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Study Group

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Human Rights & Social Movements Study Group
Overview & Session List

The Human Rights and Social Movements Program sponsors a regular Study Group during the academic year. The aim of the Study Group will be to explore—both in theory and practice—the relationship between social movements and human rights.


Carr Center Conference Room, 219 Rubenstein,
alternate Fridays from 3:30 - 5:00pm

The Study Group is open to the public, and students are especially encouraged to participate. Specific topics will change from week to week, and short readings may be circulated in advance via the Center and Program web sites.


Dr. Timothy Patrick McCarthy
Core Faculty and Director, Human Rights and Social Movements Program
Elliott Prasse-Freeman, MPA-ID '11 and Sarah Bouchat MPP '11
Research Associates, Human Rights and Social Movements Program

For more information, please contact

Spring 2011 Schedule

The HR&SM Study Group will not meet during the spring 2011 semester.

Fall 2010 Schedule

Fall 2010 Study Group
Theme: “Making Sense of Social Movements”

Friday, September 10, 3:30-5pm
Movements, Moments, and Mobilizations: What's the Difference?

Discussion of two case studies—environmentalism and the Iraq war protests—to illuminate different approaches to social change.

More Details >

Friday, September 24, 3:30-5pm
Motivations: Why Do People Become Activists?

Discussion of the motivations that inspire people to join a cause or movement.

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Friday, October 8, 3:30-5pm
Coalitions: Is “Common” Ground Necessary?

Discussion of the “problem” of building coalitions across identities and issues.

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Friday, October 22, 3:30-5pm
Aspirations: How Do Movements Imagine “Success”?

Discussion of how “pragmatic” and “radical” thinking influence movement activists. Moderated by Sarah Bouchat, Research Associate, Human Rights and Social Movements Program.

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Friday, Nov. 5, 3:30-5pm
Means and Ends, Part I: Is Peace Possible in a World at War?

Discussion of the late Howard Zinn's selected writings on war and peace with Charlie Clements, Executive Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Moderated by Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Director, Human Rights and Social Movements Program.

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Friday, November 19, 3:30-5pm
Means and Ends, Part II: What is the Role of Violence in Social Change?

Discussion of the meanings and practices of violence with Sayres Rudy, Visiting Professor of Politics, Hampshire College. Moderated by Elliott Prasse-Freeman, Research Associate, Human Rights and Social Movements Program.

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Friday, Dec. 10, 3:30-5pm   Note date change!! (Originally scheduled for Dec. 3)
Location: RG-20 (Rubenstein, floor 1)   Note venue change!!
The Arc of Justice: Is “Human Rights” a Social Movement?

Discussion of the “human rights” project from a social movements perspective.

More Details >

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