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The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries

18th International Academy Conference

July 5-7, 2018, International Conference, Amerikahaus Munich

The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries

The BAA’s 2018 international conference investigates the role of human rights, both in diachronic and synchronic perspectives and with an interdisciplinary research design. Since their proclamation in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights have become a dominant language in controversies over ethics around the globe and a normative basis for concepts of a just society and ideas of the public good. This concerns a variety of issues, from slavery and warfare through fights over indigenous rights and disputes over preserving the heritage of minorities, to same sex marriage debates or current conflicts over asylum law and the status of refugees. What is the state of human rights both within and beyond the boundaries of the nation state and how can it be considered from a multidisciplinary angle?

This conference offers perspectives from literary and cultural studies, history, political science, philosophy, sociology, and law, looking at historical controversies on human rights as well as at its current political and imagined state. Contributions reflect theoretical implications of interdisciplinary work on human rights agency and also take into account the significance of cultural texts in envisioning and critically reflecting the ‘state of human rights.’

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