CCNY’s Critical Perspectives on Human Rights Conference
March 13-15, 2019
About the Conference
The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrated its 70th birthday on December 10, 2018. Since that statement of principles following the mass atrocities of WWII, the world has witnessed the spread of human rights discourse, norms, law, and institutions at both the domestic and international levels. Eleanor Roosevelt’s prediction that “a curious grapevine” would spread the ideas articulated in that 1948 General Assembly document seems to have come to fruition. Nevertheless, the aspirations of the Declaration remain far from fulfilled, as grave violations of rights continue to be perpetrated around the globe, often with impunity. Economic inequality, racism, sexism, and multiple refugee crises have engendered and exacerbated the rise of political extremism. Addressing such issues, as well as many others, the Critical Perspectives on Human Rights Conference aims to explore the contested legacy of human rights in increasingly uncertain times. It seeks to foster dialogue and scholarship from a wide range of perspectives. Some conference presenters are scholars and activists who continue to view the human rights project as a moral and ethical challenge to power; others see it as an enabler of political and economic domination. The Critical Perspectives on Human Rights Conference participants seek to reassess the origins, foundations, and contemporary forms of human rights discourse, ideas, and practice today, seventy years on.
Conference presenters have institutional affiliations that span nearly twenty countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Nigeria, the Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Critical Perspectives on Human Rights Conference is part of a larger initiative at The City College of New York, CUNY, shared between the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Division of Humanities and the Arts, and the President’s Office dedicated to human rights studies, public programming, and scholarship.