November 2020 marked the beginnings of international encounters and research discussion within the brand-new consortium on Human Rights. Organized by the directors, Profs. Sebastian Wogenstein and Katharina von Hammerstein, it brought together scholars from many different arenas.
From the UCONN Today article:
“The idea is to build an intellectual community where we can work together,” says Wogenstein. “Now we are creating synergy by pulling them all together.”
He adds that the faculty working groups are focused on specific areas of research, with the initial conference addressing human rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, toxic speech, and Holocaust and genocide education. Moving forward, HRRC research will examine pressing human rights issues such as violence and racism, the demand for affordable health care, questions over data security, and calls for addressing climate change.
Von Hammerstein says the wide range of human rights scholarship, which crosses disciplines and encourages collaboration, is a key aspect of the HRRC.
“The international, inter-state, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional aspects are really the beauty of this consortium,” she says. “There is space for mutual stimulation and inspiration across disciplinary, national and cultural lines because we discuss human rights differently from different academic traditions. For example, the worldwide refugee crises are viewed differently in Europe than they are here. Interdisciplinarity is at the core of this consortium.”