EVENT Mar 05
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The Representation of Human Rights in 21st-century Literature (NeMLA)

Event: NeMLA
Categories: Postcolonial, Digital Humanities, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, World Literatures, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2020-03-05 to 2020-03-08 Abstract Due: 2019-09-30

NeMLA‘s 51st Annual Conference, March 5-8, 2020, Boston 

Despite the major effects of the UN’s “Declaration of Human Rights” on the global environment, the writing of and the implementation of rights do not guarantee protection of those rights. Instead, the 21st century led to a growth of human rights violations across the world. To quote Joseph Slaughter: if it can be called the “age of human rights” it is also the “age of human rights violations” (6). This polarized perception has only led to a growth of works that overtly engage the reader/viewer/player with both of the notions of rights and how the violations affect the individual and the community, yet it is the imagining of rights which become an important component of social justice and, at times, can be more redemptive than the enforcement of law because it emphasizes what it means to be human. 

In addition, the growth of technology also gave way to a new way of imagining our rights both in function and form. This panel invites papers that engage with the imagining and interpretation of human rights in 21st-century literature, with a preference toward a multi-genre approach including digital literatures. Lastly, it also seeks papers that question the role of the human in the conception of rights: What does it mean to be human and what does it mean to be non-human?

Work Cited

Slaughter, Joseph R. Human Rights, Inc.: the World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law. Fordham Univ. Press, 2009.

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