News from Dec 24, 2014
HR-UP’s inaugural introductory seminar, hosted by The Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, took place in Jerusalem on November 16th-26th, 2014. The seminar provided the 14 HR- UP Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows an introduction to the "Human Rights under Pressure" Doctoral Program and to its interdisciplinary approach - as well as the opportunity to get to know one another, to introduce, discuss and develop their individual research projects, to meet with leading academics and practitioners, and to see first-hand and discuss in depth some of the human rights issues and dilemmas confronting Israel.
The first cohort of HR-UP Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows,
with Program directors and faculty, in Jerusalem
HR-UP’s first cohort of outstanding Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows is highly diverse in both background and research interests – including, as it does, participants from Germany, Israel (Jews and Palestinians), Italy, France, Switzerland, South Africa, Canada and the United States, from the fields of law, political science, history, sociology and gender studies. All came willing to both share their own perspectives and gain from others, leading to a truly productive and enriching interdisciplinary experience. Each of the Fellows presented their research before the rest of the group and their Hebrew University advisors, followed by involved constructive discussion, critique and suggestions, and the Fellows were unanimous in their view that presenting in this forum and receiving the input of the rest of the group and their advisors was highly effective and beneficial to the continuation of their work. The presentations and discussions also created the base for an environment of collaboration and support between the Fellows as they continue their work over the next three years.
Led by HR-UP’s co-Directors Prof. Klaus Hoffmann-Holland of Freie Universitaet Berlin and Prof. Tomer Broude of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the intensive introductory seminar included lectures and comments by numerous distinguished Hebrew University faculty members, including Einat Albin (Law), Binyamin Blum (Law), Hillel Cohen (Middle East History), Avner De Shalit (Political Science), Gili Drori (Head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology), David Enoch (Head of the Department of Philosophy), Ruth Gavison (Law), Amos Goldberg (Holocaust Studies), Arie Kacowicz (International Relations), Michael Karayanni (Law), Mordechai Kremnitzer (Law), Barak Medina (Law), and Yuval Shany (Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee), as well as Andreas Zimmerman (Law) of the University of Potsdam. The lectures focused on diverse aspects of human rights, illuminating the interdisciplinary nature of HR-UP, and the intimate forum allowed for in-depth discussion and for both Fellows and faculty to share their perspectives and experience.
Field trips were a seminar highlight. In Jerusalem the group visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial and Museum, toured religious and historical sites, and participated in a tour focused on the “seam” between East and West Jerusalem with the NGO Ir Amim. In Tel-Aviv the group participated in a tour and discussion led by the NGO Hotline for Refugees and Migrants on the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers from Africa. In Nazareth the group met with Dr. Yousef Jabareen, Director of Dirasat (The Arab Center for Law and Policy), as well as with Adv. Abbass Abbass, founder and Director of Al-Manarah (The Association for Arab Persons with Disabilities). An overnight trip to the Negev desert in the South of Israel focused on issues of Arab-Bedouin rights, and included talks with the NGO’s Itach (Women Lawyers for Social Justice) and Shatil - as well as plenty of opportunity for informal conversation and interaction on the bus rides, around the campfire, at the communal meals and on the sunrise hike.
The opening seminar was intensive, often challenging, and an exciting beginning to HR-UP’s first year. In addition to continued work on the Fellow's individual research theses, the academic year ahead will include a series of workshops and masterclasses - culminating in a joint summer seminar in Berlin.
HR-UP is made possible by generous grants from the Einstein Foundation Berlin and the German Research Foundation (DFG).
For additional photos from the introductory seminar, read this article as PDF here.