Global Education

Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights

 

Monday, February 4, 2019
7:00 pm
Myer Horowitz Theatre (8900 114 Street NW)

RSVP to attend

“Is the War on Muslims a War on Rights?” with Professor Lila Abu-Lughod

Greetings from Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

Over the past two decades, military invasions in the name of defending Muslim women’s rights and proliferating security measures for surveillance and management of Muslims in the name of protecting human life have confronted those who value the ideals of human rights with troubling questions.  How should we think about competing forms of rights? What are the motives for targeting Muslim communities abroad and at home? What are the human consequences of war and securitization? As an anthropologist who has worked for decades on the social and political life of Muslim women’s rights, I am worried about how a genuine concern with women’s rights could have produced violations of some communities’ human rights and wonder if there is a way forward, and away from the acts of violence that hurt us all.

About Lila Abu-Lughod

Abu Lughod at the Visiting Lectureship in Human RightsLila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University where she teaches anthropology and gender studies. A leading voice in the debates about culture, gender, Islam, and global feminist politics, her award-winning books and articles have been translated into 14 languages. The books include Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society; Writing Women’s Worlds; Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt; and Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory. Her most recent book, published by Harvard University Press in 2013, is titled Do Muslim Women Need Saving?  Abu-Lughod’s scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long-term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the power of cultural forms, from poetry to television soap operas; the politics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and the question of liberalism and global projects of human and women’s rights. 

  • Learn More
    Abu-Lughod’s scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long-term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the power of cultural forms, from poetry to television soap operas; the politics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and the question of liberalism and global projects of human and women’s rights. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Carnegie Scholar, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her research has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She taught at Williams, Princeton, and New York University before moving to Columbia University in 2000 where she has since directed the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality; the Middle East Institute; and the Center for the Study of Social Difference. She is on the board of the new Palestinian Museum in Birzeit and is currently working on a collaborative international project for Women Creating Change and supported by the Henry Luce Foundation on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence.”

About the Lectureship

The University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights is envisioned as one of the preeminent annual events held at the University.

Individuals or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution in the field of human rights and human rights protection are invited to deliver a major public lecture in Edmonton. They also participate in other significant events at the University of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta during their visit.

The first Lectureship, held in the fall of 1998, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. 

The University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights aims to: 

  • Offer the people of the Province of Alberta a significant and educational way of annually celebrating the commitments we undertook as signatories of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights.
  • Support and nurture Albertans' continuing interest and illustrious involvement with human rights at home and abroad.
  • Demonstrate the University of Alberta's commitment to helping students and Albertans understand complex human rights issues. This is especially important as the University and its graduates pursue economic, social and political alliances with peoples around the world. In creating these linkages, it is important that we are aware of and sensitive to situations involving the exploitation of others.
  • Serve as an annual reminder to the people of Alberta of the need to protect human rights within our own province.
  • Continue the University of Alberta's tradition of providing a safe environment to discuss controversial and difficult subjects and by doing so, provide students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to learn, question and participate in events shaping the world in which we live.

The University of Alberta invites you to submit nominations for individuals or organizations who would make outstanding lecturers.

We gratefully acknowledge the hard work of the donors and volunteers who help make the Lectureship a success.