Hi Imre,

Public Diplomacy- Bottom up & outside in: Gender and Human Right
Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Ph.D
“To engage in dialogue is one of the simplest ways we can begin as teachers, scholars
and critical thinkers to cross boundaries”
(bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress, 130)
The course will challenge the dominance of a U.S.-centric and state-centered conceptions
of "public diplomacy" and its relation to gender and human right to better understand,
enhance activism and promote humane practices in world affairs in the age of Empire.
This course will examine the criminological and victimological aspects of gender and
human right violations (gender includes both men and women), while looking at the role
of public diplomacy in addressing gender and human rights in the age of Empire. It will
mix historical perspective while analyzing contemporary applications from around the
world, and will present students with theoretical, practical and human rights advocacy
methods and critical concepts to reflect on and deepen their knowledge on the subject
It presents and introduces theories and conceptions to understand the
intersectionality between gender, human right and public diplomacy. It is anticipated that
participants will deepen their knowledge about the relationship between politics, public
policy, citizenship, and preservation of human rights from a gender perspective while
focusing on the importance of acknowledging the role of public policy in acting upon the
criminological and victimological (including the traumatological) effect of violations of
human rights. In doing so, the course will stress the importance of the issue at hand
through various main emancipatory factors, educational, economic, legal, spatial, and
social activism. The course will address issues such as contextual analyses of hidden
violations, mapping and re-mapping marginalized social issues, analyzing advocacy and
strategic programs from around the world and promoting the development of contextually
sensitive messages, reports and media coverage in addition to exposing students public
diplomacy efforts, public outreach programs and mobilization plans, lobbying and
negotiations, advocacy, leadership, and coalition building.
A. The Beginning:
( This might take 2-3 meetings)
The complex, shifting contours of our globalizing world demand a broader-comparative, multi-track, and ethical--perspective on gender, human right and public
diplomacy. In doing so, the course will start by introducing new perspectives that
take into account gendered, classed and raced public diplomacy initiatives emanating
from various places throughout the world, mainly in conflict ridden areas. Such
perspectives will capture the significance of not only state-sponsored programs tightly
linked to foreign policy that are gender and race blind, but more private activities
involving a wide range of actors and arenas (i.e., NGOs, international business, media
old and new, pop culture) that perhaps more subtly but no less profoundly impact
national interests and world affairs.
Required readings:
Larson, J. (2004). The Internet and Foreign Policy. New York: Foreign Policy
Association, Headline Series.
Potter, E. (ED.) (2002). Cyber-diplomacy. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens
University Press.
Recommended Readings:
Nye J. (2004). Soft Power: The means to success in word politics. New York:
Public Affairs, Ch. 1
Gilboa, E. ( 2000). Media Coverage of International Negotiation: A Taxonomy of
Levels and effects. International Negotiation 5, 543-568.
B. Setting the Scene
(This might take 2-3 meetings)
“Isn't that the kind of teaching we need these days, that
circumstances can be the path to liberation. That's news you can use."
The course will start to explore the gendered manifestations of violence in public and
private spheres within the context of the more general relationship among globalization,
development, and human/civil/citizen rights. We will pay attention to banal violence (that
is, daily and “banal” violence in everyday life), spectacular violence at moments of crisis,
and the type of violence that disrupts the boundary between the two. Special emphasis
will be given to the issues of racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, labor, health care,
homophobia, militarism, xenophobia and globalization.
Required reading:
Alston, P and H. Steiner. "Introduction to Human Rights Issues and Discourses: Global
Snapshots". International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, and Morals. ( New
York: Oxford University Press. P. 3-17.
Cohen S., (2001), States of Denial, London: Polity Press, Pp. 1-20
Derrida J.,(1992) "Before the Law", In: Attridge D., (Ed.),(1992), Jacques Derrida acts
of literature, New York: Routledge.
Kretzmer, D. (2005). "The Advisory Opinion: The light treatment of International
Humanitarian Law”, The American Journal of International Law, Washington 99(1).
P. 88-102.
Merry S.E ,(2003). "Rights Talk and the Experience of Law: Implementing Women’s
Human Rights to Protection from Violence", Human Rights Quarterly, 25;343–381.
Merry S.E ,(2006). "Transnational Human Rights and Local Activism: Mapping the
Middle". American Anthropologist. 108 (1); 38-51
Minow M., (1987), "Interpreting Rights: an Essay for Robert Cover", The Yale Law
Journal, Vol.96, N. 8, Pp. 1860-1915
C. Learning from Readings:
Andrew P., (2003), "Women’s human rights and the conversation across culture", Albany
law review, Pp. 1-6.
Askin K.D,(2003), “Prosecuting wartime rape and other gender-related crime under
international law”, Berkeley journal of international law, Pp. 1-64.
Campbell K., (2002), "Legal memories: Sexual assault, Memory, and International
humanitarian law", Signs: journal of women in culture and society, vol. 28, no.11, Pp.
Ensalaco M., (2006), "Murder in Ciudad Juarez: a parable of women’s struggle for
human rights", violence against women, vol. 12, no.5, Pp.417-440.
Gardam J, M. Jarvis, (2000), "Women and armed conflict: the international response to
the Beijing platform for action", Colombia human rights law review, pp. 2-51.
Richards P., (2005), “The politics of gender, human rights and being indigenous in
Chile", gender and society, vol.19, no.2, Pp.199-220.
Rouhana, N and Sabagh-Huri, A ( 2006), "Aggression: The Space of Tolerance and the
Privileged Situation.” In Hanna Herzog and Kinneret Lahad (eds.) Knowledge and
Silence: On Mechanisms of Denial and Repression in Israeli Society, Van-Leer Institute
Jerusalem / Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House (Hebrew).
Shalhoub-Kevorkian N., (2005), “Counter-spaces as resistance in conflict zone:
Palestinian women recreating a home”, Journal of Feminist Family Therapy: An
International Forum V. 17, No.3, Pp. 109-141
Sunder M., (2003), Piercing the veil, Yale law journal, pp. 1-65.
D. Learning from the Field:
(This will include inviting some practitioners and human right activists to share with us
their experiences and challenges.
We will start with a presentation on women and Empowerment.
Suggested reading:
Foster D., (2006),”Evaluating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South
Africa”, Social Justice Research, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pp. 527-540.
hooks B., (1989), Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, Cambridge: sought
and press.
hooks B., (1990) Yearnings – Race, Gender and Cultural Politics, Pp. 214-230.
Shaheed F., “Engagements of Culture, Customs and Law: Women’s Lives and Activism:,
In: Shaping Women’s Lives, Pp. 61-79.
E. More about Gender and Human Right:
The readings include:
Dworkin A., (1994), “The Unremembered:Searching for Women at the Holocaust
Memorial Museum”, Ms. magazine, Vo. V, No.3.
Dworkin A., (1985), “against the Male Flood: Censorship, Pornography, and Equality”,
In: Weisberg D.K., (Ed.), (1993), Feminist Legal Theory, Philadelphia: Temple
University Press, Pp.28-36.
Epstein B., The Successes and Failures of Feminism, Journal of Women's History, Vol.
14, No. 2, Pp. 118-125.
Mertus J., N Flowers and M. Dutt.(1999). “Local Action, Global Change: Learning
about the Human Rights of Women and Girls.” New York: UNIFEM and Center for
Women’s Global Leadership. 19-21.
Mohanty, Chandra Talpade ,(2002), “Under Western Eyes” Revisited: Feminist
Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and
Society, , Vol. 28, No. 2, Pp.499-535.
Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. )1986(. “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and
Colonial Discourses.” Boundary, Vol. 2, No.12(3):333–58.
Nelson J., (1995) “Feminism and Economy”. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 9 (2)
Ronit Lentin (2004) 'No Woman's Law will Rot this State': The Israeli Racial State and
Feminist Resistance', Sociological Research Online, vol. 9, no. 3,
F. Some More…..Before we end:
The course will conclude by giving a short overview on the contemporary crisis around
global violence and the suspected gendered aspect of it. In doing so, we will examine
and uncover the various interpretations and relationships between globalization and
human rights violations, and between violence against women and redefinition of human
rights. The students will then be required to discuss what is to be done about this in a
practical matter of vigorous intellectual and political debate.
Required Reading:
Santos B.S, (2007), “Beyond abyssal thinking: From global lines to ecologies of
knowledges”, www.eurozine.com, Pp. 1-35.
Frank A.W, (2005), “What is a Dialogical Research, and Why Should We Do It?”,
Qualitative Health Research, Vol. 15, No. 7, pp. 964-974.
Sandoval C., (2000), Methodology of the Oppressed, London: University of Minnesota
Press. Chapters 3-5.
Smith L.T, (1999), Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples,
Devault M.L., (1999), Liberating Method: Feminism and Social Research, Philadelphia:
Temple University Press.
G. Counter Hegemonic Public Diplomacy, Gender and Human Right:
The course will conclude in presenting new counter hegemonic public diplomacy
perspective and its relation to gender and human rights that can be more than an
instrumental quest for "soft power." Such a counter hegemonic perspective could be a
pathway toward robust people-to-people and more women to women interactions. Such a
counter discourse can also help achieve reconciliation while overcoming historical
injustices and other troubling conflicts in the age of Empire.
Required Readings:
Hawkesworth, M ( 2006).
Rowman & Littlefield
Globalization and Feminist Activism.
Chapter three.
Roy, A ( 2004). Public Power in the Age of Empire. Seven Stories Press.
Ashworth, Georgina. 1995. The Diplomacy of the Oppressed: New Directions in
International Feminism. London: Zed Books.
H. Celebrating Knowledge
Students here will be presenting their projects and a short summary with an outlined
The value of injecting "reality", mainly gendered realities into human rights
education/advocacy cannot be understated. Many of the students that I taught during my
time in Israel, Palestine, Jordan and the US and that ended up working on human rights
issues often contacted me while relating to two things. First, the importance of learning in
an atmosphere that allows to see the invisible and hear the unheard regarding violations
of women’s rights. Second, the effect of such seeing and hearing on their own personal,
familial lives and public activism. They constantly shared with me the fact that studying
in such an eye opening context allowed them to change their lives because it changed the
way they thought about human rights their own ability to influence their family,
community, country, and the world.
Only if and when the course “Gender and Human Right” starts having meaning and affect
our personal lives, our homes, our schools, friends, and community- that we all succeed
to unravel the cruelty of privacy, silence and silencing- AND speak truth to power.
Course Requirement:
1) Reading the assigned material and participation in class discussion;
10% of the grade.
2) Book review and critique. The review should be presented in class.
The book should be reviewed in 1-2 pages. The critique should
include the book’s main thrust, and the students critique or reaction
toward some of the book’s main argument. Students should also use
one or two quotations from the book and share it with the class. 20%
of the grade.
3) Presentation of book reviews between September the 18th and 20th.
4) Submitting an outline for the final paper – DATE TBD
5) Presentation of final paper using a power point formal. Final dates
and order of presentation will be distributed in class. 30% of the
grade will be for the presentation of the paper, 40% will be for the
final paper itself.
6) Attending class each meeting and on time. In case of emergencies
students should inform Prof. Kevorkian.
Students are entitled to write the final paper in groups (following the approval of the
course instructor) of no more than three people. The same grade of the final paper will be
given to the whole group.
"The Annenberg School for Communication is committed to upholding the University's
Academic Integrity code as detailed in the SCampus Guide. It is the policy of the School of
Communication to report all violations of the code. Any serious violation or pattern of violations
of the Academic Integrity Code will result in the student's expulsion from the Communication
major or minor."
“Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register
with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved
accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me (or to TA)
as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776."