Lecture Series: Human Rights Past + Present

Please join the Human Rights Program for a new guest lecture series this winter and spring: Human Rights Past and Present. We are pleased to welcome Professors Barbara Keys (University of Melbourne), James Dawes (Macalester College), and Stephen Hopgood (SOAS, University of London) to campus for this new series to give a public lecture about his/her recent book.

Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (February 13)

A Lecture with author Barbara Keys, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne (bio)
Why did international human rights promotion suddenly seem so compelling to so many Americans in the mid-1970s? This talk argues that the roots of the new enthusiasm lie in the traumas unleashed by the Vietnam War.

Thursday, February 13; 4:30-6:00pm, reception to follow
Social Sciences Tea Room (1126 E. 59th Street, Chicago, 60637)
Co-sponsored by The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture
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Evil Men (February 25)

A Lecture with author James Dawes, Professor of English and Director of the Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism, Macalester College (bio)
Presented with accounts of genocide, we ask how people could bring themselves to commit such horrendous acts. Drawing on the firsthand interviews with convicted war criminals from the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) that inform his recent book Evil Men (Harvard, 2013), Dawes will explore what motivates atrocity and how it can be stopped.

Tuesday, February 25; 4:30-6:00pm, reception to follow
Franke Institute Seminar Room JRL S-118
1100 E. 57th Street, Chicago, 60637
Co-sponsored by The Franke Institute for the Humanities
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The Endtimes of Human Rights (April 1)

A Lecture with author Stephen Hopgood, Reader in International Relations, Department of Politics and International Studies; SOAS, University of London (bio)
A 150-year experiment in the globalization of liberal norms is coming to an end in an era of increasing multipolarity, conservative religiosity, superficial popular mobilization, American ambivalence and European decline. The hopes and aspirations that humanists have vested in human rights - whose zenith appears to have arrived with the International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect - are destined to be dashed as the reality dawns that only Western power made universal norms look even vaguely possible.

Tuesday, April 1; 5:30-7:00pm, reception included
Pick Hall 001
5828 S. University Ave, Chicago, 60637
Co-sponsored by the Committee on International Relations
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For questions or to request accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact the Human Rights Program at human-rights@uchicago.edu or 773-834-0957773-834-0957.

[Download the event flyer here]