Fall 2024 Human Rights GU4011 section 001

Indigenous Rights and Settler Colonialis

Indig Rts Settler Colonia

Call Number 13282
Day & Time
R 12:10pm-2:00pm
To be announced
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Timothy Wyman-McCarthy
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Course Description

This interdisciplinary course explores both the rights of Indigenous people in settler colonies as well as the complex historical and theoretical relationship between human rights and settler colonialism. We will pursue three lines of inquiry. The first critically explores how central political concepts of the international state system—sovereignty, property, territory, self-determination—entwine the histories of settler colonialism and human rights. The second charts the rise and mechanisms of the international Indigenous rights movement, in particular its activity at the United Nations leading to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, and its contributions to ongoing debates on environmental and climate justice, group rights, natural resources and territorial autonomy, and cultural rights. The third unit interrogates settler state responses to the movement for Indigenous human rights, such as cooptation, recognition, and apology.

Through readings drawn from history, ethnography, political and critical theory, international relations, Native studies, law, and documents produced by intergovernmental organizations and NGOs, we will explore and deepen the tensions between human rights as a theory and practice and the political lives and aspirations of Indigenous peoples and activists. What technologies of rule—such as residential school systems and property law—do settler colonial states deploy to dispossess Indigenous peoples? How have Indigenous peoples used the international human rights regime to mobilize against such dispossession? How have these states resisted the global Indigenous rights movement? And can the human rights regime, rooted in the international state system, meaningfully contribute to anticolonial movements in liberal settler colonies? While we will touch on settler colonialism as it manifests around the globe, the course’s geographical focus will be on North America.

Course objectives

Throughout this course, you will:

  • Develop a historically-informed understanding of both international indigenous rights and settler colonialism as idea, practice, institution, and discourse;
  • Place the literature on human rights and settler colonialism into critical conversation in order to deepen existing conceptual problems and generate new ones;
  • Identify the main arguments in theoretical texts, legal and policy documents, and public debates
Web Site Vergil
Department Institute for Study of Human Rights
Enrollment 3 students (22 max) as of 6:05PM Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Subject Human Rights
Number GU4011
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Section key 20243HRTS4011W001