In Transit

14192673_10207474768247438_4310160861803048167_nThere is a profound tension at the center of contemporary global existence. Various groups struggle for the recognition and protection of their lives as people. For example, migrant and civil rights organizations use the rhetorical and juridical machinery of human rights to make claims for political recognition as well as cultural and economic reparations. This is powerfully illustrated by the global activities of the #BlackLivesMatter movements, the “We Are Here” migrant rights movement, and the neo-abolitionist movement against human trafficking. In each of these examples, the valuing of human life is the central gravitational political and cultural force. At the same time, there is a radical decentering and even crisis of the human under way. The omnipresence of technology and the turn to posthumanism, the decolonial critique of the imperial logic of “the human,” and the ecological displacement of the human exemplify this transformation. These myriad dynamics and processes speak to the fact that human rights and the idea of the human are in transit.

During the two years of this project we aim to cultivate many dynamic conversations, including about: the interconnections between state violence, refugees, and indigenous (re)settlement; contemporary claims to human rights that are (re)engaging and redefining understandings of enslavement; and the politics and poetics of data in making human rights claims.


June 12-16, 2017 | Summer Human Rights Program in New York City

April 11, 2017 | Jennifer Monson / Artist in Residence | 6 am Dawn Workshop (rsvp: | Artists Talk 6 pm, Sullivant Hall 220

April 7-8, 2017 | The Somali Diaspora in the U.S. | Series of Co-Sponsored Events

March 21, 2017 | 6:30 PM | Dr. Alondra Nelson, “The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome,” Thompson Reading Room, 11th Floor (co-sponsored event)

February 14, 2017 | 3:30-4:30 PM | Informational Session for Human Rights Summer Study Program 

February 2, 2017 | 4-4:30 PM | The Problem of the Human

OCT 27, 2016 | 4-6 PM | Refugees, Indigenous People and (Re)Settlement: The Experience of Displaced Peoples