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Book Talk: “Gender, Alterity and Human Rights: Freedom in a Fishbowl”

January 14, 2020 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Promo flyer for Book Talk "Gender, Alterity, and Human Rights" - info below

Ratna Kapur will discuss her new book “Gender, Alterity, and Human Rights: Freedom in a Fishbowl.” The book is about the possibility of freedom in the aftermath of the critique of human rights. Kapur interrogates human rights as a project of freedom through a critical evaluation and analysis of scholarship and advocacy on LGBT rights, campaigns against violence against women, and gender equality interventions in the context of the Islamic veil bans in Europe. Kapur illustrates how human rights emerge as a governance and regulatory endeavour in relation to gender and alterity, and how more rights for women, sexual and religious minorities have not necessarily produced more freedom for these constituencies. In response to what happens when the faith in human rights as a liberal freedom project is so substantively eroded, she provocatively argues in favor of exploring non-liberal approaches to freedom and the futurity of human rights within such a pursuit.

This talk will be moderated by Professor Jayne Huckerby, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Duke International Human Rights Clinic. The event is part of the Human Rights in Practice series, organized by Duke Law’s International Human Rights Clinic and the Center for International and Comparative Law. Co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Human Rights Law Society, and the International Law Society.

The event is free and open to all no registration required but space is limited. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact Balfour Smith at bsmith@law.duke.edu.

Ratna Kapur

Ratna Kapur is a Professor of International Law, Queen Mary University of London. She is also a Distinguished (Sessional) Professor of Human Rights and Global Studies, Symbiosis School of Law (India) and a Senior Core Faculty with the Institute of Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School.

Professor Kapur has taught and published extensively on issues of human rights, with a particular focus on gender, and the rights of sexual and religious minorities. She brings a critical theoretical approach to her scholarship and research endeavors that draw on the tradition of Third World Approaches to Human Rights (TWAIL), feminist legal theory and postcolonial theory.

Her books include Makeshift Migrants and Law: Gender, Belonging and Postcolonial Anxieties (2010); Erotic Justice: Law and the New Politics of Postcolonialism (2005); Secularism’s Last Sigh? (co-authored, 2001); and Subversive Sites: Feminist Engagements with Law in India (co-authored, 1996).


January 14, 2020
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Duke Law School, Room 3037


Center for International and Comparative Law
Duke Law: International Human Rights Clinic
The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics
John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University
Human Rights Law Society
International Law Society