We are delighted to present a two-day workshop that examines critiques of human rights and looks at possible alternative routes to emancipation and progressive politics. We warmly invite interested scholars at all stages in their career and from any discipline to join us. Extensive critiques of International human rights (IHR) by critical legal scholars - especially feminists and postcolonial theorists – have called into question its worth as a path to human freedom and progressive politics. As a facet of liberal freedom and justice at the global level, human rights have been discredited as part of an Enlightenment project that is neither inclusive nor non-violent and which compels a specific way to be and be free in the world. Encounters with the world’s `Others’ - particularly well-meaning missions to save them - expose the gender, cultural, racial and religious norms on which rescue projects are based and the discomfort caused by these encounters often ends in epistemicide (de Santos) – the destruction of non-liberal/alternate epistemologies.
From this starting point, the workshop seeks to start four conversations. The first interrogates our own assumptions; are the possibilities of human rights really exhausted as a path to freedom? The second grapples with the violence of Enlightenment epistemologies. The third panel draws historical work on the colonial past of human rights into the present moment by thinking about its legacy. The final panel attempts to move beyond the liberal imaginary to rethink freedom - if human rights are not the key to human freedom, what is?
The workshop brings together a host of academics from a range of social science and humanities backgrounds. In taking human rights and freedom as our subject matter at a time of deep suspicion of others in the West, we seek to contribute to a broader conversation about critique and what lies beyond it.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Workshop: International Human Rights and Freedom: Possibilities, Epistemologies, Legacies and Alternatives
On October 31-November 1, 2017, the International State Crime Initiative and the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context, Queen Mary University of London will hold a workshop on "International Human Rights and Freedom: Possibilities, Epistemologies, Legacies and Alternatives." The program is here. Here's the idea: