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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Local Activist Helps Craft Legislation Banning Torture

James V. Roth, a longtime human-rights activist from the Twin Cities and a participant in the University of Minnesota’s November 12 discussion on the federal government’s torture policies, played a key leadership role in crafting the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Signed by President Obama into law on November 25, 2015, the NDAA places a permanent ban on the use of torture by US forces.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Security, Terror, and Human Rights

Comments on a November in Paris: Terrorism, Security, and Human Rights
-Joachim Savelsberg, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota.

I was asked to comment on questions raised after the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in France. I do not claim to have grand and authoritative answers to these questions. In fact, I share a sense of helplessness, engulfing many who seek to make sense of the events and to find appropriate responses. I also depend on information that reaches all of us via news media, having no access to the intelligence possessed by some in our governments in the US and abroad. Let me begin with two personal notes that may color my comments.

University of Minnesota Hosts Discussion on United States Torture Policies

“Torture is always a crime” was printed across the flyer for the event, and it was the common thread running through each discussant’s lecture. This past Thursday, November 12, former-CIA counterterrorism operations officer John Kiriakou, Professor Bradley Olson of National Louis University, and James V. Roth, local human rights attorney, discussed the role of the American military and government, the American Psychological Association (APA), and themselves in the United States’ implementation of torture techniques in the War on Terror.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wahutu Siguru on representations of genocide and Mass Violence in the African Media

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS), the Human Rights Program and the Department of Sociology continued on November 4th its Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence Studies (HGMV) bi-weekly workshop by hosting PhD. candidate in Sociology, Wahutu Siguru, who presented his research on representations of genocide and mass atrocities by African Press.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Arts and human rights organizations form a strong Minnesota bond"

- by John Rash (October 30, 2015)
From the Star Tribune:

"A Hmong-American hip-hop/spoken word artist, a Syrian filmmaker and installation artist, and a Somali-born spoken-word artist shared their talents this month as part of the 'Art Illuminating Human Rights' series of talks and performances. The twinning of the arts and human rights reflects the remarkable concentration of those communities in Minnesota. It also speaks to the fundamental nature of both--pursuing the truth of the human condition."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

University of Minnesota to Host Academic Conference "Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity"

Mexico is facing a human rights situation of grave proportions: According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 151,233 people have been killed in the past decade in a time of non-war, and thousands of women and girls are sexually assaulted or are victims of femicide. In this critical moment, the Human Rights Program, in conjunction with openGlobalRights, the Stassen Chair of International Affairs, and CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico, is hosting an academic conference on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30, 2015, to bring attention and further discussion to the status of human rights in Mexico. Titled "Human Rights in Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity," the conference will bring together a talented group of scholars, practitioners, and experts to examine and reflect on a wide range of topics and issues related to the current human rights crisis in Mexico-from the role of civil society to the transnational human rights movements to the monitoring of violations.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Human Rights Scholar Discusses Human Rights and Nation Building in Sri Lanka

According to Professor Deepika Udagama, Sri Lanka is a country of contrasts, demonstrating a liberal ethos in regards to development and social issues but lacking the political capacity to  effectively acknowledge the pluralist nature of its diverse population. Udagama, the Head of the Department of Law at the University of Peradeniya, was featured at the October 7 session of the Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence Studies (HGMV) bi-weekly workshop, sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS), the Human Rights Program and the Department of Sociology. A specialist in International Human Rights law, Professor Udagama served as Sri Lanka's alternate member to the United Nations (UN) Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of human rights in the early 2000s and co-authored a report for that body on Globalization and its impact on Human Rights.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sir Nigel Rodley meets with Human Rights Program, Students

On October 6, 2015, the Human Rights Program, joined by David Weissbrodt of the law school and students of the graduate minor in Human Rights, met for a luncheon discussion with Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, a human rights lawyer, scholar, and activist.

An early advisor to Amnesty International, Sir Nigel Rodley has been an influential contributor to the global human rights movement of the second half of the 20th century. Within the framework of the United Nations, he served as both the Special Rapporteur on torture (1993-2001) and as a Member of the Human Rights Committee beginning in 2001. He is also the President of the International Commission of Jurists. He has also served in an academic capacity, having formerly taught at Dalhousie University, the New School for Social Research in New York, and the London School of Economics. Currently, he is the Professor of Law and Chair of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex.

What's in a name? Exploring How We Define Genocide from Lemkin to International Law

How does the Native American experience line up with legal and other definitions of genocide?  This was the question at the heart of the presentation of Joe Eggers, an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Studies student who presented his work at the September 30, workshop on Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence Studies (HGMV).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blogging the UN: Reporting on the Social Good Summit

Amanda Kruger, a senior studying political science and history, was selected to blog about the UN’s goals on sustainability in New York City as part of its “Social Good Summit,” involving student activists in promoting positive global change.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop Public Reading Organized by Human Rights Scribe

On Saturday, October 24th, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW) will hold a reading at Hamline University. The reading, organized by MFA candidate Mike Alberti as part of the Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship, will feature the work of several writers currently incarcerated in Minnesota state correctional facilities. MPWW instructors will read pieces of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction on behalf of their students, and two formerly incarcerated alumni of MPWW classes will read their own work aloud for the first time. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Program to Welcome Mexican Scholars and Activists for Dialogue on Human Rights in Mexico

The Human Rights Program, in conjunction with openGlobalRights, the Stassen Chair of International Affairs, and CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico, is hosting an academic conference on October 29-30, 2015, to address the status of human rights in Mexico. "Human Rights in Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity" will bring together scholars, practitioners, and experts to reflect on the current human rights crisis in Mexico, including the role of civil society, transnational human rights movements, and the monitoring of violations. The conference is free and open to the public. All sessions will be presented in English.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Peace Talk with Atomic Bomb Survivor Michiko Harada

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and the dropping of the atomic bomb in two cities in Japan, the University of Minnesota was proud to host on September 29, 2015 Ms. Michiko Harada, who travelled for the first time to the United States from Nagasaki, Japan. With the support of the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee, which was celebrating 60 years of partnership and support between the cities, Ms. Harada was able to take the time to discuss not only her story as a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) but also her motivation behind and work advocating for peace. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Applications Invited for Fall 2016 Inaugural Master of Human Rights Class; Faculty Committee Appointed

In light of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents September vote of approval to initiate a Master of Human Rights (MHR) degree at the University of Minnesota, faculty and staff in the College of Liberal Arts and Humphrey School of Public Affairs have been hard at work preparing the degree for its inaugural cohort in the 2016-2017 year.

Monday, September 14, 2015

New Master of Human Rights at the University of Minnesota

The Human Rights Program is thrilled to announce that the University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted on September 11, 2015 to approve the creation of a Master of Human Rights (MHR) degree. The two-year interdisciplinary program, jointly offered by the College of Liberal Arts and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will prepare students with the professional and conceptual knowledge necessary to work in the field of human rights and equip them with the analytical skills and tools critically important to most effectively addressing some of the world’s toughest human rights challenges.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fulbright Scholar Alejandro Anaya Muñoz at the University of Minnesota

Visiting Professor Alejandro Anaya Muñoz’s career is a reflection of his dedication to the study and protection of human rights and indigenous peoples in Mexico. Anaya obtained his BA in International Relations from Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico. He holds a Master's in Theory and Practice of Human Rights and a PhD in government from the University of Essex. As of November of 2012, Anaya has been a Board member of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, a leading human rights NGO in Mexico. During 2011 – 2015, he was the Director of the “Central Region” campus of the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), a leading research and higher education institution in Mexico. He is a tenured Professor of International Studies at CIDE. Anaya also served as Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City from 2005 to 2008, and Coordinator of the Human Rights Program from 2004 to 2005.  Previously, Anaya served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Social, Legal and Political Studies, at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), from 2003 to 2004. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

United Nations Security Council Addresses Issues Concerning the LGBT Community

On Monday the 24th of August, the United Nations Security Council convened for an unprecedented meeting, organized by the U.S. and Chilean delegations to discuss issues concerning the LGBT community. This was an Arria-formula meeting, an unofficial, confidential and non-mandatory gathering of Security Council Members attended by 13 of the 15 members states of the security council (Chad and Angola chose not to participate).  China, Russia, Nigeria and Malaysia, known for their poor records regarding the LGBT community declined to comment.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

UMN Seeking Human Rights Professors

The Institute for Global Studies (IGS) in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota invites applications for one or more full-time, tenure-track faculty positions in the broad field of human rights. Appointments will be 100%-time over the nine-month academic year. Appointments will be made at the rank of tenure-track assistant professor, depending on qualifications and experience, and consistent with collegiate and University policy. These will be joint appointments between the Institute for Global Studies and the appropriate disciplinary unit in the College of Liberal Arts. Appointments will begin fall semester 2016 (August 29, 2016).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Human Rights Program Celebrates its Three-Year Partnership with Schools in Antioquia, Colombia

On 30 June 2015, the Human Rights Program recognized the closing of the first chapter of what will hopefully be a long-lasting partnership with schools in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia.  The Minnesota-Antioquia Human Rights Law Partnership, funded by USAID and the Higher Education for Development (HED), provided a space for students, faculty, staff, and schools to come together to broaden their skills and experience in the field and study of human rights—all the while building a network of life-long friendships and partners through mutual respect and empowerment. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

The View from Faribault Prison: Human Rights Scribe 2015

Each week for the last two months, I’ve had the pleasure to teach creative writing to fourteen men incarcerated at Faribault State Correctional Facility, a medium security prison about an hour south of the Twin Cities. As with the other classes I’ve taught in prison, it’s been an incredible experience to work with a group of writers who are so committed to their work and so eager to learn and discuss elements of craft.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Director Barbara Frey Speaks to Prospective CLA Students

As a part of the Sneak Preview program for prospective 2016 freshmen, Human-Rights-Program-Director Barbara Frey presented a seminar engaging students interested in the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts with and introduce them to the study and field of human rights. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Former Student Advisory Board Member Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Erik Katovich, a May 2015 graduate of the University of Minnesota, and former member of the Human Rights Program Student Advisory Board, has begun his adventure as a Fulbright Scholar in São Paulo, Brazil. With a B.S. in economics and minors in mathematics, Spanish, and history, Erik plans to continue his work in the field of economics, with a focus on development, as both a student and a researcher.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Director Barbara Frey and Professors Robert Stein and David Weissbrodt Receive Center for Victims of Torture Annual Eclipse Awards

On 23 July 2015, the Center for Victims of Torture published the following article to its website:

As the Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) commemorates its 30th anniversary, the organization presents its annual Eclipse Award to its founders. This group of individuals was instrumental in launching the organization in 1985 and making key contributions to its early growth and development.

Recipients include Barbara Frey, Samuel Heins, Rudy Perpich, Jr. and the late Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich, Terry Saario, Robert Sands, Robert Stein, Tom Triplett and David Weissbrodt in recognition of their role in founding and supporting the organization 30 years ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Minnesota Daily Highlights New Master's of Human Rights

On 17 June 2015, the Minnesota Daily, a campus newspaper for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Minnesota, published the following article on the anticipated Master's of Human Rights at the University of Minnesota:

Damir Utrzan knows what it’s like to flee a war-torn country and resettle in a foreign land.

After leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War more than 20 years ago, the University of Minnesota family social science PhD student came to the United States when he was 10 years old and has made it his life’s work to help others from similar situations.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Local Human Rights Advocate Nominated as Ambassador to Norway

Samuel D. Heins, human rights champion in Minnesota and supporter of the Human Rights Program, was recently nominated by President Obama as the next ambassador for the United States to the Kingdom of Norway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Graduate Minor Spotlight: Damir Utrzan

Damir Utrzan, PhD student in Family Social Sciences and a student of the human rights minor, was recently awarded two human-rights-related fellowships for the upcoming year. During the summer, Damir will be working under a Human Rights Fellowship through the Human Rights Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota Law School, and in the upcoming school year he will work on his dissertation with the support of the Minority Fellowship Program through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Both fellowships will support him in building links to and support for minority communities in the Upper Midwest through his interdisciplinary efforts in providing counseling services to those who have faced serious human rights violations.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Human Rights Program Supports Student Investigation of Children Incarcerated with their Mothers

In most countries of the world, mothers are permitted keep their infants and young children with them in prisons. The well-being of children whose mothers are incarcerated is a relatively unseen, understudied phenomenon with evident developmental and human rights implications.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Undergraduates are Recognized for their Exceptional Work in Human Rights

HRP Awards 2015_opt.jpgOn May 8th, the Human Rights Program, in collaboration with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, held an awards ceremony to recognize the tremendous work of undergraduate students in the field human rights. Alongside the work of the Human Rights Program Student Advisory Board, the event celebrated the contributions made by students Aisha Galaydh and Kenneth Gonzales with the Inna Meiman Award and Sullivan Ballou Award, respectively.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Graduate Student Ore Koren Explores the Use of Reparations as a Response to Mass Killings

Resized-EAN7N.jpgOn May 7, Ore Koren from the departments of Political Science and Applied Economics led the final Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence workshop, an initiative of the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In this final installment, Koren presented his quantitative research, which analyzed the patterns of rarity of state reparations as a remedy to victims around the world following instances of mass violence.

Monday, May 18, 2015

International Prosecution of the Violations of the Islamic State

fatou.jpgOn 8 April 2015 Chief Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda issued a statement in regards to the alleged crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. Following her arrival to the court in the summer of 2014, her office has received immense pressure to address these systematic atrocities characterizing the conflict. The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) has been accused of perpetuating a series of internationally recognized crimes, including mass executions, sexual slavery, rape, gender-based violence, torture, forced recruitment of children, and the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities. Bensouda recognized and acknowledged the severity of the situation in Iraq and Syria, which serves to threaten regional and global peace.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Commemorating 100 Years of the Armenian Genocide

armenian.jpgOn April 24th, in memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Institute for Global Studies, the Human Rights Program, the Department of Sociology, and the Ohanessian Chair hosted a conference to promote understanding of mass violence, in general, and the Armenian Genocide, in particular, and analyze the implications of such events in a public context. The first session of the conference consisted of three different speakers who spoke on the topic of survival, trauma and resilience.

Professor Alejandro Baer and graduate student Yagmur Karakaya speak on the politics of Holocaust memory in Spain and Turkey

holocaust.jpgProfessor Alejandro Baer from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Yagmur Karakaya from the Department of Sociology led the penultimate session of this series of HGMV workshops by presenting their work on Holocaust memory politics in Spain and Turkey. Particularly relevant due to the timing of Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Day of the Republic of Spain and the criminal implications of their work in Turkey today, Baer and Karakaya spoke on the effects of recognition and memory of genocide, in general, and the Holocaust, in particular, in the countries of Spain and Turkey.

Mike Alberti, the Human Rights Program Scribe for 2015, to continue his work with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

mike.jpgMike Alberti, the Human Rights Scribe for 2015, is a second-year Master of Fine Arts candidate in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota. Alberti comes to the fellowship with an interest in the connection between writing and expression for prisoners in Minnesota. For the past year, he has been working with a group called the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop (MPWW), a local non-profit organization that provides creative writing classes in Minnesota state prisons. The Scribe fellowship will allow him to continue teaching in prison over the summer, as well as to assist with administrative duties, including helping to organize a public reading of the work of incarcerated writers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Graduate and Undergraduate Students to Investigate the Effects of Incarceration on Children

incarceration.jpgThis summer, five students from colleges in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area will begin their work at the new, Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, Prison Nursery Project. The focus of their work will be on investigating the impact of incarcerating mothers with their young children in prisons throughout the world, with the overall goal of documenting and bringing to light the serious developmental and human-rights-related implications of such imprisonment.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Author and activist Bryan Stevenson speaks on injustice and change in the United States

bryan.pngAs part of the University's Guy Stanton Ford Lecture Series, author and activist Bryan Stevenson spoke to a full crowd at Northrop Auditorium on issues surrounding contemporary and historical injustice in the legal system of the United States. Bryan Stevenson is the Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, working primarily to advocate for young children, juveniles, and adults who are facing mandatory life sentences and/or a death penalty.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Carrie Oelberger presents research findings on International Grantmaking at the Humphrey School

grants.pngEarlier this semester, Carrie Oelberger presented her research project called "A Thousand Wildflowers or a Formal Garden? International Grantmaking and the Structuring of Transnational Society" at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The project addresses the way in which foundations disproportionately disperse the majority of their grant money to NGOs in first world countries rather than concentrating on giving money to organizations located in developing countries. She questions if grant giving takes the organized form of a metaphorical garden or if funding is more scattered and diverse, as in a field of wildflowers.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Call for Nominations: 2015 Human Rights Awards

2015awards.pngEach spring, the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies celebrate the tremendous work of students in human rights with the Inna Meiman Award and the Sullivan Ballou Award. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to nominate an undergraduate student who has truly been impressive in their human rights work. Self-nominations are also accepted. The awards will be given out at a luncheon ceremony on Friday, May 8th.

Monday, March 30, 2015

International Symposium sheds light on memory, transition, justice, and representation in post-Communist Europe

sympcam.pngEarly in March, we welcomed several of the foremost experts and scholars on post-Communist Europe to the University of Minnesota to engage in a three-day discussion about social memories and human rights in the region. Organized within the IAS "Reframing Mass Violence Collaborative" by the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies from March 4-6, scholars from the U of M and other U.S.-based and international institutions engaged in lively exchanges aimed at creating a better understanding surrounding the re-interpretation and reframing of the atrocities and the transitional justice mechanisms adopted afterwards.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Graduate student Amber Michele examines the effects of counterterrorism initiatives on local Muslim communities

amber.JPGAs part of the first workshop of the Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Group workshop series, Amber Michele, a graduate student in the interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Studies program delivered a talk on "American Islamic Organizations: Response Narrative to Counterterrorism Initiatives." Michele's current research examines how counterterrorism initiatives impact Muslim organizations in America and is particularly interested in examining how the pressure of policing destabilizes Islamic civil society in the U.S. Michel works extensively with local Muslim communities on issues of civil rights, law enforcement and discrimination.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago's west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights. Continue reading on The Guardian's website.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Human Rights Program works to improve the situation of children's rights in Colombia

crc.jpgFor years, the Department of Antioquia, Colombia has been torn apart by armed conflict, displacing thousands of its residents. Consequently, many of the children living in the region have suffered from violence, homelessness, sexual exploitation, inadequate housing, and haphazard adoptions in which the state has carelessly placed children in harmful circumstances. Additionally, Antioquia's children have also been impacted by environmental pollution, illegal mining work, lack of access to healthcare, and child marriages. In an attempt to improve the situation in Antioquia, La Alianza submitted a shadow report to the Committee on the Rights of a Child (CRC) with recommendations outlining ways in which the Colombian government can work to advance the rights of children in the region.

Friday, February 27, 2015

UMN-Antioquia Human Rights Partnership granted hearing before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

colombia2.jpgOver the past months, the University of Minnesota-Antioquia Human Rights Partnership has been working on the issue of forced resettlement in Antioquia, Colombia. Legal clinics operating in Medellín and supported by the Partnership have worked with victims who have been forcibly relocated, often as a result of armed conflict. In particular, the clinics have targeted the Colombian state's failure to adopt legislative and administrative measures aimed at protecting the rights of those affected by resettlement. After submitting a petition to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) at the end of 2014, the Partnership has recently learned that they will be granted a hearing in Washington DC on March 19th, 2015.

Author Séverine Autesserre examines the role of local knowledge in peacebuilding efforts

sev.pngOn February 9, the Minnesota International Relations Colloquium hosted a discussion with Séverine Autesserre, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Columbia University, about her recently published book, Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and Everyday Politics of International Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2014). While Dr. Autesserre specializes in international relations and African studies, her current research examines how everyday elements influence peacebuilding interventions on the ground.

Monday, February 23, 2015

HGMV Workshop: Demystifying the role of images in interpreting violence

images.jpgImages of violence have become a constant in international discourse. Videotaped beheadings are used to manipulate outrage. Advocates of global action against the violence in Syria try to raise the stakes with a provocative photo of children in a cage.In the midst of this global debate played out in images, the Holocaust, Genocide and Mass Violence workshop considered the question, what role should photographs of violence play in our own pedagogy? Do photographs assist our understanding of the violence that often at the core of our work or do they just provoke emotions that cloud and confuse our analytical understanding of human rights violations?

Friday, February 20, 2015

International Symposium-Contested Past, Contested Present: Social Memories and Human Rights in Post-Communist Europe

symp.pngThis international symposium will examine the dynamics of public remembrance in post-communist Europe as it reaches beyond the role of legal tribunals, truth commissions, official apologies, lustration and reparations and into less formal forms of memory, including museums, film and television series, and visual art. The highlight of the symposium is the keynote address by John-Paul Himka, Professor of History and Classics, University of Alberta. Professor Himka will discuss recent political, social and cultural developments that have facilitated a more nuanced understanding of the complexities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust and the role that memory plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe.

Monday, February 2, 2015

StarTribune lauds U's role in protecting human rights

3figures.jpgOn 29 December 2014, the StarTribune published the following article in its Op-Ed section:

Urban and economic planners increasingly speak about "clusters" of industries driving, and even defining, a region. Think Silicon Valley or the burgeoning med-tech industry thriving in multiple Minnesota communities. The same concept seems to be in effect locally regarding advancing global human rights. The latest indication is the recently announced collaboration between the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Human Rights Watch (HRW), an independent, international organization that documents human rights conditions and presses for "positive and sustainable change."

Visiting Carnegie Scholars will work on human rights issues

carnegie.pngThe University of Minnesota and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs are excited to host Meriem El Haitami and Dr. Rachid Touhtou from Morocco as visiting scholars for the 2015 Spring term. As recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Centennial Fellowship in Support of Visiting Scholars in the Social Sciences from Arab Universities, they will work with Humphrey School Professor James Ron on human rights issues specific to their interest.
The Human Rights Program talks to the two scholars about their work at the Humphrey School, their research interests, and how they see their time at the University contribute to their work. Here are excerpts from the interview:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

'Ideas and action' will guide the U's collaboration with Human Rights Watch

hrw.jpgThe University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the Human Rights Program, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Human Rights Center, and the Program in Human Rights and Health will work with renowned international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) to evaluate the organization's research and advocacy work. The collaboration is made possible through the structure of a Capstone project conducted by graduate students enrolled in their final semester in the Humphrey School and other programs including the Human Rights Program.