HIST 5315F: State and Society in Canadian History – History of Human Rights in Canada
Fall 2020

Instructor: Professor Dominique Marshall

Introduction: An exploration of the complex history of human rights. It addresses public uses of the language of rights, Canada’s international relations, as well as the development of major texts. It includes interpretations of Indigenous conventions of entitlement and dignity, Christian traditions of humanitarianism and emancipation, political conflicts conducted in the name of rights, a focus on selected rights chosen in collaboration with students.  This could be, for instance, disability rights, rights of privacy and digital technologies, disability rights, workers’ rights. The course welcomes an interdisciplinary group of students.  It is cross-listed with PECO 5502F , PSCI 5502F, SOCI 5505F.

Class Format: Seminar oral (synchronous) and written (asynchronous) discussions, and presentations (with a choice or written or audio-recorded presentation). Individual meetings with instructor. A fourth of the seminar will be conducted around group preparation of guest lectures, in conjunction with the Shannon Lecture Series in History. Maximum of 60 minutes of real time participation required each week.

Aims and Goals: The course will introduce students to the main debates surrounding the history of human rights in Canada in the context of the transnational history of rights. It will also familiarize students with methods of work with international guest speakers.  It will pay a particular attention to the approaches and the documents used to write such histories. An added goal is the introduction of students to the techniques of events management (experiential learning).

Assessment: The assessed work will consist in weekly readings and seminar discussions.  Over the term, each student will develop an individual research project on a theme selected by them.

Text:  Weekly readings of the equivalent of two to three scholarly articles or book chapters. The readings will be available through the library course reserve system.

Questions? Please email me at: Dominique_marshall@carleton.ca

photo of people in suits standing in front of a building surrounding a man in traditional indigenous garb

Haudenosaunee Chief Deskaheh in Geneva, 1923, during his failed attempt to speak at the League of Nations General Assembly. Photo from the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, https://www.facebook.com/unpfii/posts/2486788804667470