Re-Invisioning the Human: Human Rights and Humanitarianism Across the Humanities

Alison Brysk
Global and International Studies
UC Santa Barbara

Keith Watenpaugh
Religious Studies
UC Davis

Human rights as a new field of faculty research, an emerging focus of graduate student training, and an element of undergraduate teaching has taken multiple forms on all of the campuses of the University of California. Building from established, though quite distinct, programs at three campuses (UCSB, UCSD and UCD) that have demonstrated the vital nature of human rights research and teaching at the University of California, the proposed Human Rights Collaboration is a research group/network that coalesces work happening on human rights throughout the UC system. Employing a series of workshops and seminars, this multicampus research group explored the intersection of humanitarianism and humanity with human rights. Critically, this group contended that any conversation about human rights must include the humanities and allied social sciences. Humanists bring to the study of human rights an examination of deeper questions about suffering, justice, and power that transcend established disciplines.