Book Launch – The Transforming Power of Cultural Rights: A Promising Law and Humanities Approach

17 June 2019, 15:00 - 18:00

Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

gloknos is sponsoring the launch of a new publication by Helle Porsdam (University of Copenhagen). Her new book, The Transforming Power of Cultural Rights: A Promising Law and Humanities Approach (2019), is published by Cambridge University Press

Prof Helle Porsdam is Professor of Law and Humanities at the Center for Studies in Legal Culture, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, and the co-editor of Negotiating Cultural Rights: Issues at Stake, Challenges and Recommendations.

This event will include a discussion, led by Yvonne Donders (University of Amsterdam), followed by refreshments from 5:00pm until 6:00pm. 

If you are interested in this event, please email the organisers to reserve a space.

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gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.

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Book Launch – The Transforming Power of Cultural Rights: A Promising Law and Humanities Approach

Book Description & Reviews:

Cultural rights promote cultural and scientific creativity. Transformative and empowering, they also enable the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, thereby working as atrocity prevention tools. The Transforming Power of Cultural Rights argues that this gives these rights a central role to play in promoting the full human personality and in realising all other human rights. Looking at the work of the UN Special Rapporteurs in the field of cultural rights as well as UNESCO's efforts, Helle Porsdam addresses the question of how a universal human rights agenda can include a dialogue that recognises the importance of cultural diversity without sliding into cultural relativism. She argues that cultural rights offer a useful international arena and discourse in which to explain and negotiate cultural meanings when controversies arise. This places them at the centre of human rights - and at the centre of law and humanities.

‘This book is original in its focus, current in its concerns, provocative in some of its approaches and at the same time shows very in-depth knowledge of the cultural, philosophical, and legal aspects needed to understand the cultural right and their dilemmas. Professor Helle Porsdam has written the work which we should all know in order to continue participating in the debate on cultural rights.' Mikel Mancisidor, Independent expert member of the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (2013–20).

‘Porsdam has succeeded in adding an innovative perspective to the debate on cultural rights. Connecting the vocabularies of human rights, law and humanities, she convincingly shows that cultural rights can provide a global discourse to address issues of identity, diversity, solidarity and inclusion. She ends her book with some pertinent issues for further study, which should encourage us all to tackle these, not in isolation, but in holistic and concerted ways.' Yvonne Donders, University of Amsterdam.

‘Exploring the interconnection between cultural rights, law and the humanities, this book is an important milestone in overcoming the paucity of serious intellectual work on cultural rights. Addressing a wide array of issues, from television to education, from museums and literature to scientific pursuit, copyright and intellectual property, Porsdam shows how vital cultural rights are for better understanding and praxis in this complicated world of ours.' Farida Shaheed, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for cultural rights, Executive Director of Shirkat Gah, Women's Resource Centre in Pakistan

'An original and exciting approach for making understood the central place of cultural rights. Relying on TV shows, novels and other literary works, Porsdam, also a strong human rights analyst, convinces us that contemporary controversial issues can and should be addressed through the lens of cultural rights.' Mylène Bidault, Vice President of the Observatory of Diversity and Cultural Rights, Switzerland.