Vulnerability and human rights are intimately intertwined. Human rights advocates argue that rights must be extended to vulnerable populations, but what does vulnerability actually signify and entail? The idea of vulnerability is currently undergoing re-evaluation in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities. From having been perceived as a condition from which subjects should be defended, rescued or liberated, vulnerability and passivity have increasingly come to be theorized as a position and experience that confronts us with the limits of understanding, empathy, ethics and theory. This course will discuss work that attempts to engage with vulnerability as a challenge that can guide us towards new ways of thinking about and engaging with the world.
Course Name: Vulnerability and Human Rights
Period: Wednesdays 10-12 pm, September 14 to October 29, fall term 2016
Level: Masters and Ph.D.
Course Syllabus: Click on this link to download the course syllabus
• Coetzee, J.M. 1999. The Lives of Animals. Princeton University Press.
• Derrida, Jacques 2008. The Animal that Therefore I Am. Fordham University Press.
• Hunt, Lynn 2007. Inventing Human Rights: a history. WW Norton.
• Foucault, Michel 1978. The history of sexuality, Vol. 1. Any edition.
• Kulick, Don & Jens Rydström 2015. Loneliness and its Opposite: sex, disability and ethical engagement. Duke University Press.
• Nussbaum, Martha 2007. Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Harvard University Press.
• Tuner, Bryan S. 2006. Vulnerability and Human Rights. The Pennsylvania State University Press. Book chapters will be provided, you should find the articles online.
How to apply
Students who wish to apply must submit:
1. A one-page essay telling us why you would like to attend this course
2. A short description of your academic background
Applications are sent to Mats Hyvönen at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 19.