to see more information about a Working Group member; click on a name to send an email to that member.
Lighthouse Paper Authors
Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School, University of Chicago
Martha C. Nussbaum holds appointments in the Law School, Philosophy
Department, AND Divinity School. She is an Associate Member in
Classics and Political Science, a Member of the Committee on Southern
Asian Studies, the Coordinator of the Center for Comparative
Constitutionalism,and Co-Chair of the Human Rights Program.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago faculty, she was a
University Professor at Brown University. From 1986 to 1993 she was a research
advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a
branch of the United Nations University. She is former President of the Central
Division of the American Philosophical Association; she has chaired the
Association's Committee on International Cooperation and Committee on the
Status of Women and was the first Chair of its new Committee on Public
She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in classical philology.
Among her many books, the most recent are Women and Human Development:
The Capabilities Approach (2000), Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of
Emotions (2001), Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004),
Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership
(2006), and The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and
India's Future (2007). Her Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of
America's Tradition of Religious Equality will appear in February 2008.
She has edited numerous books, including Quality of Life (with Amartya Sen);
Women, Culture, and Development (with Jonathan Glover), Sexual Orientation
and Human Rights in American Religious Traditions (with Saul Olyan), and
Animal Rights (with Cass Sunstein).
Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel, Princeton University
The Rev. Dr. Alison L. Boden is a United Church of Christ minister serving as Dean of the Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University. She held a similar position at the University of Chicago for twelve years, nine of which she spent as a member of the Board of the Human Rights Program (four as co-chair). Her teaching interests include religion and human rights, violence and religion, spiritual practices, and ministry studies. She is the author of numerous articles and chapters on religion in the academy, human rights and religion, and a variety of justice issues. Her book Women's Rights and Religious Practice will be published by Palgrave in the fall of 2007.
Hans Peter Schmitz, Assistant Professor, Maxwell School of Citizenship, Syracuse University
Hans Peter Schmitz received his PhD from the European University Institute, Florence/Italy. He is the author of Transnational Mobilization and Domestic Regime Change. Africa in Comparative Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and the co-author of Die Macht der Menschenrechte. Internationale Normen, kommunikative Prozesse und politischer Wandel in den Ländern des Südens (Nomos, 2002). His articles have appeared in Comparative Politics, the International Studies Review, the Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, and several edited volumes. His research interests include the role of non-state actors in world affairs, the transnational dimensions of democratization, and global human rights issues. His current work is supported by the National Science Foundation and focuses on the legitimacy and accountability of transnational non-governmental organizations.
University of Chicago Working Group Members
Michael Geyer, Samuel N. Harper Professor of German and European History; Co-Director of the Human Rights Curriculum Project
Michael Geyer works as historian of war and violence with topics ranging from research on ethnic war in World War I, genocide in World War II, and electronic and information warfare. His second area of interest is twentieth-century German and European History with a special interest in rites of passage, the history of love and death, mourning and memory in the shadow of man-made mass death. His third area of interest is world history and, particularly, the history of globalization during the long twentieth century. The concern for human dignity and human rights inform all three dimensions of his work.
Susan Gzesh, Director of the Human Rights Program; Senior Lecturer in the Center for International Studies and the College; Co-Director of the Human Rights Curriculum Project
Susan Gzesh is Director of the Human Rights Program, a position she has held since August 2001. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the Center for International Studies and the College. She teaches courses on contemporary issues in human rights (including the prohibition on torture, women's rights, and labor rights), the comparative human rights of aliens and citizens, human rights in Mexico and Latin America, and in the College Social Sciences core. Her research interests include the inter-relationship between human rights and migration policy, the history of U.S. immigration policy, and Mexico-U.S. relations. From 1996-2001 Susan Gzesh was Director of the Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network (now Enlaces America). Prior to 1996, Gzesh practiced law in a variety of settings: in private practice, federally-funded legal services, and with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. She is a non-resident Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute and serves on the Illinois New Americans Policy Council, the Chicago Committee for Human Rights Watch, and the Board of Directors of Kartemquin Films.
Babafemi Akinrinade's research interests include state collapse and human rights, transitional justice, international humanitarian law, and the political, security and socio-economic relations of African States.
Jessica Cattelino, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of the Social Sciences in the College
Jessica Cattelino's research and teaching interests center on sovereignty and citizenship, the politics of indigeneity, American public culture, and economy and value. Her forthcoming book, High Stakes, is an ethnographic examination of Florida Seminole casinos, American Indian tribal sovereignty, and the social meanings of money. Her next research project will investigate territoriality, citizenship, and the cultural politics of environment in the Florida Everglades.
John Kelly's research focuses on Fiji and India, including topics such as ritual in history, knowledge and power, semiotic and military technologies, colonialism and capitalism, decolonization and diasporas.
William Novak works in the fields of United States legal and political history, with special emphasis on issues of liberalism, state-building, and public law. He regularly offers courses on American Legal History, The History of the State, Law and Social Theory, and Human Rights. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School.
Julie Saville's research and teaching are focused on plantation societies of the southern United States and regions of the Caribbean from the 18th through the 20th centuries. She is especially interested in how broad historical changes during the era of trans-Atlantic slave emancipations are related to daily life, the social relations of labor, and popular forms of political expression.
Eric Slauter, Assistant Professor Department of English and the College
Eric Slauter specializes in American cultural, intellectual, and literary history. He recently completed a book entitled The State as a Work of Art: The Cultural Origins of the Constitution and is in the process of editing a collection of essays on “The Hemispheric Turn: Comparing Colonialism in the Americas” with Lisa Voigt. He has been awarded long-term fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the America Antiquarian Society, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Newberry Library, where he is a scholar in residence and coordinator of the Seminar in Early American History and Culture. He is on leave this year at the Franke Institute to begin work on “A Cultural History of Natural Rights in America, 1689-1789.”
James Sparrow's work focuses on national citizenship and the state in the modern U.S. Sparrow is especially interested in national political culture and its formation within specific social, cultural and institutional contexts. His current manuscript, Americanism and Entitlement: Authorizing Big Government in an Age of Total War, 1933-1953, is a history of the social politics of the national state as its foundations shifted from welfare to warfare at mid-century. Its central concern is to examine the politicized contexts in which different groups of citizens accepted, rejected or otherwise contested the legitimacy of expanding federal authority in everyday life.
Carleton College Working Group Members
Michael Hemesath, Professor of Economics; Carleton Director of Human Rights Curriculum Project
Michael Hemesath is currently the chair of the economics department and is the director of the Ethical Inquiry at Carleton program (EthIC). In addition to teaching micro and macroeconomics, Michael teaches courses on international economics, transition economics and health economics. His research interests focus on the challenges facing the former communist countries as they reform their political and economic systems.
Deborah Appleman is Professor and Chair of Educational Studies at Carleton College. Her primary research interests include adolescent response to literature, multicultural literature, and the teaching of literary theory in high school. With a team of classroom teachers, she co-edited Braided Lives, a multicultural literature anthology published by the Minnesota Humanities Commission (1990). In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, she is the author of Critical Encounters in High School English: Teaching Critical Theory to Adolescents, published by Teachers College Press and the National Council of Teachers of English (2000). She is co-author of Teaching Literature to Adolescents (Erlbaum, 2006). Her most recent book, Reading for Themselves (Heinemann, 2006), explores the use of extra-curricular book clubs to encourage adolescents to read for pleasure. Professor Appleman was a high school English teacher for nine years, working in both urban and suburban schools. She has also been a visiting professor at Syracuse University and the University of California at Berkeley.
Angela Curran specializes in ancient Greek philosophy, especially Aristotle, and
philosophy of art and film. A central focus of her current research is Aristotle’s
view that human beings have a fixed nature or essence that explains our
capacity for ethical action, political association and aesthetic appreciation. She
is especially interested in the use to which a theory of Aristotelian essence can
play in providing standards for flourishing in a contemporary political context.
She is a contributing co-editor of The Philosophy of Film (Blackwell, 2006).
Devashree Gupta teaches courses in international relations, comparative politics, ethnic conflict, nationalism, and social movements. Her current research focuses on rival moderates and militants in nationalist movements and the strategies such groups employ to increase their relative power and political clout. In addition, she is also interested in post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation in deeply divided societies, particularly in Northern Ireland and South Africa.
Jerome Levi's teaching and scholarship focuses on the ethnology of Mesoamerica and the Southwest, the human rights of indigenous peoples, and anthropological approaches to the study of religion, economics and ethnicity. His recent book, At the Risk of Being Heard: Identity, Indigenous Rights, and Postcolonial States (co-edited with Bartholomew Dean), examines why and how the circumstances of indigenous peoples are improving in some parts of the world, while their human rights continue to be abused in others. He has prepared Congressional testimony for the Navajo Nation and, in Mexico, conducted field research among Maya in Chiapas, Tarahumara in Chihuahua, and Yumans in Baja California.
Anna Moltchanova's research interests include group rights, global justice, collective agency and collective responsibility. Her paper, “Stateless national groups, international justice, and asymmetrical warfare,” was published in The Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 13, number 2, June 2005, pp. 194-215. She has just completed a book on national self-determination and justice in multinational states. She teaches Philosophy of Law and Social and Political Philosophy, and taught seminars on Global Justice and Nationalism. She has also recently published
"Nationhood and Political Culture," in Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 38
No. 2, Summer 2007, 255-273.She is especially interested in discussing the issues of international distributive justice, the concrete forms of discharging the duty of assistance to the world's needy, and the ethics of assistance in relation to micro-financing and micro-credit.
Annette Nierobisz, Assistant Professor of Sociology; Senior Researcher, Canadian Human Rights Commission
In her research, Annette Nierobisz examines how public policies on human rights issues are formulated, translated through government channels, and then implemented. She is currently researching this issue by focusing on the evolution of sexual orientation equality rights in Canada. This project focuses specifically on the role played by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in first having sexual orientation become a protected ground in the Canadian Human Rights Act, and then creating public discussion of the human rights implications of denying marriage and other citizenship rights solely on the basis of sexual orientation. Annette is also completing ongoing research that examines the impact of changing economic contexts on judicial decisions in Canadian wrongful dismissal claims.
Macalester College Working Group Members
James Dawes, Associate Professor of English; Macalester Director of the Human Rights Curriculum Project
James Dawes teaches American literature. He is the author of That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity, about human rights law and fieldwork (Harvard University Press, forthcoming fall 2007) and The Language of War, which analyzes war from the perspectives of literature, philosophy, and international law (Harvard University Press, 2002). In addition, Dawes has published articles on a variety of subjects including human rights law, literature and medical studies, Shakespeare, and gender and sexuality. Professor Dawes's teaching interests include, among other things, American literature from all periods, literary theory and cultural studies, and interdisciplinary approaches to literary studies (ethics, law, psychology, sociology, philosophy, medicine). He is a Lilly Fellow at Macalester College.
Martin Gunderson specializes bioethics and philosophy of law. He has published on informed consent, assisted death, suicide, medical privacy, confidentiality, and freedom of expression. He is the co-author of AIDS: Testing and Privacy. His publications have appeared in The Hastings Center Report, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, the Journal of Social Philosophy, and Philosophy and Medicine. He is currently writing a book on the ethics of genetic engineering. In addition, Gunderson is a former attorney who has done volunteer legal work for the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union.
For the past fifteen years, her research has focused on civil rights organizations, the contributions of women of color to post-1970 feminist theory, autobiographical literature, and critical legal studies. She teaches courses on Black public intellectuals, The Civil Rights Movement, and Blacks in Paris. She is a former Constituent Advocate for the late Senator Paul Wellstone, and has been a Civil Rights Commisioner for the city of Minneapolis. Her book, Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity (co-edited with Bruce Baum), will be published by Duke University Press next year.
Erik Larson, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies
Erik Larson's fields of interest include sociology of law, political sociology, economic sociology, and comparative-historical sociology. His research focuses on the emergence and transformation of legal, economic, and political institutions in relation to the global and national developments. His research projects include examination of the preparation, presentation, and interpretation of evidence for international treaty reporting and monitoring bodies; exploration of the political contention concerning economic affirmative action policies targeted on the basis of indigenous status; analysis of the establishment and operation of new young stock exchanges; and investigation of the nexus between the global indigenous rights movement and national and regional indigenous rights movements.
Scott Morgensen, Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SScott Morgensen is an ethnographer and historian of movements for sexual
justice. His research and teaching interlink colonial studies, critical race studies,
and global studies in queer and feminist studies. His book manuscript, Settler
Sexuality and the Politics of Indigeneity, interprets U.S. sexual minority
movements as formations of colonial modernity by examining their
appropriations of indigenous roots, which Native activists counter in indigenous
sexual politics and HIV/AIDS organizing. His ongoing work comparatively
examines how HIV/AIDS movements use international law and transnational
organizing to theorize the structuring of pandemic by colonization and
economic globalization. He has published in the journals GLQ, Women and
Performance, and Journal of Homosexuality, and in a new anthology of lesbian
and gay anthropology.
Nadya Nedelsky graduated from the University of Toronto with a Ph.D. in Political Science in 2001. Primary interests include human and minority rights, nationalism, ethnicity, democratization, citizenship, and transitional justice, with an area focus in Central and Eastern Europe. Her current research explores how the Czechs and Slovaks have dealt with communist-era secret police files, personnel and informers. This research contributes to a larger collaborative study comparing transitional justice policies in post-communist Europe. She has published articles in the journals Ethnic and Racial Studies,Ethnicities, Nations and Nationalism, and Theory and Society.
Jöelle Vitiello, Associate Professor and Chair of French and Francophone Studies
Joëlle Vitiello teaches 20th century French Literature and Culture, courses on francophone literatures and cultures (Weat and North Africa, the Caribbean, especially Haiti), Cinema (French, West and Central Africa, North Africa), and language courses from introductory to advanced levels. Her specialization is in representations of relationships in contemporary literature. She co-edited a book on women writers from the French-speaking Caribbean (1997), and a special issue of Women In French (2003). She has published on Lebanese-Egyptian writer Andrée Chedid, on representations of friendship, postcolonial theory, and literature from Canada, Belgium, France, Haiti, France, Guadeloupe, and North Africa. Beside completing a manuscript on representations of friendship in anthropology, philosophy, and literature, a long-term project, she is working on cinematic representations of diverse communities in France and North Africa, and on representations of systemic violence (especially in Haiti, Algeria, France, and Rwanda). She received a Mellon grant to conduct research in Tunisia, and France in Spring 2006 and completed a research project on Haitian history and literature while in West Africa as well. In 2006-07, she is teaching Contemporary French Culture, North African/French Representations in Cinema, and Literature and Cinema of Immigration in France.
Wendy Weber is a visiting instructor in the Department of Political Science at Macalester. Her courses include: Foundations of International Politics; Global Governance; Women, Gender and World Politics; and Humanitarianism and World Politics. Weber's research interests focus on changing patterns of governance in the contemporary era, especially in the area of human rights and international law. She is currently working on a project on humanitarian intervention. Weber is the faculty advisor to the Model United Nations group at Macalester. She also works with the 'New Tactics in Human Rights' project at the Center for Victims of Torture in the Twin Cities and has coordinated for them several community-based research projects involving Macalester students.