- Code HIST2238
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of History
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject History
- Areas of interest History, International Relations, Philosophy, Politics
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
First Semester 2017
See Future Offerings
Human rights, in ideal terms, are universal. Yet the notion is a product of history. This course traces the cultural, political, religious and philosophical forces that inspired revolutionary thinkers to question old world inequalities and injustice. However, the earliest efforts to establish human rights applied only to privileged minorities and dominant nations.
How did the concept of universal human rights arise? What role has individual and collective voices of protest played in this development? What sorts of actions have been taken to protest rights violations? On what basis has the denial of rights to particular groups been justified?
The answers to these questions have differed internationally and over time. This course will focus on slavery and forced labour; colonisation; gender disparities and sexual minorities; environmental disasters and degradation; religious oppression; genocide; asylum seeking; the right to die; prisoners’ rights; and political persecution.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Identify the key moments and international instruments in the establishment of the contemporary human rights regime.
- Critically analyse the key issues and debates around the emergence of ideas concerning 'rights' and the specific development of the contested concept of 'human rights'.
- Interpret historical representations of human rights.
- Undertake original research to apply key course concepts.
- Critically analyse the concepts raised in lectures and identify them in the assigned readings.
Tutorial participation (10%) (LO 1,2,3,5)
Primary Document Exercise (1,000 words) (15%) (LO 1,2,3)
Case Study Research Essay (2,500 words) (35%) (LO 1,2,3,4)
Examination 40% (LO 1,2,3,4)
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3 contact hours per week (mixed lecture/tutorial/workshop format) for 13 weeks. Students will be expected to spend an average of seven hours per week outside these contact hours to prepare for tutorials, research and write the essays (total 130 hours).
Requisite and Incompatibility
- Micheline Ishay, The History of Human Rights: from ancient times to the globalization era, University of California Press, 2008.
- Aryer Neier, The International Human Rights Movement: A History, Princeton University Press, 2013.
- Roland Burke, Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.
- Lynn Hunt, “The Paradoxical Origins of Human Rights,” in Wasserstrom, Grandin, Hunt, & Young (eds), Human Rights and Revolutions, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007, pp. 3-15.
- John Locke, excerpt from “The Second Treatise of Government,” in Patrick Hayden (ed), The Philosophy of Human Rights: Readings in Context', Paragon House, 2001, pp. 71-79.
- Michael Zuckert, “Natural Rights in the American Revolution: The American Amalgam,” in Human Rights and Revolutions, pp. 65-82.
- David Zaret, “Tradition, Human Rights, and the English Revolution” in Human Rights and Revolutions, pp. 47-63.
Assumed KnowledgeThe course does not assume any prior knowledge of human rights.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3577||20 Feb 2017||27 Feb 2017||31 Mar 2017||26 May 2017||In Person||N/A|