The United States and the Global Human Rights Imagination

Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The twentieth century saw the rise of a revolutionary global human rights culture in which the emergence of transnational norms, movements and institutions held out the promise of more fully realizing human dignity and welfare in a space that transcended the local and the national.  Beginning at the turn of the century, and accelerating after 1945, rights talk exploded as states and peoples from a range of geographical, cultural and gendered perspectives sought to articulate and realize far-reaching transnational norms for individual and collective political, economic, social and cultural well-being.  In this seminar participants will focus on the ambiguous place of the United States during three central moments in twentieth century human rights history: the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the rise of non-state human rights actors like Amnesty International in the 1970s, and the use of global rights norms in American courts more recently in such cases as the celebrated gay rights case /Lawrence v. Texas/ (2003).

Seminar led by Mark P. Bradley, University of Chicago

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