Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights: History, Politics, Practice is an edited collection that brings together analyses of human rights work from multiple disciplines. Within the academic sphere, this book will garner interest from scholars who are invested in human rights as a field of study, as well as those who research, and are engaged in, the praxis of human rights.

Referring to the historical and cross-cultural study of human rights, the volume engages with disciplinary debates in political philosophy, gender and women’s studies, Global South/Third World studies, international relations, psychology, and anthropology. At the same time, the authors employ diverse methodologies including oral history, theoretical and discourse analysis, ethnography, and literary and cinema studies. Within the field of human rights studies, this book attends to the critical academic gap on interdisciplinary and praxis-based approaches to the field, as opposed to a predominantly legalistic focus, drawing from case studies from a wide range of contexts in the Global South, including Bangladesh, Colombia, Haiti, India, Mexico, Palestine, and Sudan, as well as from Australia and the United States in the Global North.

For students who will go on to become researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and activists, this collection of essays will demonstrate the multifaceted landscape of human rights and the multiple forces (philosophical, political, cultural, economic, historical) that affect it.

chapter |16 pages


ByRajini Srikanth, Elora Halim Chowdhury

part I|2 pages

Human rights discourse: context and history

chapter 1|15 pages

Imaginary and real strangers

19Constructing and reconstructing the human in human rights discourse and instruments
ByMickaella Perina

chapter 2|16 pages

Rise of the global human rights regime

Challenging power with humanity
ByDarren Kew, Malcolm Russell-Einhorn, Adriana Rincón Villegas

chapter 3|15 pages

Between nothingness and infinity

Settlement and anti-blackness as the overdetermination of human rights
ByAndrés Fabián Henao Castro

chapter 5|19 pages

Women, gender, and human rights

ByNada Mustafa Ali

chapter 6|13 pages

The United States–Mexico border and human rights

ByLuis F. Jiménez

chapter 7|18 pages

Unintended consequences in the postcolonies

When struggling South Africans experience rights discourse as disempowering
BySindiso Mnisi Weeks

part II|2 pages

Critical areas in human rights

chapter 8|17 pages

The mysterious disappearance of human rights in the 2030 Development Agenda

ByGillian MacNaughton

chapter 10|15 pages

Global LGBTQ politics and human rights

ByJamie J. Hagen

chapter 11|16 pages

Refugee camps and the (educational) rights of the child

ByRajini Srikanth

chapter 12|17 pages

Persistent voices

A history of indigenous people and human rights in Australia, 1950s–2000s
ByMaria John

part III|2 pages

Praxis and human rights

chapter 13|13 pages

So, you want to work in human rights?

ByJean-Philippe Belleau

chapter 14|15 pages

Migrant workers in the Gulf

Theoretical and human rights dilemmas
ByAmani El Jack

chapter 15|18 pages

Ethical reckoning

Theorizing gender, vulnerability, and agency in Bangladeshi Muktijuddho film
ByElora Halim Chowdhury

chapter 16|24 pages

Right now in no place with strangers

Eudora Welty’s queer love
ByAvak Hasratian

chapter 17|12 pages

On the human right to peace in times of contemporary colonial power

ByAdriana Rincón Villegas

chapter 18|15 pages

Beyond dignity

A case study of the mis/use of human rights discourse in development campaigns
ByChris Bobel

chapter 19|19 pages

Teaching health and human rights in a psychology capstone

Cultivating connections between rights, personal wellness, and social justice
ByEster Shapiro, Fernando Andino Valdez, Yasmin Bailey, Grace Furtado, Diana Lamothe, Kosar Mohammad, Mardia Pierre, Nick Wood

chapter |4 pages


Human rights at a public urban university: the case of the University of Massachusetts Boston
ByBryan Gangemi, Rita Arditti