Last month Dr. Robin Redhead launched her new book: Exercising Human Rights: Gender, Agency and Practice at the Politics and Applied Global Ethics seminar series and at the International Studies Association annual convention in New Orleans.
Speaking about her book, Robin explored why human rights are not universally empowering an why this damages people attempting to exercise rights. She takes a new approach in looking at humans as the subject of human rights rather than the object and exposes the gendered and ethnocentric aspects of violence and human subjectivity in the context of human rights.
Using an innovative visual methodology, Redhead shines a new critical light on human rights campaigns and practice. She examines two case studies in-depth. First, she shows how Amnesty International depicts women negatively in their 2004 Stop Violence against Women campaign, revealing the political implications of how images deny women their agency because violence is gendered.
She also analyses the Oka conflict between indigenous people and the Canadian state. She explains how the Canadian state defined the Mohawk people in such a way as to deny their human subjectivity. By looking at how the Mohawk used visual media to communicate their plight beyond state boundaries, she delves into the disjuncture between state sovereignty and human rights.
Her book is published by Routledge and available at: