Summer Sessions | Courses | Human Rights

Human Rights

Established in 1978, the ISHR at Columbia University is committed to providing excellent human rights education to Columbia students, fostering innovative interdisciplinary academic research, and offering its expertise in capacity building to human rights leaders, organizations, and universities around the world. Courses include active engagement with the world of human rights practitioners, and emphasize the connection between the study and practice of human rights.

Courses can be taken independently or as part of a four-course Certification of Professional Achievement in Human Rights.

Check the Directory of Classes for the most up-to-date course information.

Summer 2021 Session Information

  • SESSION A courses are May 3–June 18, 2021
  • SESSION B courses are June 28–August 16, 2021
Courses
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INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN RIGHTS
HRTS4020S001 3 points.

This course will provide a wide-ranging survey of conceptual foundations and issues in contemporary human rights. The class will examine the philosophical origins of human rights, contemporary debates, the evolution of human rights, key human rights documents, and the questions of human rights enforcement. This course will examine specific civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and various thematic topics in human rights.

Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS4020S001 001/11067 Summer B Subterm We 10:00 AM–01:00 PM
Mo 10:00 AM–01:00 PM

Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Sandra Sirota
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
HUM RIGHTS/GLOBAL ECON JUSTICE
HRTS4185S001 3 points.
The world economy is a patchwork of competing and complementary interests among and between governments, corporations, and civil society. These stakeholders at times cooperate and also conflict over issues of global poverty, inequality, and sustainability. What role do human rights play in coordinating the different interests that drive global economic governance? This seminar will introduce students to different structures of global governance for development, trade, labor, finance, the environment, migration, and intellectual property and investigate their relationship with human rights. Students will learn about public, private, and mixed forms of governance, analyze the ethical and strategic perspectives of the various stakeholders and relate them to existing human rights norms. The course will examine the work of multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the International Financial Institutions, as well as international corporate and non-governmental initiatives.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS4185S001 001/11069 Summer B Subterm Tu 05:30 PM–08:40 PM
Th 05:30 PM–08:40 PM

Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Rainer Braun
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
Hybrid
NGOS&THE HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT
HRTS4215S001 3 points.
The human rights movement is one of the most successful social justice movements of our time, establishing universal principles that govern how states should treat citizens and non-citizens. The movement strengthens, and is strengthened by, a complex web of institutions, laws, and norms that constitute a functioning global system that builds on itself progressively, animated by strong NGOs. The course will address the evolution of the international human rights movement and on the NGOs that drive the movement on the international, regional and domestic levels. Sessions will highlight the experiences of major human rights NGOs and will address topics including strategy development, institutional representation, research methodologies, partnerships, networks, venues of engagement, campaigning, fundraising and, perhaps most importantly, the fraught and complex debates about adaptation to changing global circumstances.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS4215S001 001/11065 Summer A Subterm Mo 05:30 PM–08:40 PM
We 05:30 PM–08:40 PM

Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Louis Bickford
3 Closed for Online Registration Hybrid
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
HRTS4220S001 3 points.
This course introduces the fundamental concepts and problems of international human rights law. What are the origins of modern human rights law? What is the substance of this law, who is obligated by it, and how is it enforced? The course will cover the major international human rights treaties and mechanisms and consider some of today's most significant human rights issues and controversies. While the topics are necessarily law-related, the course will assume no prior exposure to legal studies.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS4220S001 001/11066 Summer B Subterm Mo 01:00 PM–04:10 PM
We 01:00 PM–04:10 PM

Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Belinda Cooper
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
US IMMIGRATION:RGHTS,FRAMING,
HRTS4250S001 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS4250S001 001/11068 Summer B Subterm Th 01:00 PM–04:10 PM
Tu 01:00 PM–04:10 PM

Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Ted Perlmutter
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
Facing the Violent Past: Prevention and Repair
HRTS4750W001 3 points.

How do societies emerging from violence rebuild, and what mechanisms do they employ to punish past perpetrators, to come to terms with difficult pasts, to acknowledge the suffering of victims, and to try to nurture democratic processes that will prevent future violence? This course examines the ways in which societies have addressed the questions of accountability and the challenge of “dealing with the past” in the aftermath of political transition and violent conflict that have marked the last half century. In particular, we will examine the discourse around “historical wrongs,” and attempts—international, national, local—to address such wrongs. The historical context for this exploration is the development, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, of principles, norms and institutions regarding responsibility to memory, universal human rights, and the idea that genocide can and should be prevented. This course will thus begin with an exploration of the Holocaust in memory and history, and an exploration of the post-World War II period as a watershed moment in the development of a discourse around historical justice and the intersection of history, memory and trauma.

The establishment of a new framework for a discourse around history and “dealing with the past” requires an investigation of what it means for a state or a community to take responsibility for its actions, and what repair and prevention look like in post-conflict societies. Much of the course will be devoted to the examination of a series of case studies that coming from the Holocaust, World War II, the fall of communism, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, and the Civil Rights movement in the United States. The question of how societies can address historical wrongs is a question that ultimately requires us to consider the relationship between history, memory, trauma and justice. Why does the past matter? Does the pursuit of justice limit, or compromise, the work that historians are expected to do? What new ways of thinking about history have emerged in the period we are examining (we can think about testimony, museums, sites, literature to name just a few)? In exploring these questions, this course seeks to understand what is necessary for societies to deal with violent pasts, and the success and limitations that the discourse and practice of historical justice suggests when it comes to questions of prevention and repair.

Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS4750W001 001/11274 Summer A Subterm Th 05:30 PM–08:40 PM
Tu 05:30 PM–08:40 PM

Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Ariella Lang
Karen Murphy
3 Closed for Online Registration On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G001 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G001 001/13426 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Daniela Ikawa
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G002 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G002 002/13427 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
J.C. Salyer
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G003 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G003 003/13428 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Julie Rajan
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G005 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G005 005/13430 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Louis Bickford
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G006 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G006 006/13431 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Nara Milanich
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G007 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G007 007/13432 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Paisley Currah
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only
SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
HRTS9990G008 3 points.
Course Number Section/Call Number Session Times/Location
HRTS9990G008 008/13433 Full Trm Crs
Instructor Points Enrollment Method of Instruction
Tracey Holland
3 Registration Block
(w/ Self-Managed Wait List)
On-Line Only