This event will launch the Human Rights Studies Working Group!
Like “globalization,” human rights have become a key concept to explain the transformations of our contemporary world. Yet historians have started to explore this history only very recently. In the last ten years, human rights historiography has emerged as a vibrant, incessantly growing field, together and alongside with global history. In this talk, Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann will discuss some of the most contested research questions within this new field. How can we trace the origins of human rights ideas and institutions without doing history backwards, i.e. without projecting our current understandings of individual human rights onto the past? Conversely, how convincing are some of the revisionist arguments within the recent historiography of human rights, in particular the claim that human rights history began only in the late 1970s?
Please join us for this lecture by Professor Stefan-Ludwig Hoffman, Associate Professor of late modern European history at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published on topics ranging from post-Enlightenment sociability and social thought to the recent history of human rights. He is currently working on two books, a short history of human rights and a history of everyday life in Berlin in the 1940s. He is also preparing an edition of Reinhart Koselleck’s theoretical writings under the title Sediments of Time. Conditions of Possible Histories.
This event is sponsored by The Donald T. Regan Lecture Fund.