Interdisciplinary Seminar in Human Rights and International Justice

SPRING 2024: Thursdays, 2:00PM-4:20PM in Campion Hall

APSY/EDUC/THEO/UNAS/LAWS746101 (3 credits)

Registration by permission only (refer to application process below).

Instructor: Prof. Brinton Lykes, Professor of Community-Cultural Psychology,  Lynch School of Education and Human Development

The study of human rights defies disciplinary boundaries. This seminar, sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, provides a rare space to examine human rights and international justice from interdisciplinary and transnational theoretical perspectives and through praxis. It brings together faculty affiliated with the Center, students from across the university, visiting scholars, and guest speakers to examine complexities and seeming contradictions vis-a-vis human rights and justice. The spring 2024 seminar will begin with an overview and brief historical review of human rights as understood in the West, drawing on both dominant discourses as well as less well-known histories from marginalized communities. We will then explore a series of complexities for those seeking to engage in human rights scholarship, advocacy, and activism. We seek to engage critically with human rights discourse and actions including the advocacy and activism of those “on the move” within and across borders as well as those seeking redress through transitional justice in the wake of both contemporary and historical gross violations of human rights as they intersect with violence and exploitation due to intersectional circulations of power vis-à-vis gender, culture/ethnicity, race, social class, and other categorizations or identities. We will also explore emergent decolonization practices including specific challenges from diverse communities of the global South who frame human rights and responsibilities within their Indigenous practices and cosmovisions, in ways that contest Northern epistemologies, understandings, and praxis.

The seminar is the core course for the Center's interdisciplinary Certificate in Human Rights and International Justice.

The Center invites applications from students enrolled in a graduate professional degree in any of Boston College's divisions. Undergraduate seniors will be considered, space permitting.

The seminar includes sessions with guest lecturers and CHRIJ co-directors and affiliated faculty. Students will be expected to attend all the seminar sessions and are encouraged to attend CHRIJ and other guest speaker presentations throughout the semester.

Satisfies ABA Writing Requirement for Law Students


Students apply through a Google Form, which includes submission of a brief statement of interest (1-2 pages, single-spaced), linked below. 

11/28/23 update: Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until the seminar reaches capacity.  Thank you.

Questions to Center Assistant Director Timothy Karcz at


Apply to the seminar, including your 1-2 page statement of interest...