Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights-New Books

Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights

For the last thirty years, documented human rights violations have been met with an unprecedented rise in demands for accountability. This trend challenges the use of amnesties which typically foreclose opportunities for criminal prosecutions that some argue are crucial to transitional justice. Recent developments have seen amnesties circumvented, overturned, and resisted by lawyers, states, and judiciaries committed to ending impunity for human rights violations. Yet, despite this global movement, the use of amnesties since the 1970s has not declined.
Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights examines why and how amnesties persist in the face of mounting pressure to prosecute the perpetrators of human rights violations.
Chains of Justice

The most comprehensive account of the National human rights institutions—state agencies charged with protecting and promoting human rights domestically--(NHRI} phenomenon to date, Chains of Justice analyzes many institutions never studied before. With its global scope and fresh insights into the origins and influence of NHRIs, Chains of Justice promises to become a standard reference that will appeal to scholars immersed in the workings of these understudied institutions as well as nonspecialists curious about the role of the state in human rights.

In addition to the new hardcover and ebook releases, the Penn Press fall 2014 list includes many first-time paperbacks, among them: The First PrejudiceCrusade and Christendom;Porta PalazzoDeath by EffigyPublic Education Under SiegeIn the Crossfire; and The American Mortgage System.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Call for Papers: Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice is an edited volume from the Advances in Librarianship book series devoted to the ideals, activities, and programs in libraries that protect human rights and promote social justice. Human rights are based on the belief that all individuals deserve certain equal rights as members of society, while social justice is based in the social and societal structures that foster equality based on laws and policies. Institutions of human rights and social justice support equality in their communities, and an increasing number of roles embraced by libraries evidence their commitment to equality.

Guided by this commitment, libraries of all types, as well as the professionals who work in these institutions, engage in many practices and services to meet community needs.  In the age of the Internet, the ability of public, school, academic, and special libraries to meet community needs is dependent upon their ability to reach those communities and individuals who face barriers to information access created by literacy, technology, language and other factors. Although not always described in this manner, libraries’ efforts to support societal inclusion for a large number of individuals who rely on libraries for access and education can aptly be characterized as support for human rights and social justice. Key topics at the intersection of information, human rights, social justice, and technology include information access, information literacy, digital inclusion, education, social services, intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression, among many others.
Academic, public, school, and special libraries all have important programs that seek to meet individual and community needs related to human rights and social justice, while the library profession has embraced many ethical principles and values based on rights and justice. This book, edited by Ursula Gorham, Natalie Greene Taylor, and Paul T. Jaeger, will include contributions that will encompass:
  • ·Reports of current initiatives and activities in libraries to promote and enable human rights and social justice;
  • ·Discussions of the roles of human rights and social justice in conceptions of the field of librarianship, as well as in library and information science education;
  • ·Examinations of partnerships between libraries and other organizations to support human rights and social justice;
  • ·Historical and philosophical considerations; and
  • ·Explorations of related issues of law, policy, politics, and economics
Contributors will represent researchers, educators, and practitioners from a range of fields. The book is intended to serve as an important resource for library professionals in all types of libraries, a reference for researchers and educators about all types of libraries, and an introduction to those in other fields about the contributions of libraries to human rights and social justice.
Please direct inquiries and chapter ideas to Ursula Gorham at ugorhos [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi win 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

Product Details
Yousafzai was attacked in 2012 on a school bus in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan by masked gunmen as a punishment for a blog that she started writing for the BBC's Urdu service as an 11-year-old to campaign against the Taliban's efforts to deny women an education. Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, Yousafzai moved to Britain, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. 2013.

Kailash Satyarthi has saved thousands of lives and has helped thousands of children escape slavery by conducting raids on factories and communities where children are held as bonded workers.
Satyarthi, Kailash, and Bupinder Zutshi. Globalisation, Development, and Child Rights. Delhi: Shipra, 2006.

Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"The Heritage of WikiLeaks: A History of Information Ethics" by Jared Bielby

"The Heritage of WikiLeaks: A History of Information Ethics" 

by Jared Bielby

From an already established praxis for the field of Information Ethics, the following thesis will outline an ethics and a historical foundation for WikiLeaks through the exposition of a four-part history of Information Ethics. It will first trace the historical development of the field of Information Ethics and secondly sketch the development of a theoretical foundation for collaborative information and knowledge studies as exemplified by the wiki phenomenon, a model, as will be argued, that arises from library ethics. Situating the foundation of WikiLeaks within the framework of the wiki model, it will address issues of privacy, intellectual freedom and social responsibility, access to information, information literacy, anonymity, transparency and intellectual property as being similarly foundational to wiki studies, library ethics, and WikiLeaks, and will conceive WikiLeaks as inevitably arising from the same historical dialectics as Library Ethics. The wiki  collaborative knowledge model will then be addressed from a platform of information theory and philosophical ontology, ultimately looking at the wider philosophical consequences of the saturation of information, information control and flow, message and messenger and information as moral entity, surveying the ontology debates  between Rafael Capurro and Luciano Floridi, and exploring the implications of information accountability as commentated on by Slavojek and others.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teaching Human Rights

Ontario Human Rights Commission

The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) is one of the most important pieces of legislation in Ontario. This guide is designed to help educators discuss with students the rights and responsibilities the Code covers. It explains human rights protections and identifies who is responsible for protecting everyone's rights.
Human rights legislation deals with discrimination in particular areas of our lives. Discrimination results from intentional and unintentional prejudicestereotyping and misuse of power. The Code provides a legal mechanism to prevent or stop discrimination, and to offer remedies when discrimination happens.
This package contains information and activities to help students learn the difference between permissible behaviours and illegal behaviours.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014-Dayton Literary Peace Prize-Finalists

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which was first awarded in 2006, "is the only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace.

  • Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine, The Round House, The Plague of Doves) will be the recipient of the 2014 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named in honor of the celebrated U.S. diplomat who helped negotiate the Dayton Peace Accords. Previous winners include Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009), Geraldine Brooks (2010), Barbara Kingsolver (2011), Tim O'Brien (2012), and Wendell Berry (2013).

The 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Crown Publishing Group): Two doctors in rural Chechnya risk everything to save the life of a child hunted by Russian soldiers in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together.
  • In the Night of Time by Antonio Muñoz Molina, translated by Edith Grossman (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt): This sweeping, grand novel set against the tumultuous events that led to the Spanish Civil War offers an indelible portrait of a shattered society.
  • Someone by Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux): In this delicate narrative about the life of an ordinary woman, McDermott uses universal experiences—sharp pains and unexpected joys, bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—to deftly arouse deep compassion for the lives unfolding all around us.
  • The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P.S. Duffy (Liveright Publishing Corporation): This haunting meditation on family, friendship, and sacrifice charts a deeply felt course from the Nova Scotia coastline to the French trenches during World War I, bridging the distance between past and present, duty and honor, obligation and love.
  • The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (Grove Atlantic): Renowned for his revelatory visions of the Caribbean, Shacochis sets his magnum opus in four countries over a span of fifty years and multiple wars, creating an intricate portrait of the catastrophic events that led up to the war on terror and the U.S. as it is today.
  • Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Grove Atlantic): Through the character of Wash, a first-generation slave, this haunting first novel explores the often-buried history of slave breeding in the early nineteenth century, offering fresh insights into our continuing racial dilemmas.
The 2014 nonfiction finalists are
  • Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe by Jo Roberts (Dundurn Press, Toronto): Drawing on extensive original interview material, Canadian journalist Jo Roberts vividly examines how their tangled histories of suffering inform Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli lives today, and frame the possibilities for peace in Israel.
  • Here on the Edge: How a Small Group of WWII Conscientious Objectors Took Art and Peace from the Margins to the Mainstream by Steve McQuiddy (Oregon State University Press): Packed with original research and more than eighty photos, this definitive history tells the story of the artists at an Oregon camp for World War II conscientious objectors, and how they paved the way for the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
  • Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler (Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster): Pondering the medical forces that stood in the way of her own parents’ desires for “good deaths,” journalist Katy Butler examines modern medicine's potential, in its pursuit of maximum longevity, to create more suffering than it prevents.
  • Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury): In this universally acclaimed memoir, Ward recounts the separate deaths of five young men – all dear to her – from her small Mississippi community, agonizingly tracing each one back to the long-term effects of racism and economic disadvantage.
  • Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel (Sarah Crichton Book/Farrar, Strauss and Giroux): Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel follows veterans of the infamous Baghdad “surge” after they return to the U.S., creating an indelible, essential portrait of post-deployment life—not just for the soldiers, but for their families, friends, and the professionals trying to undo the damage of war.
  • Your Fatwa Does not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune (W.W. Norton & Company): From Karachi to Tunis, Kabul to Tehran, Bennoune shares the inspiring stories of the Muslim writers, artists, doctors, lawyers, activists, and educators who often risk death to combat the rising tide of religious extremism in their own countries.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

History in flames: 100th Anniversary of Burning of Leuven University library

World War I had started weeks earlier and Belgium had slowed Germany’s march on France much more than expected. German irritation turned to anger, then to atrocities.
The destruction of the university library served little strategic purpose beyond ruining what people held dear — a practice that continues to thrive today, especially in the Middle East and Africa, where roaming rebels and defiant dictators are robbing the world of some of the highlights of human history.
The strategy is destroying the identity of a community,” said Leuven University archivist Mark Derez.