Dehumanization, Human Rights, and Obligation to Act

Featuring: Speakers on Antisemitism, Racism, and more.
Date: Monday, June 25, 2012 - Wednesday, June 27, 2012
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Winnick Hillel Center, 102 Walnut Place

Cost: $50 includes breakfast, parking, and workshop materials.

Dehumanization is the psychological process of demonizing others, making them seem not worthy of humane treatment – thereby leading to human rights violations, war crimes, and genocides, and other atrocities. Jews in the eyes of the Nazis and Tutsis in the eyes of the Hutus are only two examples of genocide; Jim Crow laws and politics regarding persons with disabilities and gays are examples of human rights violations. We typically think that all people have some basic human rights that should not be violated. Both international and civil laws suggest that people should be treated fairly and justly, with dignity and respect. However, for individuals viewed as outside the scope of morality and justice, these concepts do not apply and often can seem irrelevant.

During the workshop we will examine how dehumanization and injustice occur within a social context by examining the impact of antisemitism and racism on both those targeted and the perpetrators. We will then examine how forms of intervention (justice, human rights organizations, international law, and civil rights legislation) have and might be used to prevent dehumanization. Finally, drawing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognizing that “when any part of humanity is sidelined the rest of us cannot sit on the sidelines” (Hillary Clinton, Dec. 6, 2011), we will attempt to develop lessons that move from caring to action.

Day 1 – The Process of Dehumanization: Antisemitism and Racism
Day 2 – From Nuremberg to Jim Crow to Today: Legal Responses to Dehumanization
Day 3 – Moving Forward: Implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Choosing to Participate

Tentative speakers and presenters include:
Alan Goldberg – Professor Emeritus, Syracuse University School of Education & Director of the Regional Holocaust and Genocide Initiative
Mary Johnson – Senior Historian, Facing History and Ourselves
Jeffery Mangram – Assistant Professor, Syracuse University School of Education
John Langdon – Professor, LeMoyne College
David Crane – Professor of Practice, Syracuse University College of Law & Former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Janis McDonald – Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law and Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative
Paula Johnson – Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law
Allida Black – Professor of History and International Affairs, George Washington University

The workshop is limited to 35 attendees to keep the conversation interactive and engaging, so don’t wait! There is a $50 conference materials fee – receipt of your payment confirms your registration. To register, complete the form below:

After you register, please send payment (checks should be made out to Syracuse University) for $50 to:
School of Education
Attn: Dehumanization Conference
250 Huntington Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244

When we receive your payment we will email you to confirm your registration.
Supported by Marilyn Ziering and the Ziering Family Foundation

Questions? Please contact:

School of Education - (315) 443-4696