Human Rights and New Humanitarianisms - 1st semester


Upon successful completion of this course students should have achieved:
a) a general historical overview of Human Rights concepts and institutions
b) general competences for a critical conceptualization on the practices and rhetorics inspired by the Human Rights
c) methodological tools for research and intervention in the area of Human Rights.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Cardeira Silva


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





ISHAY, Michelin R., 2004. The History of Human Rights. From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era. U. of California Press Reader
FERGUSON, James, 2007, ´Transnational Topographies of Power. Beyond the State and the ´Civil Society´ in the Study of African Politics, in Global Shadows. Africa in the Neoliberal World Order, Drham e London, Duke Univ Press
HASTRUP, K. e ELSASS, Peter, 1990. “Anthropology Advocacy. A Contradiction in Terms?” Curr. Anthropology, V. 31- 3, pps 301-311.
MALKKI, Liisa: 1996. Speechless Emissaries: Refugees, Humanitarianism, and Dehistoricization; University of California, Irvine.
WILSON, Richard Ashby (Ed.) Human Rights, Culture and Context. Anthropological Perspectives. Londres, Chicago, Illinnois: Pluto Press

Teaching method

The course will work under a seminar regime. Classes will alternate moments of theoretical framework with thematic sessions of debate around texts, films and case studies presented by students for each of the thematic modules. The student participation will be essential and evaluated according to a pre-defined timetable. The pace of work will require the reading of at least one text for each class, as well as the progressive reading of the bibliography of general interest.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on: participation/ presentation and discussion of bibliographical references (40%); final essay (60%).

Subject matter

1) History of the Human Rights (HR). Genealogy of Human Rights. The different \\"generations\\" of Human Rights
2) HR and Anthropology: Universalism vs. Relativism, Collective Rights vs. Individual Rights
3) HR and International Relations. \\"The Clash of Civilizations\\" and the new world maps.
4) Gendered HR. Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Feminism and the rhetorics of ´saving the women´.
5) HR, suffering and mobility. Anthropology of refugees.
6) HR and indigenous movements. Culture and Intellectual Property


Programs where the course is taught: