Human Rights Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law



Joseph Slaughter,
Saikat Majumdar, Stanford University
Michael Rubenstein, University of California at Berkeley

Date and Time

November 20, 2009 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to Stanford faculty, students, staff, and visiting scholars.


Terrace Room Margaret Jacks Hall / Building 460 Department of English Stanford University

FSI Contact

The Center for the Study of the Novel is pleased to present a discussion of Professor Joseph Slaughter's new book, Human Rights Inc: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law.  Prof. Slaughter (Columbia) will be in conversation with Prof. Saikat Majumdar (Stanford) and Prof. Michael Rubenstein (UC Berkeley) in the Terrace Room of the English Department (Building 460, Room 426) on Friday, November 20th, at 3:30 pm.  A reading selection from this book is available as a pdf by email request and in hard copy on the second floor of the English Department, under the grad mailboxes.

Human Rights Inc is, in Simon Gikandi's words, "one of the most intense and intelligent reflections on the relation between the novel and human rights....a model of how students and scholars of literature can respond to the great humanitarian crisis of our time and transform the culture of human rights itself."

Joseph Slaughter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.  He teaches and publishes in the fields of postcolonial literature and theory, African, Caribbean, and Latin American literatures, postcolonialism, narrative theory, human rights, and 20th-century ethnic and third world literatures. His many publications include articles on the narrative foundations of human rights in Human Rights Quarterly, "Humanitarian Reading" in Humanitarianism and Suffering, torture and Latin American literature in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, ethnopsychiatry, Nigerian literature, and globalization in African Writers and Their Readers, colonial narratives of invoice in Emerging Perspectives on Chinua Achebe, city space and the national allegory in Research in African Literatures, human rights, multiculturalism, and the contemporary Bildungsroman in Politics and Culture, a short story translation of Argentine Elvira Orphée's "Descomedido" in The Southwest Review, as well as a co-authored article on contemporary epistolary fiction and women's rights in Women, Gender, and Human Rights. His essay, "Enabling Fictions and Novel Subjects: The Bildungsroman and International Human Rights Law," appeared in a special issue on human rights of PMLA (October 2006) and was honored as one of the two best articles published in the journal in 2006-7; another, "The Textuality of Human Rights: Founding Narratives of Human Personality," was named a winner in the Interdisciplinary Law and Humanities Junior Scholar Workshop held at UCLA in 2004. He has co-edited a special issue on "Human Rights and Literary Form" of Comparative Literature Studies.

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