Critical Thinking

Unit 3: Human Rightshome

Unit 3 Overview

This unit will discuss human rights. The 21st century marks an important shift in rights as many scholars explore how the idea of human rights are imagined when rights themselves are governed by each nation-state's laws. Joseph Slaughter calls the 21st century, "The age of human rights" and "the age of human rights violations." The notion of human rights becomes just that--an idea, a hope, a goal, a start. However, historically, the expansion in inclusion and in liberty has always come with a price. Our main focus will be on the creation of the UN's "Declaration of Human Rights" in 1948, three years after the end of WWII and the Holocaust.

Our critical questions in this unit are: What are the rights we hold the most important? How do we imagine those rights and those violations? What does it mean to be human? Or human enough to be given those rights? Should rights even be something given or are they innate?