Events

To RSVP for events, click the title of the event below, then click the "Register" button on the event listing.

2018-19 Events

"Motherhood across Borders: Immigrants and Their Children in Mexico and New York" Book Presentation

"Motherhood across Borders: Immigrants and Their Children in Mexico and New York" Book Presentation

Gabrielle Oliveira, Assistant Professor at Boston College Lynch School of Education presents her new book.

Respondents: Mary Holper, BC Associate Clinical Professor of Law, and Director of the Immigration Clinic; and Alyshia Gálvez, Professor of Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at Lehman College of the City University of New York.

Co-cponsored by the Lynch School of Education's Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction (TESpECI) program

Book description:

The stories of Mexican migrant women who parent from afar, and how their transnational families stay together 

While we have an incredible amount of statistical information about immigrants coming in and out of the United States, we know very little about how migrant families stay together and raise their children. Beyond the numbers, what are the everyday experiences of families with members on both sides of the border?  

Focusing on Mexican women who migrate to New York City and leave children behind, Motherhood across Borders examines parenting from afar, as well as the ways in which separated siblings cope with different experiences across borders.  Drawing on more than three years of ethnographic research, Gabrielle Oliveira offers a unique focus on the many consequences of maternal migration.

Oliveira illuminates the life trajectories of separated siblings, including their divergent educational paths, and the everyday struggles that undocumented mothers go through in order to figure out how to be a good parent to all of their children, no matter where they live. Despite these efforts, the book uncovers the far-reaching effects of maternal migration that influences both the children who accompany their mothers to New York City, and those who remain in Mexico.  

With more mothers migrating without their children in search of jobs, opportunities, and the hope of creating a better life for their families, Motherhood across Borders is an invaluable resource for scholars, educators, and anyone with an interest in the current dynamics of U.S immigration.

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Books will be available for sale at the event.

RSVP for the Oliveira presentation here or at the Register button on the right of the BC calendar event listing.

Access Oliveira event flyer here.

September 24

4:30 PM

Campion Hall, 139

Contact
Timothy Karcz

Accompaniment and solidarity in contexts of war: Experiences from the Ixcán, Guatemala

Accompaniment and solidarity in contexts of war: Experiences from the Ixcán, Guatemala

Lecture by renowned Guatemalan anthropologist Ricardo Falla, SJ.

Co-sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry.

Drawing on experiences in the Sierra Maestra in Cuba and in Morazán in El Salvador, as well as the writing of Oscar Romero and Ignacio Ellacuría, Ricardo Falla will discuss some of his experiences as anthropologist and priest accompanying the Communities of Populations in Resistance in the Ixcán of Guatemala from 1983-1992. His experiences of and writings about accompaniment and solidarity draw directly from the relationships he formed living and working among Guatemalans in the Ixcán during these years of armed conflict and resistance. He will speak about the Ixcán people’s self-defense and resistance; his pastoral accompaniment in this context; and his conduct of anthropological research, focusing on the ways these three experiences are woven together and interconnected, resembling three sides of a triangle.

 

About Ricardo Falla, SJ:

Ricardo Falla Sánchez (born 1932) is a Guatemalan Jesuit anthropologist who completed his PhD at the University of Texas in Austin after having studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria with Karl Rahner, among others.  He has dedicated his life to documenting the lives and cultures of Maya in Guatemala and other indigenous peoples in Central America. His writings have documented multiple Mayan communities including their revitalization through, among other initiatives, their engagement with strong religious movements, attempts to destroy their communities through the brutal massacres of the 1980s, and their struggles for justice and human rights. Between 1982 and 1993 Ricardo spent multiple years, including some of the worst of the armed conflict, accompanying what were to become the Communities of Populations in Resistance in the Ixcán.

Among his many publications is included a monograph based on his PhD dissertation, Quiché Rebelde (1978), and published in English in 2001 as Quiché Rebelde. Religious Conversion, Politics, and Ethnic Identity in Guatemala. His 1984 Spanish language monograph, Esa muerte que nos hace vivir [That death that makes us live] is perhaps the best example of how ethnography can serve as metaphor. Falla is perhaps most widely known for his 1992 publication Masacres de la Selva – a volume that appeared in English, Massacres in the Jungle, in 1994.  He has recently published three books on Mayan youth, two focused on those from the Ixcán area of Guatemala: Alicia: Explorando la identidad de una joven maya [Exploring identity: The story of a Maya youth] (2005) and Juventud de una comunidad maya: Ixcán, Guatemala [Youth from a Maya Community, Ixcán, Guatemala] (2006) and a third volume, Migración transnacional retornada: Juventud indígena de Zacualpa, Guatemala [Transnational migration and return: Indigenous youth of Zacualpa, Guatemala] (2007) which focuses on youth who have immigrated to the United States and voluntarily returned to Guatemala. He is currently publishing the sixth volume of what will be eight volumes of his heretofore unpublished work, Al atardecer de la vida [At the sunset of life].

 

Register here for the event.  Registration not required but appreciated for this event. Thank you.

October 16

7:00 PM

Fulton Hall, 511

Contact
Timothy Karcz

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "Defining genocide is always problematic: The Case of Guatemala"

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "Defining genocide is always problematic: The Case of Guatemala"

With renowned Guatemalan anthropolgist Ricardo Falla, SJ

Part of the Center's "Rights in Conflict" luncheon series.

Falla will begin with an introduction to the genocide trials taking place in Guatemala today. After briefly outlining what have been called “acts of genocide” in the insurgent and counterinsurgent strategies during the armed conflict, he will discuss the Massacre of San Francisco, Nentón (July 17,1982), drawing on elements from the UN definition of genocide, to analyze how this “genocidal act” implies a genocidal policy. He will cite other cases of similar genocidal acts that confirm this policy and then discuss if his analysis is correct. 

A light lunch to be served; RSVP required for lunch here, or at the red "Register" button on the right of the the BC event calendar listing. 

Co-sponsored by the Faith, Peace & Justice program.

October 17

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Gasson Hall, 100

Contact
Timothy Karcz

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "Freedom of Religion: Kurdistan, Kathmandu and the Masterpiece Cake Shop Opinion:  An International Human Rights Law Odyssey"

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "Freedom of Religion: Kurdistan, Kathmandu and the Masterpiece Cake Shop Opinion: An International Human Rights Law Odyssey"

With H. Victor Condé,  MA, JD, LLM, International Human Rights Lawyer-Educator.

Part of the Center's "Rights in Conflict" luncheon series

This is a discussion about international human rights law in relation to the specific human right to freedom of religion or belief. It will include the speaker’s experiences engaging in leader training in freedom of religion in missions to Iraqi Kurdistan and Kathmandu, Nepal, using international human rights law, and the conflicting human rights discourse about freedom of religion in conflict ridden places.

Also discussed is the recent US Supreme Court opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the recent "gay wedding cake" case, viewed through the lens of both US Constitutional law and international human rights law. This case manifests the conflict/interplay of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and non-discrimination. and conflict between human rights discourses and multiple conflicting rights and principles and interpretations, and societal attitudes towards discrimination, and towards religion, its followers and teachings.

Contextual quotes:

"The state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both depth and breadth of violations."

- U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2017 Annual Report

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"This case presents difficult questions as to the proper reconciliation of at least two principles.  The first is the authority of a State and its governmental entities to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services. The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment, as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment."

- Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case, 2018

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"Freedom of religion or belief has been described as ‘a particularly controversial right’. Indeed, it will never cease to be debated and exposed to very different interpretations in academia, politics and law. Some of the interpretations emerging in recent years, however, show a tendency towards obscuring the human rights approach and its three interconnected features of universalism, freedom and equality. There is, at any rate, a real danger for the contours of freedom of religion or belief to become increasingly blurred. Unless we pay attention, its basic principles may in the long run even be turned upside down."

- Prof. Heiner Bielefeldt, former UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of religion or belief

About the presenter:

H. Victor Condé is an international human rights lawyer and educator based in California and Europe. A graduate of Loyola High in LA, BA from UC Irvine in Classical Philology, he holds a Juris Doctor from UC Davis Law School, an MA in International Human Rights theory and practice, an LLM in International and Comparative Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the Univ. of Essex, UK, and holds the Diplôme in International and Comparative Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. He served as professor of human rights and humanitarian law at Trinity Law School in California, and lectured at the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, the University of California at Irvine, the Catholic University of Brussels, and University of Strasbourg, France, and has served as a human rights legal consultant to NGOs and to the O.S.C.E .  as well as serving the Church as a legal consultant to  Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See (Vatican) at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

A member of the California and Hawaii Bars he practices law part time in California, and travels globally as an international human rights trainer for Hardwired Inc., a human rights NGO focusing on freedom of religion globally.

A light lunch to be served.  RSVP for the Condé event here or at the "Register" button on the right of the BC calendar event listing online.

October 19

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Barat House

Contact
Timothy Karcz

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation -  "New Wars and New Challenges:  Addressing the human rights implications of the overlap between armed conflict and terrorism"

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon presentation - "New Wars and New Challenges: Addressing the human rights implications of the overlap between armed conflict and terrorism"

With Fionnuala Ni Aolain, Regents Professor and Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society, University of Minnesota Law School; Professor of Law & Associate Director, Transitional Justice Institute, Dalriada House, Ulster University; and United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism

Following the Cold War, many commentators rightly speculated on the effects of new forms of warfare emerging from state dissolution, new claims of self-determination, an upswing in internal armed conflict, and a confluence of ‘mixed’ conflicts involving both international and internal elements (e.g. former Yugoslavia). The events of 9/11 have brought new dimensions to the ‘new wars’ discussion.  In particular, terrorism itself has been defined as a stand-alone threat to global "peace and security," new non-state actor groups have emerged which do not neatly fit old paradigms of combatant status, and states are increasingly rejecting the application of the law of armed conflict to new battlefields in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. New phrases such as "hotspots," "associated forces," and "foreign fighters" litter the legal and political landscape.  New forms of legal regulation have emerged, primarily United Nations Security Council Resolutions which bypass traditional treaty and inter-state regulation of collective violence. In the midst of this re-ordering, human rights remain in grave peril particularly such essential rights as the right to life, freedom from torture, due process protections and freedom of assembly and expressions.  The United Nations Special Rapporteur gives an overview of these trends and affirms the ongoing obligations of states to protect the human rights of citizens and non-citizens alike.

A light lunch to be served.  RSVP for lunch for the Ni Aolain event here, or at the red Register button to the right of the BC event calendar listing (click on event title above to access if viewing this from the Center events page).

November 01

12:00 PM

McElroy Commons, 237

Contact
Timothy Karcz

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

This conference brings together scholars, survivors, and activists in the international field of Transitional Justice, with a specific focus on the Irish state’s response to the nation’s history of institutional abuse. Researchers, students and interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

Traditionally, transitional justice has been focused on moments of dramatic political transformation and transfers of power (i.e., regime change). It promises a more “holistic,” survivor/victim-focused, approach to historic injustice, in part because it combines the four key elements of justice, reparation, truth-telling, and guarantees of non-recurrence. More recently, scholars are considering the application of this approach to the institutional abuses of settled democracies.

Our conference pursues a twofold conversation: we will discuss the efficacy of a transitional justice approach to Ireland’s history of institutional abuse and consider the State’s response to this legacy. Privileging victim/survivor testimony, we will ask the following questions: What do the methods with which Ireland has attempted to deal with its past tell us about the State’s current approach to power and vulnerability? What is it that Ireland still needs to learn about its treatment of vulnerable women and children? What are the implications of recent State-sponsored investigations for contemporary women, children and other citizens in vulnerable situations? Can truth-telling and a guarantee of non-recurrence take place in the absence of access to records and information held in public and private archives?

What can Ireland learn from transitional justice responses to similar histories in other jurisdictions? Does transitional justice have the potential to assist Ireland in building a Human Rights infrastructure and thereby help guarantee non-recurrence of these failures?

November 01

1:00 PM – 8:15 PM

Gasson Hall, 100

Contact
Professor James Smith

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland

This conference brings together scholars, survivors, and activists in the international field of Transitional Justice, with a specific focus on the Irish state’s response to the nation’s history of institutional abuse. Researchers, students and interested members of the public are welcome to attend.

Traditionally, transitional justice has been focused on moments of dramatic political transformation and transfers of power (i.e., regime change). It promises a more “holistic,” survivor/victim-focused, approach to historic injustice, in part because it combines the four key elements of justice, reparation, truth-telling, and guarantees of non-recurrence. More recently, scholars are considering the application of this approach to the institutional abuses of settled democracies.

Our conference pursues a twofold conversation: we will discuss the efficacy of a transitional justice approach to Ireland’s history of institutional abuse and consider the State’s response to this legacy. Privileging victim/survivor testimony, we will ask the following questions: What do the methods with which Ireland has attempted to deal with its past tell us about the State’s current approach to power and vulnerability? What is it that Ireland still needs to learn about its treatment of vulnerable women and children? What are the implications of recent State-sponsored investigations for contemporary women, children and other citizens in vulnerable situations? Can truth-telling and a guarantee of non-recurrence take place in the absence of access to records and information held in public and private archives?

What can Ireland learn from transitional justice responses to similar histories in other jurisdictions? Does transitional justice have the potential to assist Ireland in building a Human Rights infrastructure and thereby help guarantee non-recurrence of these failures?

November 02

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Gasson Hall, 100

Contact
Professor James Smith

"Rights in Conflict" luncheon discussion series

The focus of this year’s Human Rights Luncheon Speaker series is “Rights in Conflict.”  By this framing, we aim to focus on two distinct but related ideas:  The first is that rights discourses, by their very nature, often conflict with each other.  This raises deep problems of interpretation, legitimacy, strategies and tactics for activists, etc.  Around the world, we see many recent poignant examples of such conflicts, including US Supreme Court litigation over religious-based refusals to provide cakes for gay weddings, debates over the lines where “free speech” may become sufficiently oppressive to violate rights to dignity or equal protection, tensions between the power (some say the “rights”) of nation-states to control their borders versus compelling human rights claims of refugees, those facing deportation, women’s rights claims for equity versus “traditional” or “cultural” but often exclusionary or patriarchal norms, etc. 

The other meaning of conflict refers to actual conflicts where rights claims face increasing pressure, again often due to claims of overriding security issues (e.g., President Trump’s promise to resurrect waterboarding; the threats to journalists in Mexico, and elsewhere), deep norms of cultural or religious cohesion (e.g., the Rohingya in Burma; US and Canada removals and forced assimilation of Native children), and transnational capital development (e.g., global North’s industries’ extractive mining and/or flooding of indigenous lands for hydroelectricity in the global South).

In sum, human rights claims have increasingly come into conflict in both senses, both in the US and around the world. Invited speakers will reflect on these fault lines and consider how societies and institutions balance such competing claims, both as to specific case studies and, as part of a year long extended conversation, more broadly.

Follow the links in the event calendar above for more details and to RSVP for lunch.