May 25, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIS 371-01 - Human Rights in Asia

4 credits (Spring)
Few things are more prominent in contemporary political discourse than discussions of human rights. But which ideals are included at the core of this concept and what kinds of practices give it expression?  In this seminar, students will first engage with the history of human rights as a category by exploring key foundational and contemporary texts. From there, we will explore the related  concept of “international human rights”, a powerful idea in our time, but also the focus of numerous controversies. We will discuss issues of international law and political interests, universal standards and cultural relativism, civil society and social norms, and the challenges of contemporary advocacy. With these twin foundations established, students will embark on a series of case studies exploring the question of human rights in various Asian contexts, such as torture and capital punishment, religious freedom, economic justice, minority rights, gender equality, and freedom of  expression. Along the way students will conceive and execute a research paper on a case study of their own choosing, with ample opportunity to workshop their research and writing in the context of the seminar’s ongoing readings and discussion.  

Prerequisite: Any 200-level Asian History course.
Instructor: Luo