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James Loeffler, “The Right to Be Heard – Jews, Human Rights, and Global Democracy in Historical Perspective”


February 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  |  Cowell Ranch Hay Barn

Reception to follow.

Event is free and open to the public. RSVP appreciated

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Presented by the Center for Jewish Studies

The seventieth anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2018 comes at a time of crisis for global democracy and growing questions about the liberal international order. In this talk, James Loeffler draws on his new book, Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century, to revisit the 1948 moment in which modern human rights was born together with the post-imperial nation-state.

Questioning the standard narrative of human rights as a postwar response to the Holocaust, this talk will show how the rise of human rights represented a forgotten marriage between nationalism and internationalism, which raised new challenges and opportunities for minorities and stateless peoples to find justice in the global legal order.

RSVP appreciated, seating is first come, first served. Reception to follow.

If you have disability-related needs, please contact or call 831-459-1274 by February 16th.

Parking and Directions to the UC Santa Cruz Cowell Ranch Hay Barn 

James Loeffler is Jay Berkowitz Professor of Jewish History at the University of Virginia. Between 2013 and 2015 he was a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow in International Law and Dean’s Visiting Scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center. At UVa he teaches courses in Jewish and European history, Russian and East European history, international legal history, and the history of human rights.

His publications include Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press, 2018) and The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire (Yale University Press, 2010), and the forthcoming edited volume, The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyering and International Law in Historical Perspective (Cambridge University Press).

This event is part of the THI Data and Democracy Initiative, a project of Expanding Humanities, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Helen Diller Distinguished Lecture in Jewish Studies

Every year, we honor Helen Diller, whose generous endowment continues to provide crucial support to Jewish Studies at UC Santa Cruz, by hosting a public lecture on campus by an internationally recognized scholar.

Visit our lecture archive online >


February 20
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Cowell Ranch Hay Barn
Ranch View Rd
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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