Frances S. Patai Lecture Series
March 19: Transnational High-Risk Activism and the Work of Frances S. Patai on the Spanish Civil War
6:30 to 7:30 pm, CCNY Center for Worker Education (CWE) Auditorium, 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. (Take 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green, or the R train to Whitehall Street)
Speaker: Danielle A. Zach, Frances S. Patai Postdoctoral Fellow in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies, CCNY CWE
Over the past few months, major US and other Western newspapers have drawn attention to the “unprecedented scale” of participation of foreign fighters in the bloody turmoil unfolding in Iraq and Syria, and more specifically to the success of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in recruiting American and European men and women to join its ranks. The US government estimates the total foreign presence at 20,000 from 90 or so countries. Since 9/11, the transnational connections of armed actors—particularly with diaspora communities in Western countries—have also received significant attention from academics and policy analysts, with many pointing to processes associated with globalization as facilitating factors. Using the Spanish Civil War as a case study, the lecture presents the work of Frances S. Patai on female volunteers of the American Medical Bureau and North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy to show how high-risk transnational activism of this kind is neither a new development arising from contemporary globalization nor “unprecedented” in magnitude. Indeed the Second Spanish Republic’s ability to draw estimated 40,000 volunteers as combatants into the ranks of its International Brigades along with another 10,000 in support roles to defend it against Nationalist forces far surpasses what we are witnessing in the Middle East (or any other conflict zone) today.
March 30: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict
6:30-8:30 pm, CCNY Center for Worker Education Auditorium, 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 (Take 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green, or the R train to Whitehall Street)
Guest Speaker: Rana Jaleel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia Law School
This event focuses sexual violence in armed conflict, particularly mass rape as a weapon of war. The event will begin with a screening of the PBS film I Came to Testify, which concerns the Bosnian rape camps, women’s testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and developments in international law to prosecute perpetrators. Dr. Jaleel will present her research on sexual violence in armed conflict. In addition to the Bosnian case, she will also discuss Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as present-day Syria.
6:30 to 8:30 pm, CCNY Center for Worker Education (CWE) Auditorium, 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. (Take 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green, or the R train to Whitehall Street)
Guest speaker: Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P)
Moderator: Professor Rajan Menon, CCNY Political Science Department
This year marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide and the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. It is thus a critical time for the human rights community to assess progress on the development of international norms, law, and efforts to prevent and halt genocide and other mass atrocities. At the heart of contemporary debates is the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. While R2P has been considered an “emerging norm,” the application of R2P remains contested in international peace and security circles. Dr. Adams will discuss the R2P doctrine, its evolution over the past decade and a half, and challenges that impede consensus on when the international community of states should invoke R2P to protect civilians from mass atrocity crimes.