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October 26, 2005

Press Contact:
Allegra Young, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.

Representing Culture, Translating Human Rights

Symposium to focus on international human rights and culture

What: Representing Culture, Translating Human Rights Symposium
Where: Eidman Courtroom, UT Law
Who: The conference is open to the public and free
When: Nov. 3–4, 2005. Opening keynote speech by Philippe Sands, Nov. 3, 4:00 p.m. Closing keynote speech by Surakiart Sathirathai, Nov. 4, 4:00 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas—Leading academics, human rights advocates, and policymakers from the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Europe will gather for a symposium at UT Law on November 3–4 to discuss human rights and culture. The multidisciplinary conference will bring together lawyers, anthropologists, sociologists, and literary critics to consider how culture is represented in human rights law and discourse, and how international human rights norms are "translated" across cultures.

The symposium, to be hosted by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice and the student-edited Texas International Law Journal (TILJ), aims to move past the debate over whether human rights are relative or universal by considering how human rights and culture are both used and represented by individuals and groups in different contexts. The symposium's three panels will discuss the migration of human rights discourse across cultures, how the concept of sovereignty has traveled across time and continents, and how culture and gender are represented in asylum claims in the United States and Europe.

The opening keynote address, "Lawless World? The Cultures of International Law," will be delivered by Philippe Sands, University College London. After his talk, he will sign copies of his recently published book, Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules from FDR's Atlantic Charter to George W. Bush's Illegal War.

The closing keynote address, "Peace and Security: The Challenge and the Promise," will be delivered by The Hon. Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand. Dr. Surakiart is the nominee of Thailand and ASEAN to succeed UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

All lectures and panels are free and open to the public.

The Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, the South Asia Institute, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, along with the American Constitution Society, will co-sponsor the event.

TILJ's participation is made possible by generous contributions from Baker Botts; Vinson & Elkins; Jackson Walker; Bracewell & Giuliani; King & Spalding; Andrews Kurth; Strasburger & Price; McKool Smith; Winstead, Sechrest & Minick; and McGinnis Lochridge & Kilgore.

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