Summer School ‘Constructing Human Rights Narratives’

[Image: © Sarah Hartwig – One for all, all for one!, celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.]

Groningen | 12-17 July 2020

We are talking about human rights in so many voices using so many intonations and acting in so many roles. A lawyer, a journalist, a character from the novel you read today’s morning, your neighbour complaining about a low salary—all of them are participating in shaping human rights narratives. How do all these narratives contribute to the human rights functioning? And do we have any shared language to talk about human rights?

Our summer school offers you an opportunity to discuss these issues by looking at different aspects of human rights narration. Narratives are a powerful tool for organising and making sense of human experience which we can use for both strengthening and weakening human rights ideas. What are the ways of using this tool? What does the law have to offer in this sense? After all, it is the law that makes strong claims for being the main creator of human rights narratives. And can other cultural representations of human rights unpack and analyse limitations of the law?

Within the summer school we will look at the narrative not only as at an instrument for shaping our experience, but also as an instrument for self-reflection, as a revealing mirror. By examination of the already existing narrative structures we can comprehend better our rooted way of thinking, our biases and limits.

Our speakers, who are specialists in literary studies, narrative studies, human rights, Law and Literature studies, criminal law and criminology, will bring you through different topics such as:

  • Human rights in Law and Narrative studies
  • Narrative as a tool of empowerment: vulnerable people’s cases
  • The ECtHR narrative about freedom of expression and boundaries of literature
  • Human rights: a contemporary straitjacket for humour and satire?
  • Human rights and literary genres: the interwoven stories of social changes
  • Human rights in films: narration without the narrator?

The programme of the summer school is intended for students, researchers, and practitioners in literature, law, arts, and human rights. We invite you to join us in the beautiful northern city to breath in a bit of a fresh air in the middle of a hot summer and spend a week by exploring stories of human rights and marvelous places of our city.

Please click here for more information