Challenging Borders in Domestic and International Human Rights Conference – April 30 – May 2, 2023

Call for Proposals     

Challenging Borders in Domestic and International Human Rights

Sunday, April 30 – Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Albion College, Albion, Michigan

Proposal submission deadline: October 14, 2022

Visit the conference website for updated information and to submit a proposal.

Contact: Carrie Booth Walling, [email protected]

The Challenging Borders in Domestic and International Human Rights conference will explore and critically evaluate the borders that have been created in human rights research and practice. Albion College invites faculty, students, staff and community leaders from GLCA and GLAA campuses and universities to interrogate the borders that have been built in the human rights field between the domestic and international and categories of rights.

Within the conference theme of challenging borders, we imagine four areas of focus:

1) identity rights especially focusing on race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality

2) labor rights

3) refugee and migrant rights

4) environmental and climate rights.

We particularly encourage projects that work at the intersection of these areas – for example, projects on environmental racism or labor exploitation of immigrants. While we encourage submissions in these four areas, proposals on other human rights topics are also welcome.

Ways to participate:

Academic presentations: The conference will feature research panels where faculty-student research teams will present their scholarship in interactive, in-person presentations followed by a question and answer discussion. While our primary goal is to highlight collaborative faculty and student work, scholars may also submit individual research proposals. For undergraduate students to be eligible, however, they must be part of a faculty-student research partnership or be doing capstone/thesis-level research under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

Roundtable discussions: The conference will include two faculty roundtables. The first will address conference themes. The second roundtable will address human rights pedagogy and integrating experiential learning into human rights courses.

Training workshops: The conference will feature two training workshops focused on advocacy methods, strategies, and tactics. One workshop will be offered by a human rights practitioner and a second workshop will be offered by members of the Albion College Human Rights Lab.

Building cross-campus connections: Throughout the conference, participants will be encouraged, and have opportunities to establish new connections with their peers and explore future possibilities for cross-campus collaboration in the areas of human rights and social justice teaching, research and co-curricular programming.

Submitting your proposal

Academic presentations: Accepted academic presentations will be formed into panels by our conference chairs. They require a title (limited to 50 words), an abstract (limited to 200 words), and three key words. Presentation proposals submitted by undergraduates must either be submitted jointly with a faculty member as part of a research partnership or be a thesis or capstone research project directly supervised by a faculty member. The latter requires a statement of faculty sponsorship.

Roundtables: We are accepting proposals for two different expert roundtables: One that addresses conference themes and a pedagogy roundtable that will feature a discussion of experiential learning practices. Proposals to participate in a roundtable require you to identify the roundtable you would like to participate in and to submit a description (limited to 250 words) of the content you would like to contribute and your qualifications to do so.

Additional Information about the conference theme

Challenging the borders between the domestic and the international

Frequently, human rights are conceived in international terms with marginal attention directed to the ways that human rights issues manifest domestically. Yet human rights issues are all around us. We can find them in our neighborhoods, on our college campuses, and in our own closets. There are benefits to considering human rights as a framework for addressing domestic challenges like systemic racism, labor exploitation, immigration, and environmental degradation. Additionally, many human rights challenges are transnational in scope. Refugees cross international borders when their rights are violated domestically. The impacts of climate change disregard state sovereignty. In an increasingly interdependent world with a global economy, racial discrimination, sex and labor exploitation are global problems. The impacts of environmental degradation are disproportionately suffered by marginalized populations. Transnational problems require responses at both the domestic and international level.

Challenging borders between categories of rights

Human rights are equal, interdependent and require universal protection. The enjoyment of any single right or group of rights requires the enjoyment of other rights. Political and civil rights (e.g., the right to vote and freedom from discrimination) are necessary for formulating and fulfilling economic, social, and culture (ESC) needs (e.g. access to adequate housing, water, education and work). Similarly, violations of ESC rights limit our ability to exercise our political and civil rights. In short, human beings must possess the entire spectrum of human rights to lead a life of dignity.