The Humanities in Human Rights programme is facilitated by established scholars with research interests in human rights issues who contribute to our programme as speakers or workshop leaders.  Read more.

To learn more about our cohort of postgraduate research students and early career researchers, view the biographies in the participants section.

Speakers and Workshop Leaders

Dr Sanja Bahun's area of expertise is international modernism, and her research interests include theory of comparative arts, world literature, psychoanalysis, and women's and gender studies. She is the author of Modernism and Melancholia: Writing as Countermourning (Oxford UP, 2013), the co-editor of The Avant-garde and the Margin: New Territories of Modernism (2006), Violence and Gender in the Globalized World: The Intimate and the Extimate (2008), From Word to Canvas: Appropriations of Myth in Women's Aesthetic Production (2009), Myth and Violence in the Contemporary Female Text: New Cassandras (2011), Language, Ideology, and the Human: New Interventions (2012), and Myth, Literature, and the Unconscious (2013), and she has published articles and book chapters on a variety of subjects concerning modernism, world literature, psychoanalytic theory and intellectual history. Sanja has a long-standing interest in the humanities and human rights. She is the Co-Convener of Transitional Justice Network at the University of Essex, and Chair of Arts and Transitional Justice Area of ETJN. Sanja serves on the Executive Committee of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA).

Professor Les Back is a leading sociologist at Goldsmiths', University of London.  His main fields of interest are the sociology of racism, popular culture and city life. His work attempts to create a sensuous or live sociology committed to searching for new modes of sociological writing and representation. This approach is outlined in his most recent book The Art of Listening (Berg 2007).

Cathie Carmichael is Professor of European History at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.  Her teaching and research mostly concerns South Eastern Europe. She is an editor of the Journal of Genocide Research and the author of Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans, Nationalism and the Destruction of Tradition (2002) and Genocide before the Holocaust (2009).

Dr Shohini Chaudhuri is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.  She has published two books – Contemporary World Cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia (2005) and Feminist Film Theorists (2006). Her most recent research deals with the subject of film and human rights, particularly state-sanctioned disappearance and torture. Her latest book, Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship, is forthcoming in 2014.

Dr Anastasia Christou is Reader in Sociology at Middlesex University. She was previously Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography, University of Sussex; Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Aalborg; Postdoctoral Researcher at the Academy for Migration Studies in Denmark and Visiting Research Fellow at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung in Germany. Anastasia has been a Marie Curie Research Fellow and has conducted research for the University of York, Canada, and in Athens, Greece for ELIAMEP (Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy) and ANTIGONE (Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence).

Anastasia studied English Literature, Philosophy and Government (BA), International Relations and Comparative Politics (MA), obtained a Graduate Professional Certificate in International Law and Diplomacy at St. John's University, New York, USA, completed a DPhil in Geography at the University of Sussex and a PhD in Geography at the University of the Aegean, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

As part of a large-scale, comparative three year (2007-2009) AHRC funded project entitled: 'Cultural Geographies of Counter-Diasporic Migration: The Second Generation Returns "Home"' under the Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme, Anastasia conducted multi-sited, multi-method and comparative ethnographic research in the United States, Germany, Greece and Cyprus. The book of the project entitled, (Christou, A. and King, R.) Counter-diaspora: The Greek Second Generation Returns 'Home', is forthcoming. She has also conducted extensive ethnographic research in Denmark and her first monograph, entitled, Narratives of place, culture and identity: second-generation Greek-Americans return ‘home' (2006).

Dr Rick Crownshaw is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London.  He is the author of The Afterlife of Holocaust Memory in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), the co-editor of The Future of Memory (Berghahn, 2011), and the editor of Transcultural Memory (forthcoming, Routledge).  He is currently working on a project entitled the Natural History of Memory, which examines the confluence of cultural memories of atrocity and environmental disaster.

Dr Clare Finburgh is Senior Lecturer in Modern Drama at the University of Essex. Her current research treats representations of war and terrorism on the contemporary British stage, with special focus on notions of spectacle and the spectacular. She also specialises in modern and contemporary French theatre and performance, notably the works of playwright, novelist, filmmaker and political activist Jean Genet, on whom she has co-written a monograph (Routledge, 2011), and co-edited a volume of essays (Palgrave, 2006). In addition, she has co-edited Contemporary French Theatre and Performance (Palgrave, 2011). Running throughout her work is an investigation into how artistic forms might have the political potential to enable people and societies to perceive themselves from renewed perspectives.

Geoff Gilbert is a Professor and Head of School in the School of Law and Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. He has been Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law (Oxford University Press) since 2002. He has published widely in the areas of international refugee law and international criminal law: 'Human Rights, Refugees and Other Displaced Persons in International Law' in Erika de Wet and Jure Vidmar (eds), Hierarchy in International Law: The place of Human Rights (OUP, 2012); ‘Running Scared since 9/11: Refugees, UNHCR and the Purposive Approach to Treaty Interpretation' in James Simeon (ed), Critical Issues in International Refugee Law: Strategies toward Interpretative Harmony (Cambridge University Press, 2010) 85–118; ‘Current Issues in the Application of the Exclusion Clauses', in Erika Feller, Volker Türk & Frances Nicholson (eds), Refugee Protection in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2003) 425–478; Responding to International Crime (Martinus Nijhoff, 2006).

In addition to his academic work, Geoff Gilbert has served in advisory and consultancy capacities. He has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for whom he was founding Director of Studies for the Thematic Refugees and Human Rights Course from 2005-2007. Geoff Gilbert has also carried out human rights training programs on behalf of the Council of Europe and the UNHCR in the Russian Federation, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Kosovo. He was Director of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) training program for judges on combating torture in Serbia and Montenegro. He was Special Adviser to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on the ‘Treatment of Asylum Seekers, 2006-07'.

Professor Vicky Lebeau (University of Sussex) has published widely in the fields of psychoanalysis and visual culture. She has particular interests in the topics of spectacle and terror, sexuality, fantasy and representation - and in popular culture as a form of critical thought. She has recently published Childhood and Cinema (Reaktion and Chicago University Press, 2008). In psychoanalysis, she has interests in Freud, Winnicott, Andre Green, Jean Laplanche, Serge Leclaire, Michael Eigen, Joyce McDougall and Christopher Bollas. She is currently researching the topic of the 'arts of seeing' (including writing on Shane Meadows, Michael Haneke, Gerhard Richter and Don DeLillo) and is working on a book-length project on the idea of loneliness.

Kate Nash is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Faculty Fellow at the Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University.  She has written and published widely on human rights, including The Cultural Politics of Human Rights: Comparing the US and UK (Cambridge University Press 2009).  She is currently writing The Sociology of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press forthcoming).

Dr Éadaoin O'Brien is the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Lecturer in Human Rights at the Human Rights Centre in the University of Essex.  Eadaoin is also an Associate Fellow of the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study at the University of London and is a former Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar. Her research interests are on the use of forensic science in the investigation of human rights and humanitarian law violations; mass grave exhumations and the human rights issues surrounding human remains; and memorialisation.

Professor Rachel Potter lectures in modernist literature at the University of East Anglia.  She is the author of Modernism and Democracy: Literary Culture, 1900–1930 (OUP, 2006), The Edinburgh Guide to Modernist Literature (EUP, 2012) and Obscene Modernism: Literary Censorship and Experiment, 1900-1940 (OUP, 2013) and co-editor of The Salt Companion to Mina Loy (Salt, 2010) and Prudes on the Prowl: Fiction and Obscenity in England, 1850 to the present day (OUP, 2013). She is currently starting a project on International PEN, writers and rights.

Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge is Professor of Literature and Critical Theory at the University of East Anglia, where she has taught since 1993. Her research focuses on twentieth-century literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on war, psychoanalysis, trauma and human rights. She is the author, most recently, of The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (2011). Other publications include: The Writing of Anxiety (2007), The Destructive Element: British Psychoanalysis and Modernism (1998), British Fiction after Modernism: The Novel at Mid-Century, edited with Marina MacKay (2007), and Reading Melanie Klein, edited with John Phillips (1998). She is currently working on a new project, 'Refugee Writing: States, Statelessness and Modern Literature'.

John Street is a Professor of Politics at the University of East Anglia and a co-Director of media@uea. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which are Music and Politics (Polity, 2012) and (with Sanna Inthorn and Martin Scott) From Entertainment to Citizenship: politics and popular culture (Manchester University Press, forthcoming).  He was part of an ESRC programme on Non-governmental Public Action, in which he examined the role of music and musicians in movements such as Rock Against Racism and Live 8.