How did human rights become what they are today?

Photo by Richard Barnes. State of Exception Exhibit.

This semester we will subject the concept of universal human rights to historical inquiry. We will consider how human rights emerged before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted at the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. And we will consider what became of human rights in the decades after the Declaration. We will think historically through the perplexities of the very concept of universal human rights. We will bring our historical understanding of human rights to bear on how we think about them today.

One way we will learn to think historically about human rights is by communicating with each other throughout the semester, including through this blog.

How to blog for the course:

  1. Choose the week/reading for which you will serve as “expert” and sign up to that group on Brightspace.
  2. Create your blogpost and post it 48 hours before the class meeting at which the reading will be discussed, following the instructions on the Syllabus (on Brightspace).
  3. Blogging is more useful and interesting when others engage with what you write. So be sure to comment on others’ posts!
  4. Follow best practices of blogging: Be sure not to accidentally delete others’ work; identify yourself; whether you agree or not with other bloggers, be considerate in voicing your opinion.
  5. Use images and link to other related sites.
  6. To blog, log in to WordPress. Click on My Site. Click on Posts. Click on Add New Post. Write. Reread and edit. Assign your blog to a category and tag with keywords. When you’re done, click on publish. You may still edit your post.

Published by Dr. Terretta

I'm a professor of history at the University of Ottawa.

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