Mellon Human Rights Program

State and Non-State Violence Cluster


Alexandra Huneeus (co-chair)
Scott Straus (co-chair)
Aili Tripp
Francine Hirsch
Mark Sidel
Richard Monette
Jo Ellen Fair


October 9, 2013
“Enforcing the Law by Breaching the Law? Responding to the Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria," public forum, Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 6:00pm, Lubar Commons (7200 Law), speaker: Professor Thilo Marauhn (Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany), with comments by Professor Scott Straus (Political Science) & Associate Dean Kevin Kelly (Law) and chaired by Professor Alexandra Huneeus (Law)

The use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict has been confirmed by the United Nations. Even before, there has been a debate about some U.S. military response even in the absence of a Security Council authorization. The presentation will take up the prohibition of the use of force, will look into the intricacies of the Syrian civil war, and discuss options to lawfully respond in light of a split international community.

October 25, 2013
"Memory’s Turn: Culture and Transitional Justice in Brazil" by Rebecca Atencio, October 25, 2013, 4:00pm, 260 Bascom Hall, Brazil Initiative Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Tulane University.

In May 2012, Brazil inaugurated a national truth commission to investigate cases of political torture, murder, and disappearance that occurred during the period of military dictatorship (1964-1985). The national truth commission and two ongoing federal reparations programs are the most visible examples of how Brazil has been making a turn to memory, yet state policy is far from the only way that a society attempts to reckon with an authoritarian past. Another is through cultural production. This talk proposes a theory about how cultural works interact with state policies related to human rights memory in Brazil and presents an argument for why analyses of such state policies need to take cultural production into account.

November 7, 2013
Lecture/discussion by Zainab Bangura, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and former health minister in Sierra Leone, Noon-1:00pm, Lubar Commons (7200 Law), details pending

April 3-4, 2014
Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Military Coup in Brazil,
Pyle Conference Center. The symposium will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 military coup that was followed by a 21-year-long authoritarian regime that relied on suppression of civil and political rights, censorship, and torture and disappearances, among other tactics and practices that seriously infringed upon human rights in Brazil. Sponsored by the Brazil Initiative of the Division of International Studies, the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program (LACIS), and the Latin American History Program of the History Department, the Goldberg Fund (History) and Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago, GLS and the Human Rights Program

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