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Harri Englund: "The Intimacy of Rights" -

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Harri Englund: “The Intimacy of Rights”

April 15, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


“The Intimacy of Rights”
Harri Englund, Professor of Anthropology, Director of the African Studies Centre, Cambridge University
April 15, 5pm
University Room, Hyde Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
About the talk:
Gender and sexuality have long been subject to legal, moral, spiritual, and political interventions in Africa. It is an empirical question to what extent current discourses of rights effect a break with past interventions. At any rate, what appears to define the present moment is the proliferation of campaigns seeking to either assert or oppose a broader set of possibilities in gender and sexual relationships. The extension of human rights concepts into ever more intimate spheres of life seems a corollary of these trends. This keynote suggests that the social and historical analysis of these trends might benefit from a closer look at how changing intimacies index changing publicness. Popular mass media – especially vernacular radio – is compared with legal arenas to develop a perspective that foregrounds the making of new publics in controversies over gender and sexuality in Africa.
About Harri Englund:
Harri Englund’s research addresses liberalism, democracy, human rights, moral obligation, freedom, and equality. His current interests include free speech and the quality of public deliberation in the context of mass and social media.
Englund is the author of numerous articles and books, including: A Democracy of Chameleons: Politics and Culture in the New Malawi (2002); Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor (2006); and most recently, Human Rights and African Airwaves: Mediating Equality on the Chichewa Radio (2011).
This event, in conjunction with the symposium “Legislating Sexuality and Gender in Africa: Rights, Society, and the State in Interdisciplinary Perspective” is organized by Lydia Boyd, Assistant Professor, African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies (AAAD), and Emily Burrill, Associate Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Director, African Studies Center, UNC-Chapel Hill.
The symposium and the keynote are supported by the following sponsors: UNC College of Arts and Sciences, The Provost’s Committee on LGBTQ Life, Institute for Arts and Humanities, the Center for Global Initiatives, the African Studies Center, the AAAD Department, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, The History Department, The Anthropology Department, and the Program in Sexuality Studies.
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