Students should contact the departmental representative with course-related questions.

Human Rights

Institute for the Study of Human Rights
91 Claremont Ave, 7th Floor

The Summer Sessions courses in human rights are offered in conjunction with the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at Columbia University. Established in 1978, the ISHR at Columbia University is committed to providing excellent human rights education to Columbia students, fostering innovative interdisciplinary academic research, and offering its expertise in capacity building to human rights leaders, organizations, and universities around the world. Courses include active engagement with the world of human rights practitioners, and emphasize the connection between the study and practice of human rights.

Courses can be taken independently or as part of a four-course Certification of Professional Achievement in Human Rights.

HRTS S4020D Introduction to Human Rights. 3 points.

This course will provide a wide-ranging survey of conceptual foundations and issues in contemporary human rights. The class will examine the philosophical origins of human rights, contemporary debates, the evolution of human rights, key human rights documents, and the questions of human rights enforcement. This course will examine specific civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and various thematic topics in human rights.

Summer 2017: HRTS S4020D
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4020 001/23774 M W 1:00pm - 4:10pm
Room TBA
Joseph Chuman 3 11/23

HRTS S4185Q Human Rights and Global Economic Justice. 3 points.

The world economy is a patchwork of competing and complementary interests among and between governments, corporations, and civil society. These stakeholders at times cooperate and also conflict over issues of global poverty, inequality, and sustainability. What role do human rights play in coordinating the different interests that drive global economic governance? This seminar will introduce students to different structures of global governance for development, trade, labor, finance, the environment, migration, and intellectual property and investigate their relationship with human rights. Students will learn about public, private, and mixed forms of governance, analyze the ethical and strategic perspectives of the various stakeholders and relate them to existing human rights norms. The course will examine the work of multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the International Financial Institutions, as well as international corporate and non-governmental initiatives.

Summer 2017: HRTS S4185Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4185 001/14862 T Th 5:30pm - 8:40pm
Room TBA
Rainer Braun 3 9/22

HRTS S4190Q Human Rights and Visual Culture. 3 points.

This course examines the relationship between visual culture and human rights. It considers a wide range of visual media (photography, painting, sculpture), as well as aspects of visuality (surveillance, profiling). We will use case studies ranging in time from the early modern period (practices in which the body was marked to measure criminality, for example), to the present day. Within this framework, we will study how aspects of visual culture have been used to advocate for human rights, as well as how images and visual regimes have been used to suppress human rights. An important part of the course will be to consider the role played by reception in shaping a discourse around human rights, visuality, and images. Subjects to be addressed include: the nature of evidence; documentation and witness; censorship; iconoclasm; surveillance; profiling; advocacy images; signs on the body; visibility and invisibility.

Summer 2017: HRTS S4190Q
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4190 001/74810 T Th 1:00pm - 4:10pm
Room TBA
Susan Merriam 3 5

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.