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Cambridge Global Challenges

The Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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Consortium for the Global South and the Centre for South Asian Studies: Rethinking Rights in the Global South

This conference will explore alternative conceptions of rights in the global south. We intend to open up the idea of rights to a range of claim-making activities to destabilize the conception of rights as inevitably linked to the individual and the autonomous. How, for instance, have marginalised and oppressed groups sought to mobilise the language of rights to protect themselves and their ‘communities’ variously imagined? Moreover, rights claims can, and were, made in contexts of multiple sovereignties in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial societies. How, then, can experiences and ideas from the global south help us develop a more capacious understanding of rights?
When May 11, 2018
from 10:00 AM to 06:30 PM
Where Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
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Scholarship on rights in the global South has frequently focused on the political rights of individual citizens as enshrined in constitutions, and other foundational legal documents. Yet the language of rights has been used and contested outside institutional arenas by a range of political actors. ‘Rights claims’ resonate across all aspects of social life, and are used in formal, state oriented mobilisations just as much as informal and/or social activism. 

This conference will explore alternative conceptions of rights in the global South. We intend to open up the idea of rights to a range of claim-making activities to destabilize the conception of rights as inevitably linked to the individual and the autonomous. How, for instance, have marginalised and oppressed groups sought to mobilise the language of rights to protect themselves and their ‘communities’ variously imagined? Moreover, rights claims can and were made in contexts of multiple sovereignties in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial societies. How, then, can experiences and ideas from the global south help us develop a more capacious understanding of rights? 

Programme: 

10.00-10.30 – Introduction by Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope 

Introduction by Joya Chatterji on behalf of the Consortium for the Global South 

Panel 1 (10.30-12.45) 

  • Chair: Patrick Clibbens (Cambridge) 
  • Pre-colonial notions of rights in South Asia (title TBC): Rosalind O’Hanlon (Oxford) 
  • Languages of rights in twentieth-century Tanzania: Emma Hunter (Edinburgh) 
  • Rethinking the history of welfare and economic rights from the perspective of colonial South Asia: Eleanor Newbigin (SOAS) 

12.45-1.30 – Lunch (Blue Boar Common Room) 

Panel 2 (1.30-3.00) 

  • Chair: Joya Chatterji (Cambridge) 
  • Separating justice and rights: Maududi’s Islamic state: Humeira Iqtidar (KCL) 
  • Beyond the logic of rights: On refugees in the Arab world: Abdullah Awad (Cambridge) 
  • 3.00-3.20 – Coffee (Blue Boar Common Room) 

Panel 3 (3.20-5.00) 

  • Chair: Edward Anderson (Cambridge) 
  • Religious pluralism and the state in India: Toward a typology: Rochana Bajpai (SOAS) 
  • Moving images: Rethinking representation and rights: Shohini Ghosh (Jamia Millia Islamia) 

Keynote (5.00-6.30) 

  • Chair: Joanna Page (Cambridge) 
  • Cultural rights in Latin America: David Lehmann (Cambridge) 

All attendees are welcome to join the organisers in a nearby pub after the conference. 

 

Please register (£10 including lunch and refreshments) here

 

Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

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