History of Human Rights in Africa and the African Diaspora|
Fall 2011 not offered
|Certificates: Civic Engagement, International Relations|
|Course Cluster: African Studies|
Human rights are idealized as universal despite the contradictory historical and cultural forces that shaped them; the moralizing rhetoric of human rights has coexisted with slave trade, slavery, colonial expansion, world war, and genocide. Indeed, Africans and people of African descent often have been portrayed as victims of human rights abuses rather than as active participants in the articulation of human rights in theory or practice. This course will examine how Africans and people of African descent engaged with debates about human rights during key historical events, including the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution, as well as during more recent controversies over cultural diversity and relativism. Through close readings of primary texts, secondary sources, fiction, and film, we will gain a different perspective on the universality of human rights.
Intercultural Literacy, Writing
This course will challenge students to think about ideas of universality and human rights from multiple perspectives. Students will have the opportunity to draft and revise a semester-long research project.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Lynn Hunt, INVENTING HUMAN RIGHTS: A HISTORY
Cassandra Pybus, EPIC JOURNEYS OF FREEDOM: RUNAWAY SLAVES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND THEIR GLOBAL QUEST FOR LIBERTY
Laurent Dubois, A COLONY OF CITIZENS: REVOLUTION AND SLAVE EMANCIPATION IN THE FRENCH CARIBBEAN, 1787-1804
Adam Hochschild, KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST: A STORY OF GREED, TERROR, AND HEROISM IN COLONIAL AFRICA
Aimé Césaire, A DISCOURSE ON COLONIALISM
Emmanuel Dongala, LITTLE BOYS COME FROM THE STARS
Mahmood Mamdani, WHEN VICTIMS BECOME KILLERS: COLONIALISM, NATIVISM, AND THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
Potential film viewings:
AIMÉ CÉSAIRE: UNE VOIX POUR L'HISTOIRE
|Examination and Assignments: |
Reading response papers, lead class discussion once during semester, graded draft of research paper, final research paper.