New Winter '22 Courses: HMRT 28215 and HMRT 23128
Instructor: Matt Furlong, Pozen Center for Human Rights Social Science Teaching Fellow
HMRT 28215, Anthropological Approaches to Human Rights, Winter Quarter 2022
How do human rights-based frameworks help people and societies solve problems of contemporary life? And do they always help? If not, how do human rights regimes also help generate new problems in contemporary life? For decades, anthropologists have used the concept of the "problem space" to help unpack how people and societies grasp rules and norms of all kinds as not simply sacred truths, but as tools used by people in search of resolution to some problem. By taking up human rights practices as social spaces in which people try to resolve problems, but also end up fragmenting, rationalizing, or otherwise remaking those original problems at times, this course unpacks key anthropological approaches to a central moral-legal framework of contemporary geopolitics. Students in the course will engage the contemporary 'human rights problem space' through a set of primarily ethnographic readings, as they consider how and why global social movements for land rights, sexual rights, and rights to mobility (among others) have become entangled with human rights frameworks in specific places and times.
HMRT 23128, Sanctuary: Land Rights in Times of Rural Gentrification and Conservation Eviction, Winter Quarter 2022
How, today, do the power not to develop land and powerlessness to develop land converge? Drawing on African American studies scholar Nicole Waligora-Davis's definition of sanctuary (as a sacred space that at the same time also "demarcates the politically provisional") this course explores that question via the entanglements of two iconic sites of sanctuary, globally, today-the wildlife sanctuary/nature refuge and the sanctuary city, respectively. Centered on several book length ethnographic studies where these sites intersect in surprising manners, students will learn to grasp and grapple with linkages between environmental conservation governance, indigenous/peasant-led land struggles, forced population displacements, the politics of mass migration in a diverse set of global contexts.