History | Human Rights in History
G400 | 26667 | Muehlhahn


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
Above class meets with HIST-W400

The belief that everyone, by virtue of her or his humanity, is
entitled to certain human rights is fairly new. Its roots, however,
lie in earlier tradition and documents of many cultures; it took the
catalyst of global events like World War II to propel human rights
onto the world stage and into the global conscience. As the human
rights idea spread and virtually engulfed the world, it became an
integral part of the phenomenon of globalization. The course will
illustrate how the history of human rights has evolved from one era
to the next through texts, cultural traditions, and creative
expression. As we explore these questions, we will read and discuss
key documents—writings, speeches, and political statements—from
activists, writers, and thinkers throughout modern history. This
class is meant to appeal to upper-division students in History (or
other departments) as well as students in East Asian Studies.
This is an undergraduate seminar. Requirements include two shorter
writing assignments (bibliography, book review), one oral
presentation and one longer paper.

Textbooks
Micheline Ishay: "The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to
the Globalization Era," Berkeley: University of California Press 2nd
edition (Paperback) 978-0520256415

Lynn Hunt: "Inventing Human Rights: A History" (Paperback) New York:
W. W. Norton (April 21, 2008) 978-0393331998