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Title:

The Novel and the Origins of Human Rights:
The Intersection of History, Psychology and Literature.


Lecture:

DATE: Monday, April 8, 2002

TIME: 7:00 pm

LOCATION: Law School, Room 190

 

Discussion:

DATE: Tuesday, April 9, 2002

TIME: 12:00pm

LOCATION: Stanford Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa Street



Abstract:

Human rights are the lingua franca of modern political discussion, but the very idea is based on a stunning historical paradox: human rights are taken to be "self-evident" truths, as Thomas Jefferson put it, but claims about their self-evidence were only made beginning in the mid-eighteenth century. What made such claims believable at that moment and not before? What role did the "rise of the novel" play? Thinking across the boundaries of the usual disciplinary divisions can help make sense of this critical element in the definition of modernity.

 



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