I'm intellectually attracted to questions that explore the diffusion of human rights ideas from distant legal documents and arcane historical movements to the discourse and politics of ordinary people today. This interest compels me to think about communication and culture as primary vehicles for these ideas, but also prompts critical investigation of the devices and platforms that facilitate this translation process.
So, what does this mean and how does it inform my work?
I think there are provocative stories to tell about how the norms of human rights have made their way into mainstream consciousness. Human rights orients the way we think about the world, our role in it, our relationship to states and markets, and even our obligation to distant strangers. It's a powerful idea that shapes our imagination and aspiration of what society should look like.
However, the channels through which human rights ideas flow shape the message itself, like a world-historic game of telephone. I want to trace and understand the impact of these adaptations.
In some odd way, this picture captures what I think about; and yet in other ways it totally doesn't.