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History of Human Rights in Africa and the African Diaspora


CHUM 383
Fall 2010
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: HIST 383
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.

Essential Capabilities: 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.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-19-2014
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