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September 26, 2023


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History C187: The History and Practice of Human Rights (Fall 2011, UC Berkeley). Instructor: Professor Thomas W. Laqueur.

What are human rights? Where did they originate and when? Who retains them, and when are we obliged to defend them? This course examines the historical development of human rights to the present day, focusing on, but not confined to, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More than a history of origins, it explores the relationships between human rights and other crucial themes in the history of the modern era.

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Introduction Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – Human Rights Before “Human Rights” Unlimited
  • Lecture 04 – Human Rights – 18th Century Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – 19th Century Humanitarianism and Humanitarian Intervention Unlimited
  • Lecture 07 – Imperial Contradictions: Claims of Progress and the Facts of Death Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – The Case of Female Genital Mutilation Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – The American Genocide, Guest Lecturer: Michelle Tusan Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Anti-Human Rights Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – Internal Criminal Tribunals Unlimited
  • Lecture 13 – Witnessing, Human Rights and Humanitarian Activism Unlimited
  • Lecture 14 – Human Rights Culture I: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Unlimited
  • Lecture 15 – Human Rights Culture Unlimited
  • Lecture 17 – Human Rights in the International Politics of States Unlimited
  • Lecture 20 – The Corpus Delecti and the Names of the Dead Unlimited
  • Lecture 21 – Can Human Rights Stop Mass Incarceration? Unlimited
  • Lecture 23 – Human Rights Claims by Gays & Lesibians Unlimited
  • Lecture 27 – The Work of Human Rights Today, AMNESTY International Unlimited
  • Lecture 28 – 10 Things I hoped You Learned Unlimited

About the instructor

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