Fall 2023 Human Rights UN3960 section 001

Refugees, Rights, and Representation

Refugees Rights Represent

Call Number 18447
Day & Time
R 12:10pm-2:00pm
301M Fayerweather
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Timothy Wyman-McCarthy
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Given that, according to the UNHCR, there are currently 108.4 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, over 35 million of whom are refugees, it is unsurprising that their predicament preoccupies international lawyers, academics from the social sciences to the humanities, engineers and economists, journalists, policy specialists at NGOs, government officials, artists, tech companies, philanthropists, and, most significantly, displaced persons themselves. This seminar asks how these different actors draw on specific discourses and arguments—technological, scientific, personal, moral, historical—as they construct the figure and the problem of ‘the refugee.’ We will recognize refugee crises as an issue of urgent public concern as well as an occasion for interrogating how such crises are represented across academic, legal, and cultural conversations.

Does displacement caused by personal persecution, natural disasters and climate change, armed conflict, or economic deprivation invite different kinds of international attention or sympathy? Where does the sanctuary promised the citizen end and the hospitality owed the stranger begin? How do contemporary developments in climate science, social media technologies, and big data intersect with discourses on refugees? And if ‘the refugee’ tells the lie to the nation state’s capacity to account for the world’s people, what other forms of political and social organization does the refugee live, inspire, create, or warn against? To consider such questions, we will examine political theory, history, anthropology, and philosophy; analyze international legal documents, policy proposals, investigative journalism, and NGO reports; and engage with novels, poetry, film, and photography, among other materials.

Web Site Vergil
Department Institute for Study of Human Rights
Enrollment 19 students (22 max) as of 5:05PM Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Subject Human Rights
Number UN3960
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Section key 20233HRTS3960W001