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English Graduate Course in Human Rights
Dr. Kanika Batra
Wednesdays 6:00-8:50 PM
CRN: 53179/50202 D

Worldings, Globalization or Planetarity?: Urban Forms and Human Rights in the Twenty-First Century

Starting with the landmark essay by John Friedman which first introduced the World City hypothesis, moving on to Saskia Sassen’s theorization of Global Cities, and taking a turn towards contemporary non-fiction, this course will examine urban literary and social forms within the framework of human rights. Sociological and philosophical writing on urbanization and human rights included in the course will establish a comparative mode of analysis. Some of the central concerns guiding our enquiry will be: securitization, publicness, and the right to the city; gendered and sexualized violence in urban spaces; global justice and the rise of Human Rights Cities. The Asian, Caribbean, and African cities of Mumbai, Kingston, and Accra will lend the urban forms for our discussion. Non-fictional texts in the course might include: Gyan Prakash’s Mumbai Fables (2011) and Kaherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (2014); Imani Tafara-Ama’s Blood, Bullets and Bodies: Sexual Politics below Jamaica’s Poverty Line (2017); Ato Quayson’s Oxford Street, Accra (2014). The course encourages independent research in a literary or extra-literary field/period/genre of your choice using a working knowledge of comparative methodologies.

Kanny Batra