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IDSEMUG 1971 - Causes Beyond Borders: Human Rights Activism, Humanitarian Reason and Global

One distinctive dimension of globalization is the flourishing of transnational activism in the register of human rights and humanitarian goals. Causes, organizations and activist networks have crossed borders alongside capital, goods and labor to reshape the terrain of political engagement. With attention to the dynamics of racial capitalism and the politics of empire, this class examines the intended and unintended consequences of this turn to transnational activism in relation to the political subjectivities it calls forth, the political horizons it shapes and the global governance regimes it legitimizes. From 18th and 19th century campaigns to end the slave trade to 20th and 21st century anti-trafficking campaigns, we will study a constellations of international institutions (such as donor agencies and international courts) and civil society organizations that have come together in the name of agendas such as ‘women’s rights’ or the prosecution of ‘crimes against humanity’. This includes organizations such as the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, The International Committee for the Red Cross and Amnesty International. The class will collectively analyze how different approaches mobilize and challenge different actors, causes and alternative imaginings of 'the global' in the realm of human rights and humanitarian goals. Readings are likely to draw from scholars such as Lori Allen, Didier Fassin, Jenny Martinez, Sally Merry, Joseph Slaughter, Mahmoud Mamdani, Kamari Clark, Walter Johnson and Jessica Whyte. Class Notes: This 2-unit course meets during the first seven weeks only. First Class: Sept. 4; Last Class: Oct. 16. Add Consent: Department Consent Required.
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Fall 2019, Fall 2018
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