Session 4A: The End of Human Rights? Critical Inquiries & “the Other”

Session 4A

The End of Human Rights? Critical Inquiries & “the Other”
4.22.2017 | 9:30a-10:45a | Laurel Hall 106

Whose rights are ‘Human Rights’? How do we conceptualize progress, development, and identity-based social movements given the history of exclusion throughout histories of colonialism, racism, and other oppressions? This session will attempt to complicate these questions by looking at two very different conceptions of rights.


Participant Abstracts

Ashley Ortiz Chico (Latina/o and Latin American Studies; UCONN)
PROMESA Rota, Human Rights in Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis

This project seeks to analyze the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, H.R. 5278, S. 2328, (PROMESA) as a violation of Puerto Rican’s human rights. The PROMESA bill allows Congress to appoint seven non-elected officials to a federal control board that will act as a de-facto government for the island of Puerto Rico. The board will operate with a policy of closed doors and of no accountability but will have the power to approve Puerto Rico’s budget and all major contracts. It does not, however, establish full faith in credit. Parting from the premise that colonialism is a violation of human rights, I will attempt to answer the questions: Is PROMESA legal in the current framework of the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States? Is PROMESA a new form of colonialization, or is the mere culmination of a history of colonialism in the island? Can Puerto Ricans advocate for human rights in the UN framework?

Rhys Hall (Sociology; UCONN)
Insidious Lives of the Felines: Human Rights Violations and the Black Panther Party

The 1960s United States was a time highighted by the Civil Rights movement and activism against racism. The Black Panther Party arose as the premier organization out to combat white supremacy at all steps. The fall of said organization is well documented. with the murder of Fred Hampton and the government led Cointelpro and other methods being cited as reasons for external and internal pressures leading to its demise. To what capacity has history focused on the variety of human rights violations that followed the movement?
The author of this paper shall specifically address issues along gender and sexuality and the unique ways by which women in the Black Panther party and other progressive social movements suffer in ways that may differ from commonly associated forms of suffering (such as murder) within movements, and track down the lingering effects of these violations by studying isolation and political prisoners and the ways activists continue to be robbed of their humanity by government forces.