker:
  88. Indigenous Peoples of Mexico and their Struggles for Rights: Gender Perspective on Cultural Citizenship

  89. Immigrants and U.S. Workers: The Paradox of Non-Citizen Worker Rights

  90. Weaving Consciousness: Women and Indigenous Identity in Chiapas, Mexico

  91. Calling the United States’ Bluff: How Sovereign Immunity Undermines the United States’ Claim to an Effective Domestic Human Rights System

    Speaker:
  92. Comparative Law as Archeology: On Sodomy, Islamic Law and the Human Rights Activist

    Speaker:
  93. A Historical Look at the Inter-American System of Human Rights

    Speaker:
  94. State Responsibility in the Era of Individual Criminal Culpability

    Speaker:
  95. Trafficking in Human Rights in the Postmodern Age

    Speaker:
    • Paolo Carozza Associate Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School and Member, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
  96. The Australian ‘Stolen Generations’ and Reparations

    Speaker:
    • Tony Buti Senior Lecturer in Law, Murdoch University, Perth
  97. The Law, Politics and Impact of Litigating Social and Economic Rights in the Developing world

    Speaker:
    • Daniel Brinks Associate Professor of Government and Co-Director, Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice
  98. San Antonio’s La Villita, Pan-Americanism and World War II

    Speaker:
  99. Redesigning Workers’ Rights for the Global Economy: Core Labor Rights Confront Labor Market Flexibility

    Speaker:
    • Kerry Rittich Professor, Faculty of Law and the Women's and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto
  100. The Law of War as a Field of Battle

    Speaker:
  101. International Human Rights Law and the Socialization of States; Additional suggested reading: Introduction, Parts I and V, and Conclusion of “How To Influence States”

    Speakers:
  102. Development Priorities, Human Rights Principles: Globalization and the Place of the Transnational Private Actor in International Law

    Speaker:
    • Erika George Associate Professor of Law, University of Utah
  103. The Ticking Bomb and Other Modern Myths

    Speaker:
    • Susan Marks Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, & Director of Studies & Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  104. Bystanders: The Limits of International Criminal Trials and Jurisprudence

    Speaker:
    • Laurel Fletcher Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic, University of California, Berkeley
  105. Adjudicating Culture, Politicizing Law: Legal Strategies for Black and Indigenous Land Rights Struggles in the Americas

    In this workshop, an interdisciplinary cohort discussed facets of the broad topic of Black and indigenous land rights in Latin America, promoting dialogue across the academic/activist divide.
  106. Blood, Sweat and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants

    Speaker:
    • Lance Compa Senior Lecturer, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
  107. Crisis in Darfur

    Speaker:
    • Joanne Mariner Deputy Director, Americas Division, Human Rights Watch
  108. Anticipating the War on Terror: Preventative Detention at Home and Pre-emptive War Abroad

    Speaker:
    • Jules Lobel Professor, University of Pittsburgh Law School
  109. Disorientations: Sexuality Rights Claims and Imperial Geography

    Speaker:
  110. Transnational Worker Rights Clinic seminar

    Speaker:
  111. From Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib: Extraterritorial State Action and International Human Rights Law

    Speaker:
    • Ralph Wilde Lecturer, Department of Laws, University College London