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

Human Rights

Institute for the Study of Human Rights
91 Claremont Ave, 7th Floor
humanrightsed@columbia.edu

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.

Summer 2016

Human Rights

  • HRTS S4020D. Introduction to Human Rights. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of May 23 to Jul 01

    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.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4020
    HRTS
    4020
    27425
    001
    MW 1:00p - 4:10p
    402 HAMILTON HALL
    J. Chuman 16 / 23 [ More Info ]
  • HRTS S4185Q. Human Rights and Global Economic Justice. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of Jul 05 to Aug 12

    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.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4185
    HRTS
    4185
    61854
    001
    TuTh 5:30p - 8:40p
    302 HAMILTON HALL
    R. Braun 20 / 22 [ More Info ]
  • HRTS S4190Q. Human Rights and Visual Culture. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of Jul 05 to Aug 12

    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.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4190
    HRTS
    4190
    18513
    001
    TuTh 1:00p - 4:10p
    318 HAMILTON HALL
    S. Merriam 11 [ More Info ]
  • HRTS S4215D. International Human Rights Movement: Past, Present, Future. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of May 23 to Jul 01

    The human rights movement is one of the most successful social justice movements of our time, establishing universal principles that govern how states should treat citizens and non-citizens. The movement strengthens, and is strengthened by, a complex web of institutions, laws, and norms that constitute a functioning global system that builds on itself progressively, animated by strong NGOs. The course will address the evolution of the international human rights movement and on the NGOs that drive the movement on the international, regional and domestic levels. Sessions will highlight the experiences of major human rights NGOs and will address topics including strategy development, institutional representation, research methodologies, partnerships, networks, venues of engagement, campaigning, fundraising and, perhaps most importantly, the fraught and complex debates about adaptation to changing global circumstances.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4215
    HRTS
    4215
    69550
    001
    MW 5:30p - 8:40p
    306 HAMILTON HALL
    L. Bickford 9 [ More Info ]
  • HRTS S4220Q. International Human Rights Law. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of Jul 05 to Aug 12

    This course introduces the fundamental concepts and problems of international human rights law. What are the origins of modern human rights law? What is the substance of this law, who is obligated by it, and how is it enforced? The course will cover the major international human rights treaties and mechanisms and consider some of today's most significant human rights issues and controversies. While the topics are necessarily law-related, the course will assume no prior exposure to legal studies.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4220
    HRTS
    4220
    26209
    001
    MW 1:00p - 4:10p
    302 HAMILTON HALL
    B. Cooper 23 / 24 [ More Info ]
  • HRTS S4230D. Displacement and Forced Migration. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of May 23 to Jul 01

    This course will analyze the changing terrain of forced migration. Its focus will be on the systemic nature of recent crises, scrutinizing both their root causes and the challenges faced by the myriad of international, regional, national and local actors seeking to respond to them. The readings will draw both on the academic and the policy literature, emphasizing how a human rights perspective contributes to our understanding the fundamental challenges that lie ahead. The course will critically examine how the field of forced migration studies has evolved in recent years to reflect these new conditions. It will look at the theoretical arguments for accepting refugees from a rights perspective and show how these understandings have been embedded in international laws, norms and structures. It will survey how national governments have developed responses intended to meet these obligations as they also weigh national security and electoral concerns in the development of their policies. The empirical focus will be on the Middle East and the recent Syrian and Iraqi crises, looking at how a range of actors, primarily based in Europe and in the region itself, are responding to the greatest refugee and IDP crisis since the end of World War II. The course will conclude with an examination of local issues, as this is where the tensions are often most sharply experienced.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4230
    HRTS
    4230
    61247
    001
    TuTh 5:30p - 8:40p
    402 HAMILTON HALL
    T. Perlmutter 6 / 20 [ More Info ]
  • HRTS S4407D. Women, Gender, and Political Violence. 3 pts.
    Runs from the week of May 23 to Jul 01

    This course explores how women's experiences of violence in conflict are guided by traditional patriarchal views of femininity, and furthermore how this violence influences their agencies and their realization of human rights. Through academic texts, documents produced by the U.N. and NGOs globally, academic experts, and documentaries, we will explore a wide range of women's experiences of violence in conflict, including: the relationship between domestic violence in the private/home space and the violence of war in the public space; how the rape of women is used to decipher and forge the borders/boundaries of imagined, emerging nations, as in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; debates on women terrorists, suicide bombers, and freedom fighters; and sexual violence against women in the U.S. military.

    Course
    Number
    Call Number/
    Section
    Days & Times/
    Location
    Instructor Enrollment
    Summer 2016 :: HRTS S4407
    HRTS
    4407
    97146
    001
    TuTh 1:00p - 4:10p
    402 HAMILTON HALL
    J. Rajan 4 / 20 [ More Info ]
  • The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.