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Human Rights Designated Emphasis

Mission of the Designated Emphasis

The DE in Human Rights provides graduate students in affiliated programs the opportunity to supplement their Ph.D. with a specialization in the academic study of Human Rights. The mission of the DE is to promote and build capacity in the academic study of Human Rights and the training of graduate students in the field of Human Rights in the Ph.D. programs throughout the campus.

Affiliated Ph.D. Programs

Students in the following Ph.D. programs are eligible to pursue a Designated Emphasis in Human Rights:

  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • English
  • German
  • History
  • Native American Studies
  • Spanish
  • Sociology
  • ​Study of Religion
  • ​Performance Studies

Affiliated Faculty


Marisol de la Cadena -
Jeff Kahn -
Suzana Sawyer - 
Cristiana Giordano - 


Heghnar Z. Watenpaugh -


Desirée Martin -


Elisabeth Krimmer -

Chunjie Zhang -

Sven-Erik Rose -

Jaimey Fisher -


Corrine Decker -

Susan Miller-Emeritus -

Charles Walker -

Adam Zientek -

Stacy Fahrenthold -

Marian E. Schlotterbeck -


Keith David Watenpaugh -


Stefano Varese- Emeritus -

Jessica Perea -

Ines Hernandez-Avila -

Liza Grandia -

Zoila Mendoza -

Elisabeth Middleton -

Justin Spence -


W. Flagg Miller -


Diane Wolf -

David Kyle

Caitlin Patler -


Emilio Bejel -

Cristina Martinez-Carazo  -

Michael Lazzara

Course Requirements

All four course requirements must be completed prior to the Qualifying Exam:

  • HMR 200A. History, Theory and Criticism of Human Rights. (cross-listed with Study of Religion course REL 231E)
  • HMR 200B. Memory, Culture, and Human Rights. (cross-listed with Cultural Studies course CST 210)
  • One course or course of study in the student’s home graduate department or group, relevant to the study of Human Rights or in which the student may conduct significant research on a topic relevant to the study of Human Rights. This course or course of study shall be identified in advance and in consultation with the student’s Human Rights DE advisor.
  • One reading or independent study course (such as HMR 299) with a faculty member of the Human Rights Designated Emphasis Group


2021-2022 Graduate Courses

Winter 2022

HMR 200A- Keith Watenpaugh
Wednesdays, 1:10-4:00


Dissertation & Examination Requirements

The dissertation research topic must employ in whole or in part the academic study of Human Rights.  The Qualifying Exam Committee must include a faculty member of the DE in Human Rights and the exam must include a question relevant to the DE.  A faculty member of the DE must also sit on the Dissertation Committee. Typically the same DE representative will be on both committees, but this is not a requirement.

Paperwork Requirements

For assistance obtaining signatures on your paperwork, please contact the DE Staff, housed in the Department of Languages & Literatures: Maria Ruby, 210 Sproul, The following forms are required for the DE: