Front cover of Human Rights on the Move, edited by Wendy S. Hesford, Momar K. Ndiaye, and Amy Shuman, featuring stylized, colorful figures in a boat floating amid churning waves.

Human Rights on the Move

Edited by Wendy S. Hesford, Momar K. Ndiaye, and Amy Shuman

240 pp. 6 x 9
16 color illustrations
Pub Date: June, 2024

Subjects: Cultural Studies
Gender & Sexuality Studies
Race & Ethnic Studies

Series: On Possibility: Social Change and the Arts + Humanities

Order Hardcover $99.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1568-5
Order Paperback $34.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5911-5
Order PDF ebook$34.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8350-9

“Neither universal nor particular, the practice of human rights offered in this collection centers the relational and interdependent emergence of linked transnational struggle. By engaging humanness as a moving target, always in contestation, the contributors open human rights’ decolonial potential, making this book a must-read.” —Julietta Hua, author of Trafficking Women’s Human Rights

Human Rights on the Move reinvigorates discourses and practices of human rights by expanding their reach. With contributors from academic, activist, and performative arenas, the collection offers dynamic conversations about how human rights, despite their paradoxes, shape a ‘living practice’ of advocacy and possible interdependence.” —Alexandra S. Moore, author of Vulnerability and Security in Human Rights Literature and Visual Culture

Engaging critical human rights studies from an interdisciplinary arts and humanities perspective, Human Rights on the Move addresses a range of human rights violations in contemporary society, including the carceral systems that prevent movement, the gendered and racial restrictions placed on movement, the lack of access that assures movement only for those who have the ability to move, and the histories of movements such as settler colonialism. The approaches to human rights in this wide-ranging collection are also “on the move,” emphasizing a nimble, cross-disciplinary approach that considers the intersection of politics, culture, and the arts.

Contributing artists, activists, and scholars expose the fundamental paradox of human rights (namely that nation-states are violators and guarantors of rights) while also showing how people facing violence and persecution move with the hope of more livable and equitable futures. The assembled scholarly essays, interviews, and creative pieces demonstrate the importance of a more relational and contextual understanding of human rights—one that can destabilize current definitions and open space for new formulations.

nora chipaumire, Víctor M. Espinosa, Bridget M. Haas, Wendy S. Hesford, Sona Kazemi, Wendy Kozol, Guisela LaTorre, Rachel Lewis, Faustin Linyekula, Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Tiyi M. Morris, Momar K. Ndiaye, Eleanor Paynter, Cristian Pineda, Elaine Richardson, Amy Shuman, Jennifer Suchland, Mary E. Thomas, Shui-yin Sharon Yam

Wendy S. Hesford is Professor, Ohio Eminent Scholar, and Faculty Director of the Global Arts + Humanities Theme at The Ohio State University. Her books include Violent Exceptions: Children’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Rhetorics, Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms, and many others.

Momar K. Ndiaye is Assistant Professor of Dance at The Ohio State University. An artist, educator, and researcher, Ndiaye makes work that directly addresses the existential conditions of Africans in a world of globalization. His activism-driven pieces include “Toxu: Between Dreams and Realities,” “Me and My Space,” and “Genesis,” among many others that have been shown at major festivals in Europe, Africa, and America.

Amy Shuman is Professor Emerita at The Ohio State University. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and the author of Other People’s Stories: Entitlement Claims and the Critique of Empathy, coeditor of Technologies of Suspicion and the Ethics of Obligation in Political Asylum, and author and editor of several other books.


List of Illustrations

Wendy Kozol


Introduction    Reckoning with Human Rights Incommensurability
Wendy S. Hesford and Amy Shuman

Chapter 1        On the Move: Human Rights and Humanitarian Violence
Wendy S. Hesford

Chapter 2        Migration Imaginaries: Wreckage, Ruination, and Recovery
Eleanor Paynter

Interlude 1      Choreographing Mobility and Human Rights
A Conversation with Momar Ndiaye, Eleanor Paynter, and Amy Shuman

Chapter 3        Contemporary Art Practices and the Human Right to Global Mobility
Víctor M. Espinosa and Cristian Pineda

Interlude 2      Human Rights and the Fragility of Staying Alive
A Conversation with Faustin Linyekula and Momar Ndiaye

Chapter 4        Border Embodiments and Ethical Arts Practices
Guisela LaTorre

Interlude 3      Decentering Human Rights toward an African Ideology
A Conversation with nora chipaumire and Momar Ndiaye

Chapter 5        Disposable, Exploitable, and Essential: Transnational Domestic Labor in Hong Kong
Shui-in Sharon Yam

Interlude 4      Black Womxn and Girls, Corona, and the Pandemix—A One-Woman Show
by Elaine Richardson aka Dr. E

Chapter 6        Countering Carceral Logics with Black Feminist Pedagogies
Tiyi M. Morris and Mary E. Thomas

Interlude 5      Dislocated Selves, Incarcerated Rights
A Testimonial by Sona Kazemi

Chapter 7        Transforming Subjectivity through Testimony
Bridget M. Haas

Chapter 8        Street Cats: Human-Animal Interdependencies in Times of Ecological Crisis
Rachel Lewis

Chapter 9        María Sabina as Vanishing Indian: Writing Mazatec Culture Out of Mushroom Medicine
Paloma Martinez-Cruz

Epilogue          Human Rights in Transit: A Reflection
Jennifer Suchland

List of Contributors

Related Titles:

Book Cover

Grassroots Activisms

Public Rhetorics in Localized Contexts

Edited by Lisa L. Phillips, Sarah Warren-Riley, and Julie Collins Bates

Book Cover

Violent Exceptions

Children’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Rhetorics

Wendy S. Hesford