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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Human Rights Graduate Student Colloquium

Each semester, the Human Rights Program holds at least one colloquium that focuses on students research. This semester's colloquium will take place on December 6th from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 260 of the Social Sciences Building. Two graduate minors in human rights will give presentations on their research:

Shannon Golden (Sociology) will discuss "After Atrocity: Community Reconstruction in Northern Uganda." After 25 years of civil war that displaced nearly the entire population from their homes, the people of northern Uganda have finally moved back to their home villages and are working to rebuild. Using data from 90 in-depth interviews, this study explores the process of social reconstruction in three resettled communities. Residents discuss their perceptions of relationships with neighbors, unity, interdependence, conflict resolution, and other issues that reveal a great amount of complexity in their efforts to make sense of their new lives at home.

Chris Strunk (Geography) will present on "Resisting Federal-Local Immigration Enforcement Partnerships: Redefining "Secure Communities" and Public Safety." Constructing undocumented immigrants as a security threat has allowed the government to justify extraordinary measures that have pushed immigration enforcement increasingly inward from the border. The Secure Communities program, which integrates federal criminal and immigration databases to identify and deport undocumented immigrants, represents only the latest attempt. Using the Washington DC metropolitan area as a case study, this paper shows how advocates and activists are challenging discourses that conflate undocumented immigrants with criminality while simultaneously articulating alternative understandings of community and public safety.