Save the Date: Critical Perspectives on Race and Human Rights: Transnational Re-Imaginings, Friday March 8, 2019 + Call for Papers

Save the Date: Critical Perspectives on Race and Human Rights: Transnational Re-Imaginings, Friday March 8, 2019 + Call for Papers [article image]

When: Fri, Mar 08 2019 12:00am - Fri, Mar 08 2019 12:00am 

Where: UCLA School of Law

UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program, Promise Institute for Human Rights, International and Comparative Law Program and Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs are planning a one-day conference at the UCLA School of Law on Friday, March 8th, 2019, exploring critical topics in contemporary international human rights law from the joint perspectives of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). 

The deadline for submissions is Monday, October 1st, 2018 by 5 pm Pacific Time. Please submit materials via email to with the subject line: Symposium Proposal. Successful applicants will be notified via email no later than November 1st, 2018.


We invite interdisciplinary paper submissions from across disciplines and methodologies with an emphasis on the following three clusters of topics:

  • MIGRATION: This theme includes displacement as a consequence of climate change; rights and protection regimes for economic migrants; and the fraying system of protections for refugees, among other topics. We invite submissions that, among others, address such topics with particular attention to the racial dimensions of migrant exclusion, the historical roots of contemporary trajectories; criminalization and detention; the political economy of the drivers of migration, including labor migration; and the institutional and normative responses to migration.
  • POLITICAL EQUALITY: This theme invites engagement with the myriad criticisms of the claims to universalism in the human rights system, including those that address the normative framing, the institutional structure and allegations of the fundamental ineffectiveness of the human rights system. We invite submissions that, among others, engage such topics as: the international sovereignty regime and Third World claims to equality and effective participation in the international order; the function of the norm of non-intervention in an age of militarized humanitarianism; reconstructing or challenging the emancipatory potential of human rights; and intellectual histories of human rights.
  • SOCIO-ECONOMIC EQUALITY: This theme engages with the especially pointed challenge to a human rights system that has failed to adequately address economic and social rights during the seven decades since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. We invite submissions that address, from CRT and TWAIL perspectives, such topics as: transnational labor protections in an era of free trade; social backlash to neoliberal globalization and its implications; the global rise of populism; health protections and environmental sustainability in the international human rights system; multilateral governance of the international economic order; and critical engagements with paradigms of “development.”

We will draw from paper submissions on the above topics for both plenary panels and concurrent sessions. Additional themes on which we welcome submissions for concurrent sessions include:

  • Climate change
  • Populism
  • Criminal justice and human rights
  • Race and the international order
  • Critical race feminism
  • Post-colonial and/or decolonized sovereignties
  • Fourth world approaches to indigeneity
  • Comparative CRT
  • Intersectionality