New Minor in Human Rights Advocacy

A new Minor in Human Rights Advocacy to be launched this fall. As a student at Wesleyan, you are eligible to participate in this unique program. Please note that the deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 23.

The Minor builds on the pilot program in human rights advocacy developed over the past several years in conjunction with the University Network for Human Rights. Through this program, Wesleyan undergraduates have studied human rights norms and advocacy methodology, and have participated in supervised documentation and practice with communities facing human rights abuse. Over the past three years, as the Minor has been in development, Wesleyan students have worked with supervisors from UNHR on a range of projects: these include ones opposing mass incarceration in Connecticut, challenging environmental racism in Louisiana; and seeking accountability for those responsible for summary executions in Bolivia. Students engaged in these projects have traveled to work with community partners in the United States and abroad. More about these projects, as well as media coverage of UNHR’s interventions, is available here.

The Minor combines rigorous coursework with concrete, practical training under the guidance of the team of UNHR supervisors. These supervisors developed and oversaw the human rights clinics at Harvard and Stanford Law Schools prior to forming UNHR to expand clinical training in human rights advocacy beyond the law school setting.

Students interested in the program will be required to enroll in a gateway course on human rights standards, seminars on human rights advocacy and on writing for advocacy, as well as other related courses chosen by each student in accordance with their particular area or areas of interest.  Students admitted to the Minor will participate in intensive training and then be expected to travel (with a supervisor) to a location of rights abuse to work with the affected community. All costs of the program will be paid by UNHR and Wesleyan.

Information about the Minor, as well as the application form, is available here.

Further information about the University Network for Human Rights is available here.

English Department Open House 10/20

The great feminist poet, critic, and theorist Adrienne Rich warned: “We must be acutely, disturbingly aware of the language [and, I’d add:  forms, narratives, tropes, genres, conventions, ideologies] we are using and that is using us.”  True, English, among other things, can rescue you from being bamboozled by the givens, the taken for granted, the “way it is” (but doesn’t have to be).  We make language and language makes us.  Literature helps us learn and unlearn.  At the same time, reading and writing literature is so much fun, an affirmation of creativity and possibility, a steamy and sometimes jarring love affair with beauty, and much else.  Imagine that!  Discover what English has to offer (see below)…

Professor Pfister
Chair, Department of English

English Department Open House, Weds, October 20, Downey House, 294 High Street, 4-6pm