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ERIC Number: EJ992939
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul-23
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Human Rights in the Humanities
Harpham, Geoffrey
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jul 2012
Human rights are rapidly entering the academic curriculum, with programs appearing all over the country--including at Duke, Harvard, Northeastern, and Stanford Universities; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Universities of Chicago, of Connecticut, of California at Berkeley, and of Minnesota; and Trinity College. Most of these programs are in schools of law or public policy, but a few, including those at Macalester and Bard Colleges, are oriented toward the humanities, and the group was considering how best to teach the subject from that perspective, using the resources of philosophy, history, and the arts. On the surface, the subject of human rights represents a wonderful teaching opportunity. All over the country, colleges and universities are talking about how to offer students an education that is engaged, connected, worldly, and interdisciplinary, and the subject of human rights seems ideally suited to those purposes. However, the topic of human rights, so simple in its basic idea, gets complicated under the slightest pressure. It sounds like a simple, powerful curricular motif. But the closer one looks, the more complicated and paradoxical it gets. The author contends that a pedagogy focused on human rights might be able to provide students and their teachers an education not just in the ways of the world but also in the aspirations and limits of education itself.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A