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Violence, Gender and Human Rights

Anyone entering the thickets of argument relating to violence, gender, and human rights today has to contend with the range and variety of meanings that these concepts have accrued in current usage. While there is broad consensus that there does exist a contemporary crisis around global violence and the suspected gendered aspect of it, how the relationships between globalization and human rights violations, and between violence against women and redefinition of human rights, are to be interpreted, and what is to be done about it is matters of vigorous intellectual and political debate. This class explored the gendered manifestations of violence in public and private spheres within the context of the more general relationship among globalization, development, and human/civil/citizen rights. The class paid attention to banal violence (that is, daily and “banal” violence in everyday life), spectacular violence at moments of crisis, and the type of violence that disrupts the boundary between the two. Special emphases were given to the issues of racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, labor, health care, homophobia, militarism, and globalization. This class (WGST 260) was taught by You-Me Park as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).

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You-Me Park

Women's and Gender Studies Program