Historian Barbara Keys to discuss U.S. human rights movement of the 1970s, October 30, 2014

Historian Barbara Keys will examine the human rights movement of the 1970s in the Charles Griffin Memorial Lecture. This event will be held on Thursday, October 30, 5:30pm in Taylor Hall, room 203. This lecture is sponsored by the History Department and is free and open to the public.

Keys’ research interests are broadly in the areas of human rights, the effects of transnational movements and organizations on international affairs, the role of emotions in history, intercultural relations, and globalization. Her new book and the basis for her lecture at Vassar, Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (Harvard University Press, 2014), offers an explanation of the origins of the human rights “boom” of the 1970s in the United States. Publishers Weekly said of Reclaiming America, “This timely, well-reasoned study demonstrates why Americans from across the political spectrum embraced international human rights as a foreign policy goal.”

Keys is currently at work on a book, supported by a Discovery Project award from the Australian Research Council, on anti-torture campaigns since the end of World War II and their effects on global human rights movements. She is also developing a book on Henry Kissinger’s closest professional relationships, their emotional dynamics, and how they shaped his diplomacy.

A professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia, Keys began her teaching career in 2003 after receiving her PhD in history from Harvard University. She was previously a research fellow at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. She has been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Center for European Studies at Harvard. Her teaching areas include 20th century international relations, U.S. foreign relations, U.S. history, and the Cold War in global perspective. She is the recipient of the 2010 Stuart Bernath Lecture Prize, awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

The Charles Griffin Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the History Department, honors the former dean of the faculty and professor of history at Vassar.

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Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, October 7, 2014