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[Séminaire SFPJ] Human Rights, Freedom and Excluded Epistemologies


Le 17 octobre 2019 de 12h30 à 14h15, l'Ecole de droit de Sciences Po Paris, en collaboration avec la SFPJ, reçoit Ratna Kapur (Queen Mary University) pour un séminaire intitulé Human Rights, Freedom and Excluded Epistemologies. Elle y reviendra notamment sur des questions abordées dans son ouvrage Gender, Alterity and Human Rights: Freedom in a Fishbowl (Elgar, 2018).

Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez (Université Paris-Nanterre) sera discutante.

Ce séminaire aura lieu à l'Ecole de droit de Sciences Po (13, rue de l'Université 75007 Paris), dans la Salle 11.

Inscription obligatoire auprès de ecole.droit@sciencespo.fr avant le mercredi 16 octobre 2019.

Attention ! Il vous sera demandé à l’entrée du bâtiment de montrer votre carte d’enseignant si vous appartenez à la communauté de Sciences Po, dans le cas contraire une pièce d’identité pourra vous être demandée.

Résumé du séminaire:

Human Rights, Freedom and Excluded Epistemologies

The talk draws on my very recently released book, Gender, Alterity and Human Rights: Freedom in a Fishbowl (Edward Elgar 2018). In the book, I interrogate the claim that human rights produce freedom and draw attention to how they have been deployed to advance political and cultural intents rather than bringing about freedom for disenfranchised groups, focussing on gender, sexual and religious minorities. Campaigns for same-sex marriage, ending violence against women and the Islamic veil bans in Europe, demonstrate how such interventions have at times advanced neo-liberal agendas, new forms of imperialism and enabled a carceral politics rather than producing freedom for its constituencies.

In my talk I draw attention to how human rights emerge as a project of containment and as incapable of producing meaningful freedom. The analysis requires a turn away from liberal freedom on which human rights are based, and a turn towards non-liberal registers of freedom. These alternative epistemologies have often been excluded or suppressed. I provide examples of the possibilities of non-liberal freedom by offering reflections on Saba Mahmood's work on the Islamic veil, Foucault’s turn to political spirituality and the revolutionary potential of Shia Islam, and Eve Sedgwick’s engagement with Mahayana Buddhist epistemology. I will conclude with remarks on the relevance and significance of non-liberal understandings of freedom to the futurity of human rights.


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