On Monday, April 16, 2012, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice will host the last Human Rights Happy Hour of the spring semester. Professor Benjamin Gregg of the University of Texas at Austin will present a talk entitled “The Social Construction of Human Rights in Africa.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m., in the Sheffield Room (TNH 2.111) at the University of Texas School of Law. Catherine Boone, professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, will serve as a respondent to his talk.
Benjamin Gregg is an associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include social integration in complex modern societies; problems and prospects of contemporary forms of justice; coping with value pluralism; deploying contemporary sociological theory to solve problems in political philosophy; and the social, legal, and political consequences of the human species taking control of its genome. Gregg is currently undertaking two book-length projects: Second Nature: The Genetic Self-Transformation of the Human Species raises and answers philosophical questions prompted in the advent of the unprecedented prospect of genetically manipulating human beings; The Human-Rights State proposes an alternative vehicle for recognizing and enforcing human rights based on positive law, a “human-rights state,” in distinction to the sovereignty-fixated nation-state. In addition to his current projects, Gregg is the author of a number of publications, including, most recently, Human-Rights as Social Construction (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Gregg received the Silver Spurs Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 for outstanding scholarship and teaching and a research fellowship from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in 2008. In 2012, he received a faculty research travel award from the Center for European Studies for archival research at the Federal Commission for Documents of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic. He also contributed as a guest professor at Europa Universität Viadrina in 2009 and 2012. He earned a PhD in politics from Princeton University and a PhD in philosophy from the Free University of Berlin.
More information about Gregg and the Happy Hour Speaker Series can be found on the Rapoport Center’s website.