Category Archives: Human Rights Archive

Kathryn Sikkink Reads from The Justice Cascade

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

Kathryn SikkinkKathryn Sikkink, recipient of this year’s Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)-Duke University Human Rights Book Award, will read from and discuss her award-winning book, The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics during tomorrow’s award presentation. A reception and book signing will follow.

Sikkink’s book examines what she calls “the justice cascade,” a very new development in world politics. “Only 30 years ago, it was virtually unheard of, almost unimaginable, for a national or international tribunal to hold state officials criminally accountable for human rights violations,” Sikkink notes.

Now, around the world, former government and security force officials accused of human rights crimes are facing prosecutions in unprecedented numbers. In Chile, for example, the number of court cases has sharply increased and now involve the highest ranks of the security forces. Prosecutions have also expanded beyond deaths and disappearances to torture and forced exile.

This year’s panel of judges called The Justice Cascade “compelling” and “eye-opening,” recognizing it for its important contribution to the field of human rights, Latin American studies and accountability.

For further information about the book and the award, visit the related Devil’s Tale blog post or the WOLA press release.

Sikkink is a Regents Professor and the McKnight Presidential Chair in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. She has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. Her publications include Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America; Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (co-authored with Margaret Keck and awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order and the ISA Chadwick Alger Award for Best Book in the area of International Organizations); and The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change (co-edited with Thomas Risse and Stephen Ropp).

Duke sponsors for the event include the Rubenstein Library’s Human Rights Archive, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Studies, and the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

“I Have No Right To Be Silent”

Date: October 3-December 18, 2011
Location: York Room, Duke University Divinity School (map and directions)
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

Marshall Meyer Exhibit“I have no right to be silent in the face of injustice!” Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer said in a sermon delivered at his alma mater, Dartmouth University, in 1991. “I cannot dare to hide in my garden when people scream in pain! Nor can you, whether you are conservative or liberal, rightist or leftist or centrist. . . . That’s one of the reasons to be an activist.”

An ordinary American whose extraordinary convictions, faith, and impetuous personality impelled him to become a leading human rights activist during Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983), Meyer (who passed away in 1993) left not only a legacy of faith and teachings to his students and congregations, but also a compelling model of how a person of faith can embrace activism as a central part of their religious life.

The exhibit consists of 12 stunning banners, each of which incorporates materials culled from Meyer’s personal papers, held by the Human Rights Archive at the Rubenstein Library, including intimate family photos, moving letters from prisoners, original artwork, internal government memos, and rare human rights publications.

The exhibit has been on display at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., as well as B’nai Jeshurun and the Jewish Theological Seminary, both in New York City—all places where Meyer studied or worked. Wherever the exhibit has traveled, it has inspired not only an admiration of Meyer’s work but also community dialogue about faith, activism, and human rights.

The exhibit text was prepared by Katharine French Fuller, a graduate student in Duke’s History Department, under the supervision of Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist. The design was executed by Pam Chastain and James Jarvis of Pam Chastain Design. The exhibit is funded by the generosity of an anonymous donor and is a joint project of the Human Rights Archive at the Rubenstein Library, the Duke Human Rights Center, and Duke’s Center for Jewish Studies.

An on-line version of the exhibit is also available.

Opening Celebration for “I Have No Right to Be Silent”

Date: Monday, October 3, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Goodson Chapel, Duke University Divinity School (map and directions)
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

The exhibit opening will include comments by Gabriel Meyer, social activist and Marshall Meyer’s son, as well as a performance of sacred Ladino music by the Jewish Chorale of the Triangle. Among the singers is Meyer’s nephew, Professor Eric Meyers, Bernice & Morton Lerner Professor of Center for Jewish Studies and Religion and the Director of the Center for Jewish Studies. A reception will follow outside the Goodson Chapel.

Rights! Camera! Action!: The Betrayal

Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Franklin Humanities Institute Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse (map)
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu, or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

The fourth season of the popular Rights! Camera! Action! film series begins with The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), winner of the Spectrum Award at the 2008 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Filmed over the course of 23 years,  this is the epic story of a Lao soldier family’s journey from war-torn Laos to the mean streets of New York. Thavisouk Phrasavath describes his own life as a young man struggling to survive a war and survive the hardships of immigrant life, counterpointed by his mother’s astonishing tale of perseverance. Renowned cinematographer Ellen Kuras’ directorial debut is a remarkable collaboration with Phrasavath—a poetic, cinematically-resonant film about the hidden, human face of war’s “collateral damage.”

A discussion with co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath will follow the film. The screening is co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Duke’s 2012 Winter Forum.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

The Farmer in the RBMSCL

Student Action with Farmworkers Protest FlyerWe’ve passed the summer equinox and farmer’s markets across the country are in full swing. Over the past few years Durham has become the center of a vibrant local food movement in North Carolina due to its proximity to rich agricultural lands.  But those lands also come with a long history of agricultural labor and struggle: from plantation economies that depended on slaves, to share croppers, to today’s immigrant labor camps.

As I browsed the Duke Farmers Market‘s selections of tomatoes, greens, squash, and other locally grown produce (mmm, golden beets!) I reflected on the Archive for Human Rights‘ own farm labor related collections: The Student Action with Farmworkers Records. SAF, as they are called, works to improve the working conditions for farmworkers across the Southeast, the laborers who are the backbone of our agricultural industries.  SAF documents and advocates for improved conditions for farmworkers and a more just agricultural system.  Part of their work includes labor organizing and activism.  These guys in the photos are among the protest ephemera in the SAF collection.

Student Action with Farmworkers Protest Signs

Post contributed by Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist.

Instruction is Sweet!

Bill Fick's "Art of the Comic Book and Zines" Class
Photo by Bill Fick.

85 classes! The RBMSCL had another packed semester of instruction, as our librarians welcomed a group of fledgling Walt Whitman scholars from North Carolina State University, two classes from the Trinity School, and even a local Girl Scout troop—in addition to scores of Duke undergraduate and graduate students. We couldn’t have been more pleased when a student from Bill Fick’s “Art of the Comic Book and Zines” class (pictured at right) observed, “this place is like a candy shop—only it’s free!”

Here’s a goodie grab bag of some of the classes we taught this past semester:

  • Architectural Theory from Antiquity to the Renaissance
  • Art of the Comic Book and Zines
  • Cannibalism to Anorexia:  Embodying Social Meaning (Writing 20)
  • Digital Durham
  • Documenting the South
  • The Family in Documentary Photography
  • From Huck Finn to Miley Cyrus: Children’s History Through Popular Culture (Writing 20)
  • History of Punk
  • Introduction to Contemporary Latin America
  • Introduction to Oral History
  • Language in Immigrant America
  • Legal Documents: Yesterday & Today (Writing 20)
  • Looking In, Looking Out: The Language of Photographic Texts (Writing 20)
  • Major Italian Authors
  • Maps, Exploration, and Empire
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Photographing South Africa
  • Play, Games, and Culture (Writing 20)
  • Reading the Qur’an
  • Religion and Politics
  • Russian Art and Politics
  • Staging Sexualities
  • Suburbs, Malls, Office Buildings
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany
  • Women as Leaders

Wondering if the RBMSCL could support your Fall 2011 course? Send us an e-mail at special-collections(at)duke.edu!

Daughters of the American Revolution

Date: Thursday, 3 March 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Richard White Lecture Hall
Contact Information: Laura Micham, 919-660-5828 or laura.m(at)duke.edu

Dorothy Q. ThomasDorothy Q. Thomas will speak about recovering  a legacy of progressive Americanism for contemporary women’s rights activists, drawing on her on-going research for a book that chronicles the lives of some of her female ancestors, including descendants of former presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams and mother of the American Revolution Dorothy Quincy Hancock. Thomas is currently a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She was previously a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and was founding director for the Human Rights Watch Women’s Division.

The lecture is cosponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the Duke Human Rights Center, Women’s Studies, the Program in the Study of Sexualities, and the Franklin Humanities Institute. Generous support was also provided by the Trent Foundation.

Opening Reception for “al margen”

Date: 24 Feburary 2011
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Frederic Jameson Gallery, Friedl Building
Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)duke.edu, or Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

Patagonia, Argentina, April 2010
Patagonia, Argentina, April 2010

Join photographer Petra Barth, the Archive of Documentary Arts, and the Archive for Human Rights for an opening reception celebrating “al margen.”

The reception will include a panel discussion on issues of poverty, marginalization, environmental degradation, and responses to disaster and crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. Panelists will include Dennis Clements, Erika Weinthal, and Sandy Smith-Nonini.

Following the discussion, Barth will lead a gallery tour.

“al margen” was organized by the Archive of Documentary Arts and the Archive for Human Rights. The exhibit is sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South, the Department of Cultural Anthropology, International Comparative Studies, and the Duke Human Rights Center.

From Protest to (PRODUCT)RED

From Protest to (PRODUCT) RED: Generational Shift in U.S. Human Rights Activism

Date: Thursday, 10 February 2011
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

WOLA Logo

The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies conference kicks off with a celebration of anniversaries: 30 years of human rights activism by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA); the 50th anniversary of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission; and the 100th anniversary of the Organization of American States.

Since WOLA’s founding in 1974, both the human rights community and the community of nongovernmental organizations working on Latin American issues have grown and evolved. Joe Eldridge, Alex Wilde, George Vickers, and Joy Olson—all current and former Executive Directors of WOLA—will discuss how the organization rethinks its position within these overlapping sectors to determine the best contribution it can bring to their collective work. The panel, moderated by Robin Kirk, Director of the Duke Human Rights Center, will explore how human rights challenges and the activism(s) that address them have changed and adapted to the shifting currents of national and international policy and history.

WOLA is the premier U.S.-based human rights organization working on Latin America. The Archive for Human Rights is the repository for the WOLA archives. Since 2008, WOLA and Duke University have co-sponsored the WOLA-Duke Book Award for the best non-fiction work on human rights and social justice in Latin America.

This event is presented by the Archive for Human Rights and co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center and the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Post contributed by Patrick Stawski, Human Rights Archivist.

“al margen: Photographs from Latin America and the Caribbean, 2004-2010”

Date: 17 January-1 May 2011
Location and Time: Special Collections Gallery during library hours and Frederic Jameson Gallery, Friedl Building
Contact Information: Karen Glynn, 919-660-5968 or karen.glynn(at)duke.edu, or Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at)duke.edu

al margen (“living on the margin”) is the result of seven years of photography by Petra Barth in fourteen countries of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. 70 gelatin silver prints are on display in two campus venues: 40 prints at the Frederic Jameson Gallery in Friedl Building on East Campus and 30 prints in the Special Collections Gallery.

Patagonia, Argentina, April 2010
Patagonia, Argentina, April 2010

Barth’s photography aims “to tell stories about the everyday lives of people living on the margin—their struggles and their dreams.” In her own words,

I use a spontaneous, intimate approach to photograph the daily life of individuals. I look for quiet, reflective moments when people are unaware of the camera and my presence, and genuine feeling is conveyed. Pieced together, these moments describe, with extraordinary clarity, the living conditions all across Latin America and the Caribbean, from Haiti’s streets to the suburbs of Nicaragua and El Salvador, and from the favelas of Rio to the victims of the recent tsunami in Concepcíon, Chile.

My photographs reveal moments that are not often depicted because they happen every day. My camera simultaneously captures the unusual in the ordinary and the ordinariness of the unusual. We often see images of devastated landscapes and human suffering in the wake of disastrous events, but that is only one part of life. What happens before, after, and in between these times? Despite struggle, there is also happiness and the ability to move on and create new narratives every day.

al margen is a candid photographic work that attempts to establish documentary photography as an art form as well as a method of communication. I would like to raise awareness about the living conditions of those who are marginalized, but I am also interested in people and the beauty of ordinary life.

Petra Barth’s photographs are part of the Archive of Documentary Arts.

al margen was organized by the Archive of Documentary Arts and the Archive for Human Rights. The exhibit is sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South, the Department of Cultural Anthropology, International Comparative Studies, and the Duke Human Rights Center.

Join us for an opening reception and panel discussion, as well as a gallery tour led by Petra Barth, on Thursday, Feburary 24th from 4:00-6:00 PM in the Frederic Jameson Gallery. Stay tuned to The Devil’s Tale for more details about this event!

Rights! Camera! Action! Spring 2011 Season

The third season of the popular Rights! Camera! Action! film series begins tomorrow evening with Citizen King, which traces the final five years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s life, starting with his momentous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

Citizen King

We’ll provide free drinks and popcorn, as well as a panel discussion following the film!

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials.

For more about Rights! Camera! Action!’s Spring 2011 season, as well as details about tomorrow’s screening, click below.

Continue reading Rights! Camera! Action! Spring 2011 Season