ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

dinsdag 26 februari 2019

LECTURE: 'Double Amnesia: Zionism and Human Rights in History and Memory' by Prof James Loeffler (Cambridge: Lauterpact Centre for International Law, 1 MAR 2019)

(image source: Lauterpact Centre)

Lecture summary:
2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. Drawing on his recent book, Professor Loeffler will discuss how the forgotten Jewish past of human rights holds timely lessons for thinking about the intertwined futures of global justice and Jewish politics.
On the speaker:
James Loeffler is the Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia, where he teaches courses in Jewish, European, and international history and the history of human rights. He received his BA from Harvard and his MA and PhD from Columbia University. He also studied Jewish thought as a Dorot Postgraduate Fellow at the Hebrew University. He is the author of Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale, 2018), which was a finalist for the Jewish Book Council’s Natan Prize for Best Jewish Book of 2018. His first book, The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale, 2010), won eight major awards and honors. Other publications include the forthcoming anthology, The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyers and International Law in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, 2019), and the new special issue of the journal Law & Contemporary Problems on “The Future of Human Rights Scholarship.” He is the co-founder of the University of Virginia Human Rights Research Network, Former Dean’s Visiting Scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center, and former Fellow of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His writing on contemporary Jewish politics, antisemitism, and human rights has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, and The New Republic. For ten years he curated a concert series of Jewish classical music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He is currently at work on two books: a study of how the Holocaust became Genocide, and a biography of the author of “Hava Nagila.”
(more details: Lauterpacht Centre for International Law)