By Professor Pamela L. Geller, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 24:188-219, 2018.
Professor Kimberly Theidon
T/TH 11:05-12:20, C205
Office hours held in Cabot 508
Or by appointment if needed
“Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts.”
— Primo Levi, survivor of Auschwitz
In the aftermath of political violence and the massive violation of human rights, how do individuals, communities and societies come to terms with these atrocities and reconstruct social relationships and sociability? How do people live together again after suffering and inflicting lethal violence? In the context of state-sponsored terror, how do successor regimes make a break with the past, establish a new set of social norms, and work toward the administration of justice, redress and reconciliation
In this course we analyze the relationship between memory and social reconciliation, and the role that theories of truth, justice and redress play in this equation. We begin with WWII, or more precisely its aftermath. WWII was a point of historical disjuncture: From the Nazi atrocities and the subsequent trials at Nuremberg and Tokyo emerged a series of conventions and covenants establishing human rights as a set of international laws, institutions, and norms.
We trace the expansion of, and challenges to, the regime of human rights and international law by focusing on case studies that allow us to analyze war crimes tribunals, truth commissions, the burgeoning field of transitional justice, and local level forms of assessing guilt and administering justice. Each class session will begin with the professor situating the assigned readings within the relevant debates and historical context. .
Our case studies this year include Rwanda, South Africa, Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru. Course readings draw upon critical legal studies, political science, history, anthropology — complemented with human rights documents, truth commission reports, novels and films — in an attempt to understand how atrocities begin and how they may end. We will consider how genocides continued to occur throughout the 20th century — and into the 21st — during an époque characterized by the call for “Never Again” (Nunca Más). Finally, once the fighting subsides, what can and should be done with the victims, the perpetrators, and that sizeable segment of the population that may blur the dichotomy?
*Develop familiarity with the history and practice of human rights and transitional justice mechanisms
*Develop knowledge of human rights and transitional justice standards and their application;
*Develop familiarity with regional and international human rights and transitional justice actors and institutions;
*Deepen understanding of different disciplinary, theoretical and methodological approaches to conflict and post-conflict issues, including social repair;
*Through the use of case studies, evaluate transitional justice efforts and their consequences;
*Improve research, writing skills and critical thinking skills via written assignments and in- class presentations
I woke up to a message from a colleague, asking for advice and expressing her outrage. She recently learned that a former student, who had studied for her Masters Degree under my colleague’s supervision, has been driven out of her PhD program due to a sexually harassing professor. What to do? I offered the standard package of advice, knowing this young woman will most likely go quietly for fear of retaliation and career-ending retribution if she reports this professor. All of which leads me to consider #TheMissingWomen. From the actresses who left the film industry due to Harvey Weinstein; the musicians/composers/singers run out and ruined by Russell Simmons; the hostesses/servers/sous-chefs who gritted their teeth and let their pot of rage simmer on low; the hotel maids who escaped groping guests; to the young women who leave academia to avoid sexually harassing professors whose power over them makes or breaks careers — how can we begin to measure the missing women who leave their careers of choice (or necessity) because they have been ground down, groped, sexually harassed and driven out? This is about sexual assault and harassment, to be sure. It is about the violation of bodily integrity and personal dignity, with equal certainty. It is also about the loss of employment, career aspirations, dreams and economic security. How can we begin to measure the economic fallout for #TheMissingWomen?
Thank you to my wonderful students past and present. I took the awards ceremony as an opportunity to address professorial sexual harassment and the pervasive silence within academia with regards to this issue. I suggested that in addition to the more obvious elements of mentoring, we should add the fight for an educational environment in which all of our students can study without the pressure of sexually harassing professors. That is mentoring too!
Some friends of mine, Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, who are a two time Oscar nominated and multiple Emmy winning investigative documentary film team are working on a new film on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Entertainment Industry.
They are interested in connecting with persons who might have stories to share – either of their own first hand experiences, or, of any knowledge about the experiences or actions, of others.
All conversations would be completely confidential and 100% off the record.
This is the same team who did the film The Invisible War which aired on PBS, broke the story of the epidemic of rape in our military, and led to the passing of 35 pieces of legislation and significant changes in military policy; as well as more recently, the film The Hunting Ground, about campus sexual assaults, which aired on CNN, and led to changes in school policies throughout our country.
They are looking to make another searing exposé – this time about abuse in Hollywood – that chronicles the cultural transformation we are currently fortunate enough to be witnessing and gives a platform to voices that have been too long threatened, silenced, and ignored.
I respect and admire their work tremendously, trust them implicitly, and know this issue will be handled in their film with great sensitivity, compassion, intelligence and rigor.
If you have any type of information that you think might be of interest to them, feel free to write them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free as well to help their efforts by forwarding this email or posting it on Facebook.
PS. – Here is some recent press about their project:
The Hollywood Reporter: http://bit.ly/2zGnq3D
Vanity Fair: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/10/the-hunting-ground-documentary-hollywood-sexual-abuse-weinstein
USA Today: https://usat.ly/2zzIR6p
Posted by kimberlytheidon | Filed under Announcements, Title IX Issues and Updates on My Lawsuit Against Harvard