The Culture and Conflict Group (CCG) at the Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nova Southeastern University invites you to a one-day academic symposium: Socio-political Meanings of Human Rights in Cultural Contexts
The event will take place on June 27, 2008 - 9:00 A.M. - 5.00: P.M. at Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida; Knight Auditorium, Carl DeSantis Building)
We wish to invite academic experts in the field of human rights as well as speakers who have suffered human rights violations, to present and discuss their cutting-edge research and/or experiences on broad facetted aspects of human rights. We also hope to include outstanding student papers/presentations into the sessions. We encourage attendance by scholars, students, and groups/individuals interested in human rights.
CALL FOR PAPERS:
In our current world the majority of our societies are facing different forms of structural violence, i.e. the ongoing and institutionalized deprivation of needs of survival, well-being, identity and freedom (Galtung, 1969). The physical manifestation of structural violence can be seen in broad forms of assaults to human rights on different levels and in different contexts: wars, torture, political violence, personal revenge, confrontations, disappearing of individuals are examples of how far human beings can go in order to obtain power, recognition, wealth or domination. Moreover, contemporary societies often function on the basis of sharp antinomies such as inclusions/exclusion, right/wrong or moral/immoral. Consequently societal structures determine which groups’ and individuals’ worldviews and ways of living are acceptable and which ones are discriminated against.
Scholars are critically examining human rights from different disciplinary perspectives through a myriad of cultural, geographical, philosophical, ideological, historical and social lenses. Whereas human rights are declared universal, state agents as well as out-of-state actors have harmed individuals and groups in the name of peace, in the defense of national territory, for a national idea, in the name of religion, etc. The clashes in Tibet, the crisis in Darfur, the Bedouins in Israel are extraordinary examples of how different cultural and political dynamics lead to ever-changing interpretations of human rights. State agents as well as out of state actors have also attempted to reconcile and preserve human rights as ‘neutral’ third party interveners such as the United Nations Convention Against Torture or the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Any of these examples of human rights violations and negotiations raise issues of sociocultural relativity: whether individual rights take precedence over group/communal rights, how previously colonized societies exert self-determination to rise out of humiliation, and the highlighting of the continuum of injustice to justice.
Our contention is that a rigid thus limited interpretation of human rights that fails to address cultural differences and nuances weakens the claim for universally accepted human rights.
Our symposium proposes to re-examine assumptions of universal human rights by discussing different interpretations of human rights in diverse cultural context. In particular we are interested in – but not limited to - addressing issues of human rights in relation to minorities, resistance (violent and nonviolent), LGBT, social identities, environment, violence and terror, pre-emption, expression, refugees/immigrants, self-defense, morality, perpetrators/supporters/bystanders and nationalism. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. conflict analysis and resolution, anthropology, sociology, law and social psychology) that further academic debate, social theorizing and develop new understandings of human rights discourse. Given the fact human rights discourses are underlying factors to the field of conflict analysis and resolution, problematizing these notions is essential for strengthening this and other academic fields.
Visit: www.culture-conflict.org for the proposal submission form, additional information and regular updates on the symposium.
You can also download the form directly at: http://www.culture-conflict.org/symposium/proposal_form.pdf
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS: 05/26/08
Seating is limited. To secure your seat please register soon by sending an email with your name and affiliation to symposium@culture-conflictorg.
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