Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights


7 September 2017
15:00 - 17:30
Utrecht University

Masterclass with Professor Jacqueline Bhabha

We will open the academic year by means of an international CCHR conference entitled Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead on Friday September 8. This international event is comprised of renowned keynote speakers in the field of Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights (Prof. Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard and Prof. Nicholas Mirzoeff, NYU).

By means of a pre-conference Professor Jacqueline Bhabha will discuss her work in a small group of senior scholars as well as PhD and RMA students on Thursday September 7 in a CCHR/NOG masterclass.

Subject: The dramatic human rights deficits inherent in our current citizenship and migration regimes have been laid bare by recent events: European complicity with the escalating loss of life of Middle Eastern refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, resurgent and virulent Euro-American xenophobia as a mainstream political current,  widening inequalities in social and economic prospects for young people within and between continents.  At the nexus of these troubling trends is the contemporary migration regime and the structures of citizenship and related entitlements/prohibitions that support it, from the island refugee prisons of Nauru and Manus island enforced by the Australian government to routine European refusal of protection to Afghan youth seeking an education and a future after a lifelong exposure to conflict, to the preposterous islamophobic executive orders of the Trump administration. What can we learn from responses to past humanitarian flows? And what prospects are there for improving the next generation’s access to rights respecting mobility? The masterclass will, inter alia, engage with dramatic past examples and with current international moves to generate new “global compacts” on migration and refugee flows, focusing on a critical but neglected mobile constituency, children and young people.

Jacqueline Bhabha is Professor of the practice of health and human rights at the Harvard School of Public Health, director of research at Harvard’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, and the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Professor Bhabha received a first class honors degree and an M.Sc. from Oxford University, and a J.D. from the College of Law in London. From 1997 to 2001 Bhabha directed the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago.  Prior to 1997, she was a practicing human rights lawyer in London and at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She has published extensively on issues of transnational child migration, refugee protection, children’s rights and citizenship. She is the editor of Children Without A State (2011), author of Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age (2014), and editor of Human Rights and Adolescence ( 2014).

Professor Bhabha serves on the board of the Scholars at Risk Network, the World Peace Foundation and the Journal of Refugee Studies.  She is also a founder of the Alba Collective, an international women’s NGO currently working with rural women and girls in developing countries to enhance financial security and youth rights.


Participation: we welcome senior scholars, PhD students and research master students connected to this theme (maximum of 20 participants).

Participants are invited to submit questions beforehand and/or discuss the compulsory reading material with professor Bhabha. Agreements concerning an assignment in order to receive 1 ECTS for the masterclass participation can be negotiated with the NOG office.

The masterclass will start with a lecture by Jacqueline Bhabha, then participants have the opportunity ask specific questions.


Deadline for application:

Friday September 1, 2017 by sending the following to (mentioning ‘Masterclass Prof. Bhabha’ in the subject):

–      A short letter of motivation (max. 200 words)

–      Upon confirmation, the reading material will be distributed. Participants are required to submit beforehand two relevant questions pertaining to the reading material and/or their current

research interests.



UU Research Area Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights (CCHR) / Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG)