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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: