Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—The Human Rights Project at Bard College is presenting a series of talks in October and November by human rights activists, authors, and journalists. The lecture series is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, October 31, at 4:30 p.m., author Putu Oka Sakanta, who was jailed without trial for ten years under Suharto\'s regime in Indonesia, and Charles Scheiner of the East Timor Action Network will speak at Bard on \"East Timor and Beyond: The Future of Human Rights in Indonesia.\" Pak Putu (as he is known) is an author of poetry, short fiction, and novels; his work was recently published in English in Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing. Some of his writings describe the experience of watching the arrests of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues while awaiting the same fate himself . During his imprisonment he shared a cell with a Chinese doctor schooled in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Pak Putu studied with this doctor and subsequently treated fellow inmates with acupressure. He is now the second chairman of the National Naturopathic Association of Indonesia and is the founder of the Indonesian Traditional Healing Foundation. Pak Putu writes frequently about the experience of returning to society after a decade in prison.

Charles Sheiner has been an activist supporting human rights, peace, demilitarization, and independence in East Asian and Pacific countries for two decades. He will return to East Timor in December to work with La\'o Hamutuk and other projects. Sheiner is the cofounder of the East Timor Action Network and is its national coordinator. He is also the United Nations representative for the International Federation for East Timor. Their talk will be held in Room 115 of the F. W. Olin Language Center.

On Monday, November 6, at 5:30 p.m., author Michel Feher will speak on humanitarian intervention. He is the author of Powerless by Design: The Age of the International Community, in which he addresses Western officials\' responses to post–Cold War conflicts and analyzes the reactions of the Left to their governments\' positions. Robert Post of the University of California, Berkeley, writes, \"Powerless by Design is necessary reading for anyone concerned within the contemporary politics of human rights. Feher offers a lucid and incisive indictment of the humanitarian pretensions of the international community.\" Feher is the founding editor and publisher of Zone Books in New York and the author of several books, including The Libertine Reader: Eroticism and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France. The talk will be held in Room 102 of the F. W. Olin Humanities Building.

On Tuesday, November 21, at 5:3j0 p.m., Thomas Dumm, professor of political science at Amherst College and coeditor of the Johns Hopkins University Press Theory & Event electronic journal, will discuss \"What Does It Matter Who Is Speaking?: Censor, Census, and Address.\" The talk will be held in Room 115 of the F. W. Olin Language Center.

On Tuesday, November 28, at 5:30 p.m., Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University, will speak on the Rwandan genocide. Mamdani is president of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa in Dakar, Senegal. His areas of expertise include Uganda, Rwanda, and the Great Lakes region of South Africa. Mamdani\'s publications include Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism, And Fire Does Not Always Beget Ash: Critical Reflections on the NRM, and Imperialism and Fascism in Uganda. The talk will be held in Room 115 of the F. W. Olin Language Center.

The Human Rights Project is a multifaceted research and teaching effort that aims to develop a critical discourse on and engagement with the emerging interdisciplinary human rights paradigm. The project pursues, at Bard and elsewhere, innovative scholarly work on the present state of the human rights movement and the human rights paradigm in general.

For further information about the Human Rights Project and the lecture series, call 845-758-7332, e-mail:, or visit the website at

# # #


back to top

This event was last updated on 03-02-2001