My teaching focuses on human rights at the graduate and undergraduate level. My research and teaching go hand in hand with courses focused on Menstruation, Gender and Rights; Socio-Economic Rights; and UN Human Rights Bodies. I involve students in ongoing research projects. I also teach more introductory courses: an International Human Rights Law; the writing-intensive Senior Seminar in Human Rights and the Thesis Seminar in Human Rights. In addition, I advise a number of graduate students on their research in the areas of socio-economic rights, gender and development.
Menstruation, Gender, and Rights
This interdisciplinary co-taught course explores the contemporary discourse around menstruation as a key entry point for gender justice in global and local contexts. We discuss questions of gender stereotyping, transnational feminism, and gender identity. Students gain an understanding of the relevance of menstruation across different spheres of life combining bio-medical and socio-cultural factors.Over the course of the semester, we examine different spheres of life, including health, education, equality in the work place, freedom of religion, and cultural rights. In doing so, the course will pay particular attention to the intersection of gender and other markers of inequalities, including disability, socio-economic status, age, caste, and gender identity.
This is why menstruation matters: it unites the personal and the political, the intimate and the public, the physiological and the socio-cultural.
Syllabus (Spring 2020)
UN Human Rights Bodies
The course seeks to present and discuss UN human rights bodies combining critical reflection with practical application. It encourages students to take a birds-eye view on the UN human rights system, its challenges and the need for reform. At the same time, the course brings in the perspectives of advocates who seek to make the most of the system as it currently exists and discuss their strategies for advocacy. The course seeks to convey an understanding of the different interests and strategies at play and will bring human rights bodies to life through practical assignments and experiential learning.
Students were involved in an applied research project in collaboration with the Universal Rights Group. The project seeks to identify strategies to strengthen the work of the UN Special Rapporteurs by evaluating the challenges and risks, opportunities and successes. A recap of the roundtable can be found here.
Syllabus (Fall 2018)
International Human Rights Law
Socio-economic rights have emerged from the margins into the mainstream of human rights. The course will take this status as its starting point and examine the human rights to housing, food, water, health and sanitation in some depth.
It explores conceptual issues through the lens of specific rights which helps ground these principles and ideas in concrete cases. It discusses recent developments on socio-economic rights and examine their relevance in the United States as well as selected other countries, particularly those with progressive legislation, policies and jurisprudence. What are the current challenges? How do advocates respond? And what lies ahead for the socio-economic rights movement?
Syllabus (Fall 2019)
The course provides an introductory understanding of the fundamental concepts and problems of international human rights law. What are human rights? Who has the obligation to ensure, respect, protect and fulfill human rights – and who may be held accountable for their violations? Who has the powers to enforce these obligations?
Combining theory, law, policy and practice in human rights, we will explore the strengths and the challenges in the international human rights regime. The course puts particular emphasis on contemporary issues and seeing human rights law in its political context.
Syllabus (Fall 2017)
Thesis Seminar in Human Rights
This thesis seminar is a writing seminar to support students to complete their undergraduate thesis.
Senior Seminar in Human Rights
The senior seminar is a writing-intensive course. It begins by asking: What is human rights research? It seeks to answer that question from different disciplinary perspectives, through different methodological approaches and based on different purposes of writing on human rights.The course also provides an opportunity to take a step back and reflect critically on the role of human rights. Most importantly, the course provides a forum for students to support each other in the process of research and writing and address common challenges.
Syllabus (Spring 2018)
Graduate Student Supervision
I supervise theses in my areas of expertise related to socio-economic rights, gender, natural resources, and development processes. Student should feel to approach me with their ideas for research projects. I hold an informal thesis colloquium during the semester that provides students with opportunities to present and discuss their research. Recently completed projects include:
- Clarissa Rossetti, The Role of Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council in Atrocity Prevention (2020)
- Malcolm Girand, Non-union Organizing at Walmart: Governance Structures and Worker Perception (2020)
- Trisha Maharaj: “That’s blood, that’s life” Menstrual Practices & Women’s Agency Within the Hindu Diaspora of Trinidad (2019)
- Sabrina Kozikis: “Water Is a Human Right” – Exploring the Paradox of Framing Water as a Human Right in a Hostile Political Climate (2019)
- Anna Jiang: Bodies of Civility: Exploring Menstrual Experiences of Women in Beijing, China (2019)
- Sydney D. Amoakoh: Human Rights in Humanitarian Policy: Dissecting the Catalysts and Barriers to Employing a Human Rights-Based Approach in Drafting Menstrual Health into the Sphere 2018 Handbook (2019)
- Tori Miller: Moving Past the Stigma?: The Narrative of Menstruation in WASH and MHM Organizations
- Renita Edwin: Collective Identity and its Impact on Indian Farmer Movements (2018)
- Diane O'Reggio: Do Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations Practice What They Preach? Conceptualizing a Human Rights-Based Approach to Internal Governance (2018)
- Emily Teall: Realizing the Right to Education for NYC’s Homeless Children: Identifying and removing barriers (2018)
- Michelle Chouinard: Vernacularization of CEDAW in the United States: Localization Process and Sustainability of CEDAW Instruments to Prevent and Combat Violence against Women (2018)
- Iame Manucci: Unsustainaburger: SDGs and the links between migrant labor, industrial livestock, and the environment (2018)
- Hannah Howroyd: Natural Resource Control and Indigenous Rights in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz Department: Post-neoliberal Rhetoric and Reality (2017)
- Jaclyn Ambrecht: Accountability for the Human Right to Sanitation in South Africa’s Informal Settlements: Strategies of Civil Society Organizations (2017)