A Signature Education Initiative of Duke University

Rights & Identities in the Americas: Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and Contemporary Challenges

Rights & Identities

Fall 2019

Rights & Identities in the Americas: Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and Contemporary Challenges

Exploring human rights principles within the context of migration and identity. 

The Americas are a historic crucible for the development of human rights principles. The region has witnessed devastating  abuses; it has also given rise to compelling ideas about protection of rights, including the rights of indigenous communities, women and families.

Rights & Identities in the Americas takes an interdisciplinary, integrated look at the history of human rights in the Americas, indigenous rights through the lens of language and culture, and connections between the state, family, gender and immigration. The program examines these issues on the ground in Durham and Mexico, where Dr. Liliana Paredes is conducting on-going research.  Students  meet with and interview indigenous immigrant families who have settled in Durham, then visit the “feeder towns” in Mexico where these families  came from and still maintain close ties. This paired focus will allow students to see rights questions “at home” while at the same time linking them to transnational issues and processes that are reshaping the relationship between North and South America.

Rights & Identities in the Americas draws on the expertise of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the Duke Human Rights Archive in the Rubenstein Library and the Duke Human Rights Center @the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read the reflections of Spring 2016 students, as they studied indigenous rights, immigration policy and globalism with a peer cohort from la Universidad de las Americas Puebla (Mexico).

Prerequisites: Writing 101

Application: Applications are no longer being accepted. Applications for the next program will post Spring 2019; contact Robin Kirk (rights@duke.edu) for more information. 

Course fee: $1,000; Duke provides additional grant aid to cover the cost of any course fee for all students receiving financial aid. The course fee is in addition to tuition, room and board. Contact Duke's Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support (finaid@duke.edu) for more information.

Lead Faculty

Robin Kirk
Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center @ the Franklin Humanities Institute; Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and International Comparative Studies
Liliana Paredes
Professor of the Practice, Romance Studies
Sarah Deutsch
Professor of History and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
Melissa A. Simmermeyer
Senior Lecturer of Romance Studies

Contact Robin Kirk (rights@duke.edu) or Emily Stewart (emily.stewart@duke.edu) to learn more.


Number Title Crosslistings Notes
CULANTH 245S-01 SEM Human Rights in the Americas CCI, CZ, W LATAMER 246S-01 SEM, HISTORY 242S-01 SEM Fall 2019
HISTORY 389S-01 SEM Family Rights/Human Rights CCI, CZ, EI, SS PUBPOL 346S-01 SEM Fall 2019
HISTORY 390S-01 SEM Special Topics: Research in Human Rights CCI, CZ, R, W Fall 2019
ROMST 389S-01 SEM Linguistic Human Rights in the Americas CCI, EI, SS LINGUIST 389S-01 SEM Fall 2019