"Rethinking Rights in Times of Crisis: Local and Global Perspectives on Resilience and Dignity"
Kennesaw State University
March 12 - 13, 2020 logo

The ubiquitous crises of the early 20th century have been marked by populist forces that, in association with state and nonstate entities, have increasingly normalized violence against our planet’s most vulnerable. We therefore believe it is imperative to cultivate nuanced understandings of resilience, to advocate urgently for a praxis of responsibility and compassion, and to engage critically with mechanisms for respecting the dignity of humans and others, e.g., with structures and the logics of “rights.” This conference will highlight issues that compel us to think about the future of the planet deeply, creatively, conceptually, and contextually.

We look forward to papers, roundtables, and workshops that address issues, trends, developments, and movements that have shaped the discourses of rights, have reimagined ways of being human and of understanding the nonhuman, and have posed challenges to identities, authorities, economies, and constructions of biopolitics and transnationalism.

We welcome submissions from all academic and policy/practice relevant fields that relate to the conference themes.


Keynote Speakers:

The Honorable Nadia Theodore
Consul General, Canada

Nadia Theodore Consul General of Canada

"Human Rights in the 21st Century: A Canadian Perspective"

The Honorable Nadia Theodore is a Government Affairs, International Relations and Communications leader.  She holds a law degree from the University of London, a master's degree in Political Science from Carleton University, and 20+ years of progressive Federal Government experience working on strategic policy, communications, trade and stakeholder affairs at the highest levels of decision making. Ms. Theodore is currently based in Atlanta after being appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada as the Consul General of Canada to the Southeast USA. In this role, she is responsible for strengthening and deepening the Canada-U.S. relationship across her six states of accreditation (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee). 

Consul General Theodore has made advancing inclusion in the workplace a core pillar of her mandate as an executive in the Canadian public service and as Consul General in Atlanta. She is committed to making sure that the public service is included in the global conversation on diversity and inclusion within organizations and the deliberate work to build inclusive teams, including and especially at senior levels. Her frank, relatable and hard-hitting message has made her a sought after speaker in the areas of trade policy, gender equity and leadership


Dr. Wendy Hesford
The Ohio State University

Dr. Wendy Hesford

“Gendering Human Rights and Humanitarian Violence at the Border”

Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. She has published six books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, and Feminisms (Duke UP, 2011). Her latest monograph Violent Exceptions: Children’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Rhetorics is forthcoming (Ohio State UP, 2020). Her research and teaching are geared toward social justice and critical human rights literacy. She has held visiting scholar appointments at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, Emory University School of Law, and Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. She presently directs the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme at Ohio State—a university wide cross-disciplinary initiative.

Featuring a Special Performance by the Igbo Dance Group performing traditional Igbo dances of Nigeria:

Igbo Dance Group