1600 Grand Ave
St. Paul MN 55105
Sunday, July 31
Welcome Reception and Dinner
in Weyerhaeuser Board Room
Monday, August 1
The Human Rights Terrain: Consensus and Conflicts
The presentation will highlight some of the major human rights issues facing international policymakers today. There is a growing body of law that reflects an international consensus on human rights principles, from prohibitions on torture and ill-treatment, to respect for the rights of women, children, minorities and indigenous groups. Yet tensions remain in the enforcement of those principles. How can we both ensure human dignity and protect ourselves against terrorist acts? What is the best balance between respect for individual freedoms and respect for cultural and traditional values, and between national and international priorities?
Human Rights Skepticism and Philosophical Responses
Although human rights play an important role in international relations, philosophers and political theorists have found them puzzling and difficult to justify. Skeptics have given a number of plausible arguments aimed at showing that talk about human rights is vacuous, or at least confused. This is especially true of social human rights such as the right to an adequate standard of living or adequate healthcare. Gunderson will review the most plausible skeptical arguments, present various ways in which philosophers have attempted to address them, and lead a discussion of whether any of the philosophical defenses of human rights succeed.
The Successes and Failures of International Justice
James von Geldern
The post-Cold War era has seen the advent of new forms of criminal justice that hold the world’s most heinous villains responsible for their crimes. The International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the new International Criminal Court have been designed to introduce a new “age of accountability.” Practice, however, has shown that this can be difficult and the successes of these courts have been matched by their conspicuous failures. We will look at these courts, how they came into being, particular cases, and explore the reasons why international justice has proven so difficult to institute.
Screening of Enemies of the People and discussion
A decade in the making, this award-winning documentary (See Film's website) explores the inner workings of the former Cambodian regime through hundreds of hours of interviews with the Khmer Rouge's second-in-command. Cambodian journalist Thet Sambath’s search for the truth of what happened during the killing fields of Cambodia has made a compelling and inspiring film which raises questions for all of us. We will view and discuss the film with James Dawes, Dean of the Summer Session and other faculty members.
Dinner on Your Own
Tuesday, August 2
9 –10:15 a.m.
Babi Yar: Orchestrating Protest in the Soviet Union's Post-Stalinist "Thaw"
In his 13th symphony, subtitled “Babi Yar” (1962), Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich drew upon poetic texts by Yevgeny Yevtushenko to fashion a stunning musico-dramatic symbol of musical protest against the government's plan to build a sports complex on the site of a World-War-II-era mass grave near the city of Kiev. This session explores two of the five movements of this symphony, focusing particularly on the ways in which the collaborating authors (poet and composer) intertwined the notions of human rights and individual freedom with that of artistic freedom.
10:45 a.m. – Noon
Performing Rights: From Theater to Event
This talk addresses the ways that artists think about the interlinking challenges of memory, narrative, and documentation in works of theater and performance. How does performance animate the limits and possibilities of human rights discourse, amidst demands that art be ”useful”? From traditional play scripts to site-specific installation projects, Nielsen discusses the intersections of research in performance and rights, from theater to event.
Gandhi, Human Dignity, and Classical Hindu Discourses
M.K. “Mahatma” Gandhi (d. 1948) is revered in India as the father of the independence movement. Gandhi claimed the rights of Indians to independent, political self-determination, and he sometimes used the language of western political philosophy to challenge the legitimacy of British rule in India. He also used the language of classical Indian ascetic traditions to challenge Indians to aspire to the highest ideals of personal conduct, even in defying the British. We will examine Gandhi’s possible contribution to the discussion of human rights and humanitarianism, and reflect on the potential of Indian thought to supplement what have been largely European ideas of human rights and dignity.
Humanitarianism in Contemporary World Politics
In the past several decades, humanitarianism has come to occupy an increasingly prominent place in world politics. It has become a central—and, at times, the only—way in which the international community responds, not only to natural disasters, but also to situations of armed conflict and mass violations of human rights. What has this meant for humanitarianism defined traditionally by the principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence? We will explore the new and growing roles of humanitarianism in contemporary world politics, focusing specifically on the problems and challenges created by these new roles.
Dinner at a local restaurant
Wednesday, August 3
Global Immigration and the New Slavery; Historical Perspectives on Human Trafficking and Today's Abolitionist Movement
James Brewer Stewart
Shockingly, there are at least twice as many enslaved people in world today as there were when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. These are not simply people working under oppressive conditions; they are actually bought, sold and controlled by force. At the same time, over the past five decades the world’s population has nearly doubled, as has the number of people migrating internationally and internally. How are these trends connected? What forms does today’s slavery take and what can be done to combat it? What light does our nation’s past experiences with enslavement and emancipation shed on these problems and their solutions?
10:30 a.m. – Noon
Interested in attending?