Human Rights and Media


Human Rights and Media

NINT 5213

Instructor: Peter Lucas (Milano School of International Affairs)

Fridays 3:00 – 6:00 pm (offered next in Fall 2015)


In this graduate course, students will study the contemporary mediascape with an emphasis on the crucial role that media plays in representing and responding to critical human rights issues.  In the last decade, the convergence of new media technologies with the human rights movement has had a profound impact.  This transformation has enabled the globalization process of activism through the rapid distribution of web-based news, research, and visual representation.  Digitalization has also crossed over with traditional media (television, print, film, photography, and radio) enhancing both the production and the distribution of human rights reports.  The emerging interactivity between producers and consumers is also changing as people once considered as objects of reportage are becoming subjects who are now creating, manipulating, and challenging dominant paradigms of media representation.  This growing diversity has had serious social and cultural implications on how human rights information is received, engaged, and transformed.


The media landscape has now become a sub-field of the larger human rights movement involving researchers, educators, journalists, filmmakers, photographers, writers, visual artists, web designers, and many other types of media workers.  This course will study international human rights through the lens of the media in order to critically understand the changing nature of representation.  Students will also study the philosophical foundations of documentary practice and the various strategies used by documentarians. Topics to be covered include, the normative standards of rights themselves and their relationship to communication and media, the role of media in non-violent social action, the right to information and memory, the ethics and politics of representation, researching and visualizing human rights violations, participatory media projects, advocacy media campaigns, the web-doc movement and transformative media arts, human rights education, and packaging media for social change.

New Spring undergraduate class - running parallel after-school program with Edward R. Murrow H.S.


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