Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights


15 Mar 2018 - 29 May 2019
Utrecht, Utrecht University

Lecture Series ‘Decolonizing the Human: Humanism, Human Rights, and the Future of the Humanities’

The status of the human, as well as its definition, has become a contentious topic for contemporary critical thought. The project of humanism, the scholarly field of the humanities, and the claims for human rights are at the center of vibrant controversies both inside the university and in civil society. In this lecture series, we ask whether and how the notion of the human can be ‘decolonized’, and what this gesture would imply for our understanding of humanism, human rights, and the humanities. We warmly invite you to this lecture series at Utrecht University, organized within the context and with the generous funding of the research focus area Culture, Citizenship and Human Rights.



– Decolonizing Humanism, Nikita Dhawan (University of Innsbruck). March 15, 17:15-18:45. Location Janskerkhof 15.A, room 0.04.

– Decolonizing the Humanities, Philomena Essed (Antioch University). April 12, 16:00-17:30. Location: Janskerkhof 15.A, room 0.04.

– Decolonizing Human Rights, Boaventura da Sousa Santos (University of Coimbra/University of Wisconsin Madison). May 29, 16:00-17:30. Location: Janskerkhof 15.A, room 0.04.

Decolonizing Feminism, Françoise Vergès (Feminist political scientist and historian, President of the association “Decoloniser les arts”). April 23, 17:30 – 19:00. Location: Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, room 0.06.

If you are interested in joining this group, please contact: to subscribe and receive further information. For more information on the lecture series, visit:

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