The Department of Political Science will host human rights expert, and former HWS professor, Micheline Ishay, who serves as a Distinguished Professor of International Studies and Human Rights at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her talk, titled “Hope Amidst Despair: The Future of Human Rights in the Middle East,” will be held on Monday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. The talk is free and open to the public.
Ishay’s talk will be based on her recently-published book, The Levant Express: The Arab Uprisings, the Middle East, and the Future of the Middle East. In her book, Ishay challenges the wide-spread pessimism often seen in discussions of the Middle East, says Professor of Political Science David Ost, who is organizing Ishay’s visit.
“Professor Ishay presents the evidence that the region may in fact be on a bold and realistic pathway toward the pervasive adoption and respect of human rights,” says Ost. “Based on her recent three years teaching at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, Ishay will speak about the progressive potential of subterranean human rights forces now active in unexpected places throughout the Middle East.”
During her time teaching and working in the Middle East, Ishay met with a variety of government officials, diplomats, scholars, journalists and students. “Her experiences in the region introduced her to these new social forces shaping the region and shaped her optimism about the future, which we will hear about in her talk,” he says.
Ishay is the author of several other books, including The History of Human Rights, The Human Rights Reader, The Nationalism Reader and Internationalism and Its Betrayal. She has been teaching at the University of Denver for more than 25 years. She began her career here at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she taught political theory from 1990 to 1992.
Ishay has lectured at universities around the world and has appeared in the media in the U.S. and the Middle East discussing her research on human rights and presenting her account of the sources for a brighter future in the Middle East.