The modes of human rights literature

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THE MODES OF HUMAN RIGHTS LITERATURE Towards a Culture without Borders Michael Galchinsky The Modes of Human Rights Literature Michael Galchinsky The Modes of Human Rights Literature Towards a Culture without Borders Michael Galchinsky Georgia State University Atlanta, Georgia, USA ISBN 978-3-319-31850-9 ISBN 978-3-319-31851-6 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-31851-6 (eBook) Library of Congress Control Number: 2016943524 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016 This work is subject to copyright All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made Cover illustration: © Melisa Hasan Printed on acid-free paper This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by Springer Nature The registered company is Springer International Publishing AG Switzerland For Gideon and Rafi PREFACE In September 2004, I traveled to Russia with a delegation of academics to build connections with the emerging Jewish studies departments there, and also to interview human rights activists We could get a pretty clear sense of the state of human rights at the time just by looking at the public monuments As a marker of one Russian impulse, Tsereteli’s massive and hideous new monument of Peter the Great, sitting in the middle of the Moscow River, seemed like a portent of Putin’s imperial ambitions But the imperial impulse was countered by what we found in a sculpture park outside the Tretyakov Gallery in central Moscow This was where, after 1989, city officials brought the marble and bronze Lenins and Stalins and Dzerzhinskys, which had stood in front of government buildings and bestrewn public squares, but which now no longer had a state purpose At first, the officials brought the sculptures to the park and left them as they were, leaning on their sides The area came to be called (colloquially, not officially) the Park of Fallen Idols Eventually the collection contained over 700 Soviet-era monuments In the heady days of the new Russia, the City of Moscow commissioned artist Evgeny Chubarov to surround some of the examples of triumphant socialist realism with more contemporary sculptures When we entered the park we came upon Stalin, twenty feet high, striding purposefully into history Chubarov had surrounded the dictator with sculptures of his victims, including a massive cement cage with iron bars, filled with over 300 individualized ceramic heads In this way the Park of Fallen Idols offered a layered reading of Russian history vii viii PREFACE Not many states preserve the monuments of their discredited pasts Writing a decade after the Soviet tanks crushed the Prague Spring, in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera described the more typical fate of monuments: “Wandering the streets that not know their names are the ghosts of monuments torn down Torn down by the Czech Reformation, torn down by the Austrian Counter-Reformation, torn down by the Czechoslovak Republic, torn down by the Communists; even the statues of Stalin have been torn down” (Kundera, Laughter and Forgetting 1994, 217) It is just because successive governments undertake strenuous programs of public forgetting that citizens in every country should demand their own parks of fallen idols Every government should be required to maintain its own standing rebuke Its citizens should have access to symbols that assert, “However things are today, they were otherwise yesterday, and might be otherwise tomorrow.” Human rights symbols, like the fallen idols, arouse strong public feelings, which not always find a channel in the official exchanges of actors in the international human rights system The various monitoring bodies at the United Nations (UN) tend to marginalize affect, in an effort to make human rights justiciable Non-governmental organization (NGO) reports also relegate the strong emotions of victims of rights violations to sidebars, focusing their attention on testimony that has evidentiary value In the academic realm, too, there has been too little discussion of the emotional aspects of human rights discourse This is in part because the study of human rights has usually been undertaken by legal scholars and political scientists, whose interests lie elsewhere Trauma studies have explored the consequences of human rights abuse for individual victims’ psyches, but how societies, collectively, deal with their traumas is a question only beginning to be investigated in the scholarly literature on transitional justice There is still much work to be done Compared to human rights law, human rights culture is generally not as concerned about the juncture between facts and norms (Habermas 1998) as it is about the juncture between feelings and forms It is less about establishing an agreed code, and more about sharing individual experiences Emotionally resonant human rights art typically doesn’t change laws or regimes; rather, it seeks to change the prevailing ethos, by depicting what human rights mean for the individuals who are deprived of them, who witness the abuse, who perpetrate it, who mourn the victims, who intervene, who provide aid, or who transmit the stories By relating such experiences, human rights culture tries to shape a durable recollection for the wounded community PREFACE ix In the past decade, there has been a surge in the number of humanities scholars studying human rights literature and art Cultural sociologists have begun to look at the symbolic, meaning-making processes associated with human rights practices (e.g., Alexander 2007) Communications theorists have considered the effect on viewers of the framing of human rights issues in the media (e.g., Borer 2012) This book contributes to the humanistic study of human rights by offering an account of two of the major modes of human rights literature—lament, the literature of mourning, and laughter, the literature of resilience These literary modes exemplify art that reflects, and reflects on, a developing culture of universal civility Thanks to everyone at the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology, who helped me develop my ideas on global civil culture by inviting me to present a workshop in 2008 The Center’s journal and conferences have been a source of continuing inspiration and learning for me Thanks to Tristan Borer for encouraging me to develop my ideas and including an early version of Chap 1 in her collection as “Framing a Rights Ethos: Artistic Media and the Dream of a Culture without Borders,” in Borer, ed., Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights: Mediating Suffering (New York: Zed, 2012), 67–95 Thanks, too, to the editors of Human Rights Review, for publishing an early version of Chap 2—originally as “Lament as Transitional Justice,” Human Rights Review 15.3 (2014): 259–281—and permitting me to revise and reprint it here Colleagues at meetings of the Modern Language Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, and the International Studies Association have offered wonderful support and advice—in particular Alexandra Schultheis Moore, Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, Greg Mullins, and Zoe Norridge I am also grateful to the colleagues in my international law track, whose work has often overlapped in interesting and unforeseeable ways with my culture track: Kurt Mills, Melissa Labonte, and David Jason Karp I am grateful to Georgia State University for the Provost’s Faculty Fellowship and professional leave that enabled me to complete this work Many of my colleagues have offered their good counsel and encouragement on various aspects of the project, especially Randy Malamud, LeeAnne Richardson, Sarah Higinbotham, and my fellow affiliates of GSU’s Center for Human Rights and Democracy My editor at Palgrave, Brigitte Shull, and the anonymous reviewers offered useful counsel My boys, Gideon and Rafael, are dedicated to soccer and to tikkun olam (the Jewish concept of repair of the world) They’re wise enough to know they don’t have to choose As Emma Goldman once put it, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution.” WORKS CITED 117 Arendt, H 1978 The Jew as Pariah: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age Grove Press Bakhtin, M.  M 1984 Rabelais and His World Translated by Helene Iswolsky Bloomington: Indiana University Press Print —— 1981 “Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel.” In: Holquist M (ed.) 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society affect theory, 17–18 Afghanistan, 28 Agamben, G., 57 Akhmatova, A., 43, 49–51 Albertson Fineman, M., 17 Alexander, J., 18, 95, 96, 98, 105 Anderson, B., 20 An-Na'im, A.A., 84 Appiah, K.A., 104 Arab Spring, 94 Archibugi, A., 19 Arendt, H., 75 Argentina, 56, 73, 77, 107 Aristotle, Attenborough, R., 10 B Bakhtin, M., 13, 18, 24, 55, 59, 81 and chronotopes, 46 and discrowning laughter, 70 forms of laughter in, 55 and laughing death, 56, 70 responsive utterances in, 70 and unfinalizability, 71 Barthes, R., 100 Benn, G., 43 Bernstein, C., 43 Bettelheim, B., 57 Bildungsroman, 11, 104 Bienek, H., 44 Black Lives Matter movement, 97 Boal, A., 95 body-person See embodied personality Bono, 109 Bosnia, 28, 33, 56, 57, 109 Bronte, C., 95 Brooks, G., 97 Buber, M., 57 Buiza, N., 81 Burke, E., 42 Burma, 106 Bush, G.W. President, 108 Butler, J., 17, 22, 28 © The Author(s) 2016 M Galchinsky, The Modes of Human Rights Literature, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-31851-6 125 126 INDEX C Carnaval, 94 Castellanos Moya, H., 14, 73, 78–82 Catholic Church, 73, 78 Celan, P., 12, 43 China, 100, 108 citizens of the world, 19, 20, 84, 93 See also cosmopolitanism Civil Rights Movement, US, 3, 97 civil society, 24, 25, 33, 35, 56, 65, 72, 77, 84 genealogy of, 86 role of associations in, 88, 92 role of culture in, 84, 86, 90, 94, 97 role of emotions in, 2, 6, 7, 20, 29, 92, 96, 98, 100 role of media in, 88, 92 Coetzee, J., 107 comfort women, Comte, A., 91 conscious innocence See lament, and post-traumatic innocence cosmopolitanism, 21, 25, 64, 85, 89, 91, 99, 100, 104, 109, 111 Crane, D., 21, 101 cultural antiquities Buddhas of Bamiyan, 107 Iraqi national museum, 107, 108 ISIS destruction of, in Syria, 107 struggle over Elgin Marbles, 107 World Heritage sites, 20, 104, 111 cultural imperialism, 21, 22, 25, 101 cultural rights, 103, 107, 111 cultural sociology, 17–18, 84, 88, 95, 103 culture without borders, 3, 19, 22, 25, 51, 83, 91, 102 Cummings, K., 49 Czechoslovakia, 56, 58, 60 D Defoe, D., 103 Dangarembga, T., 104 Darwin, C., 52 Dawes, J., de Kock, E., 37 Delanty, G., 103 democracy communicative, 89, 99, 105 cosmopolitan, 18–19, 89, 99, 102, 112 deliberative, 18–19 procedural, 87, 99 procedural vs communicative, 88 Dickens, C., 14, 76 distant reading, 7, 16 Donnelly, J., 22 Dorfman, A., 12 Douglass, F., 97 DuBois, W.E.B., 97 Duoduo, 42 Durkheim, E., 10, 95, 96, 102 E Eberly, D., 105 El Salvador, 106 Elgin Marbles, 107 Eliot, G., 14, 91 embodied personality, 54, 65, 69, 71, 72, 75, 77, 78, 80 Englander, N., 14, 73–78 ethical turn in the humanities, 16–17 exilic laughter See Laughter, acute Exodus (Book of), 97 Ezekiel (Book of), 32, 33, 38 F Faulkner, W., 73 feminism, 22, 53, 94, 104 INDEX Folman, A., 36 Forché, C., 24, 28 Forgetting See Laughter Frank, A., 11 Frye, N., 5, 9, 14 G Galloway, S., 28, 33 Garton-Ash, T., 34, 93 genocide, 11–13, 28, 39, 44, 55, 81, 100, 104, 108, 109 Gerardi, Bishop J., 78 global civil culture, 5, 19, 99, 102, 106 assumption of Western bias of, 86 definition of, 85 and the Internet, 109 vs national civil culture, 86, 98 non-western models of, 84 resurgence of after 9/11, 108 role of celebrities in, 109 role of emotions in, 85 role of film in, 106 role of novels in, 107 role of photography in, 109 role of sports in, 100, 107 role of testimony in, 107 as set of nomadic practices, 103 global civil society, 104 See also civil society; global civil culture composition of, 85 increasing instability of, 105 role of culture in, 106 role of Internet in, 94 role of media in, 106 role of NGOs in, 93, 105 role of social media in, 94 globalization theories, 21, 101 and audience reception, 101 and cultural flows, 101 and media imperialism, 101 127 and negotiation vs competition, 101 Gobodo-Madikezela, P., 37 Goethe, W., 64 Graves, R., 42 Grear, A., 17, 54, 70, 81 Greece, 51, 107 grief-time See lament Guantanamo Bay, 28, 108 Guatemala, 56, 73, 78, 107 Guguletu Seven, 48 H Habermas, J., 2, 19, 21, 89 habits of the heart, 2, 18, 88, 90, 92, 96, 100, 112 Havel, V., 60 Hayner, P.B., 34 Hirsi Ali, A., 23, 107 Hitler, A., Holan, V., 40 Holocaust, 8, 12, 31, 39, 40, 43, 45, 107 Homer, 48 Huchel, P., 47 Hughes, L., 97 human rights as civic religion, 91 philosophical foundation of, 54 and transitional justice, 52 human rights abuse, 54 perpetrators, 3, 9, 29, 34, 35, 37, 38, 46, 73, 104 survivors, 11, 24, 34, 39, 40, 50, 79, 81 victims, 3, 8, 9, 12, 23, 29, 30, 34, 37–39, 41, 43, 46, 51, 54, 58, 72, 84, 106, (see also subjected subject) witnesses, 3, 9, 11, 34, 44, 50, 81, 109 128 INDEX human rights literature as cullture without borders, 83 developing criticism of, formal dimensions of, 15 genres of, and historical context, as horizontal communication, 19 and humanism, infrastructure for, 23 and multiculturalism, purposes, as quasi-religious narrative, 17 as responsive utterance, 17 role of emotions in, 19 shared dimensions of, as social phenomenon, 18 tradition of, and universal civility, 112 Human Rights Watch, 20, 109 Hunt, L., I Indonesian puppet theater, 94 International Criminal Court, 108 Iraq, 28, 106–108 J Jameson, F., 21 Japan, Jeremiah (Book of), 48 Jews, 8, 12, 16, 31, 40, 74 Jolie, A., 109 K Kafka, F., 11, 13, 55, 59, 65, 68–72, 79 Kant, I., 42, 43, 89, 90 Kashua, S., 109 Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda, 12 King, M.L. Jr., 97 Kirsch, S., 30 Klepfisz, I., 39 Koff, C., 41 Kokotovic, M., 80 Korea, Kosovo, 41 Kovner, A., 45 Krog, A., 7, 12, 28, 36, 38, 46, 48 Kruschev, N., 68 Kundera, M., 57–59 Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 59–65 The Curtain, 64 The Joke, 58 sublation of power in, 64 Unbearable Lightness of Being, 79 L Laddaga, R., 109 Lahiri, J., 109 lament, 7–9, 12–13, 27–52 ambivalence in, 38 and Antigone, 28 being excluded from, 38 and botched salvation, 32, 45 as collective story, 35–38, 51 containing multitudes, 38–42, 50, 51 as feminine form, 79 first and second narratives in, 37 genres of, 28 and ghosts, 12, 44, 47, 51 in graphic novels, 46 grief-time in, 45–47, 51 as hopeful mode, 31, 44 and the maternal, 48–52 as means of civic repair, 29, 30, 34, 49, 52 INDEX and metonymy, 41, 51 and parataxis, 39, 51 and post-traumatic innocence, 16, 30–33, 48, 51 purposes of, 28 and reconciliation, 29, 34, 35, 37, 48, 52 and rememory, 34, 46 as reenactment, 46 and renewal, 31, 49, 51 and ressurection, 32 and ritual, 27, 30, 35, 51 role of emotions in, 30, 47–49 sources for, 35 and the sublime, 42, 43, 51 as symbolic process, 29, 30 and synecdoche, 40, 41 as transitional justice, 24, 29, 47, 52 Lamentations (Book of), 31, 40 Laughter, 8, 53–82 acute, 55–65 and agency, 57, 72 alliance with political and sexual freedom, 58, 79 and ambiguity, 62, 66 and ambivalence, 60, 81 as assault on legal personality, 69, 70 and the carnivalesque, 59 chronic, 55, 56, 65–72 and collective memory, 59 at death, 56, 70, 72 and detachment, 79, 82 and exile, 24, 59, 64 and forgetting, 59, 62, 63 as form of resilience, 4, 13, 24, 55, 57, 58, 67, 72, 79, 81 forms of, 55 and heteroglossia, 65 as internal freedom, 54, 55, 65, 79 merging with lament, 14, 24, 58, 72, 78 and minorities, 57, 76, 77 129 and misogyny, 79 and pathos, 56 posthumous, 55, 56, 72–82 and renewal, 15, 65 role of emotions in, 66, 79 and unfinalizability, 71, 82 and vulnerability, 54, 55, 57, 58, 70, 72 laughter-from-above See Laughter, chronic laughter-from-below See Laughter, chronic laughter-from-the-side See Laughter, acute Lazarus, E., 95 League of Nations, 84 Levi, P., 7, 38 Levinas, E., 17, 22 Levinson, M., 16 Locke, J., 22, 84, 86–88 Longinus, 42 M Madikizela-Mandela, W., 38 Malcolm X, 97 Mandelstam, O., 38 Mannheim, K., 18 Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial, 97 Mayakovsky Square, 94 McClennen, S., McLean, H., 66 memory vs recollection, 35–38, 51, 63 Menchu, Rigoberta, 107 mental culture See structure of feeling metonymy See lament Mill, J.S., 18, 86, 91, 98, 103 Milosz, C., 45 Milton, J., 94 Miya, E., 49 modes, 6–15 130 INDEX critical approach to, 15 as culture without borders, 83 formal dimensions of, 15 vs genres, as ideal types, 10, 14 intentionality in, lament, 9, 12–13 (see also lament) laughter, 13–15 (see also Laughter) as macro-forms, 9, 28 non-contingent and widespread, 5, 9, 51 permeability of, 14 protest, 6, 9–11 role of emotions in, 10, 15, 24 (see under civil society) testimony, 6, 9, 11–12 as a tradition, Moretti, F., 5, 7, 14, 16, 98 Morrison, T., 12, 28, 33, 44, 47, 49, 51 Moss, L., 38 Moyn, S., 6, 10 Muselmänner, 57 N new formalism, 15–16 Ngewu, C., 48 Nichols, B., 46 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 2, 19, 35, 85, 93, 100–102, 105 Norridge, Z., O official vs practical consciousness, 65–68, 82 Okubo, M., 95 Olympic Games, 100, 107 Orozco, J., 84 Orwell, G., 11 Ouettar, T., 106 P Pamuk, O., 109 parataxis See lament pariah vs parvenu, 75–78 Poitier, S., 94 Poland, 40 Pollack, S., 106 post-traumatic innocence See lament Price Grieve, G., 84 Price, M.E., 100 Price, V., 99 Putnam, R., 88 R Radio Rwanda, Radnóti, M., 46 rape, 44, 48, 51, 104, 107, 108 Reed, R., 49 reflexive laughter, 57–59 See Laughter, acute relative universality, 22, 102 Religion of Humanity, 91 responsive utterances, 17, 70 Ricoeur, P., 17 Rousseau, J.-J., 86, 87, 105 Rozewicz, T., 41 Rusesabagina, P., 11 Rushdie, S., 23, 107 Rwanda, 8, 11, 28, 44, 109 S Sacco, J., 57–59 Sa'id, A.A (pseud Adonis), 32 Satrapi, M., 95 Schaffer, K., 4, 8, 34 INDEX Schreiber, M., 48 Schultheis Moore, A., 4, Sepamla, S., 37 Serge, V., 32, 43 Sesame Street, 104 Sierra Leone, 34, 109 Slater, M.B., 23 Slaughter, J., 4, 11, 103 slavery, 12, 28, 32, 108 Smith, S., 4, 8, 34 sociopolitical emotions, 7, 15, 17 See also civil society Sojourner Truth, 97 Solzhenitsyn, A., 10 Sontag, S., 17, 109 South Africa, 10, 37, 106, 107 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 11, 29, 36, 48 Soviet Union, 40, 43, 50, 56 Soyinka, W., 109 Stalin, J., 38, 65 Stalinism, 43 Stassen, J. P., 28, 44, 48 Stowe, H. B., 94 structure of feeling, 2, 3, 9, 18, 23, 85, 88, 92, 95–98, 111 subjected subject, 54, 55, 57, 65, 68, 70, 71, 79, 81, 82 sublime See Lament Sudan, 21, 100, 109 surface reading, 16 Swanson Goldberg, E., 4, synecdoche See Lament Syria, 32, 107 Szymborska, W., 40, 45 T Taha, M.M., 22 telenovela, 104 Testimonio, 78 131 Theater of the Oppressed, 95 Tocqueville, A de, 18, 86, 88–91, 95 torture, 50, 78, 80, 95, 104, 108 transitional justice, 24, 29, 30, 34, 47, 52, 78 translation of human rights works, 22–23 trauma theory, 17, 35 truth commissions, 24, 29, 33, 34, 52 Tsvetayeva, M., 32 Tuquan, F., 48 Tutu, Bishop D., 29, 37 U UNESCO, 20, 103, 106, 111 Union of Soviet Writers, 68 United Kingdom, 107 United Nations, 2, 105, 106, 108 United States, 21, 28, 87, 91, 95, 101, 107, 109 Universal civility, 9, 18, 23, 64, 90, 99, 105, 112 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1, 10, 93, 103 US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 12 V vulnerability See Laughter W Weltliteratur, 64 White, H., 5, 9, 14, 16 Whitman, W., 91 Wikipedia, 94 Williams, R., 18, 65, 95, 96 Wilson, A., 97 132 INDEX Wisse, R., 76 Wollstonecraft, M., 94 Wordsworth, W., 43, 92 Wright, R., 97 Wu Ming arts collective, 110 Y Yerushalmi, Y.H., 35 Z Zaitsev, B., 50 Zoschenko, M., 13, 55, 59, 65–68, 72 "A Summer Breather", 67 "The Galosh", 66 "Lyalka Fifty", 67 "Nervous People", 66 ... by offering an account of two of the major modes of human rights literature lament, the literature of mourning, and laughter, the literature of resilience These literary modes exemplify art that... Communications theorists have considered the effect on viewers of the framing of human rights issues in the media (e.g., Borer 2012) This book contributes to the humanistic study of human rights by offering... strives to locate the shared, human dimensions of human rights literature The focus is on the aspects of the literature that seem most widespread, even while other aspects of the same literary
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