226-1 Milbank Hall
Department Administrative Assistant: Raquel Solomon
Director: J. Paul Martin
Committee on Human Rights Studies: Elizabeth Bernstein (Women's Studies), Ayten Gündõgdu (Political Science), Paul Martin (Human Rights Studies), Rachel McDermott (Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures), Catharine Nepomnyashchy (Slavic), Anupama Rao (History), Rajiv Sethi (Econmics), Paige West (Anthropology)
Other officers of the University offering courses listed below:
Nadia Abu El-Haj (Anthropology), Severine Autesserre (Political Science), James Basker (French), Sheri Berman (Political Science), Mona El-Ghobashy (Political Science), Serge Gavronsky (French), Kaiama L. Glover (African Studies, French, Women's Studies), Ayten Gündõgdu (Political Science), John Hawley (Religion), Larry Heuer (Psychology), Janet Jakobsen (Women's Studies), Xiaobo Lu (Political Science), Kimberly Marten (Political Science), Alfred McAdam (Spanish), Rachel McDermott (Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures), Jose Moya (History), Catherine Nepomnyashchy (Slavic), Anupama Rao (History), Jonathan Rieder (Sociology), Alan Segal (Religion), Rajiv Sethi (Economics), Paige West (Anthropology)
The Human Rights Studies Program introduces Barnard undergraduates to the basic normative, theoretical and empirical knowledge and skills necessary to contribute cogently to public debates and policy initiatives related to social justice in the modern world. This mission reflects the proliferation of human rights concerns and the associated growth of public and private human rights institutions over the past half century, but more importantly the daunting theoretical and practical challenges that still remain. Human Rights Studies at Barnard is an interdisciplinary program, a joint major that combines the study of human rights with a complementary disciplinary, regional or other expertise at the choice of each student. These options include but are not limited to Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Comparative Literature, English, French, German, History, Italian, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Slavic, Sociology, Spanish, and Women's Studies.
Human rights learning objectives fall into four broad categories:
In the case of undergraduate women majoring in human rights, these four broad goals would require students to possess the following knowledge and skills. The capacity to:
Human rights studies at Barnard is designed to contribute to a liberal arts curriculum. Its cross-disciplinary character enriches and benefits from Barnard’s teaching in the humanities and social sciences. Its core courses examine critically universally accepted intellectual and political frameworks for debates on social justice, i.e. international human rights law. Many of these debates focus on domestic and international issues that are the grist of ongoing political and ethical debates that are legitimately the concern of all citizens and for which they ought to be well prepared. As such, human rights studies forms an integral part of the expanding field of international education at Barnard. The Program draws on Columbia’s and NYC’s unique human and documentary resources. It also provides an intellectual base and appropriate skills for social advocacy. These different dimensions do not coincide with individual disciplines. The range of issues that now fall within the field of human rights is extensive, reflecting the scope of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its subsequent associated treaties. The unique and defining dimensions of human rights studies are the problems raised by its normative and prescriptive or remedy-oriented dimensions (the first and the fourth of the fields of study above).