Meet the HRI Leadership

 

Emma Gilligan

 

Emma Gilligan

Director


Emma Gilligan is the Director of the Human Rights Institute and Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. After completing her doctoral studies in Russian history at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Emma Gilligan was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at the University of Chicago from 2003-2006. During this time, she completed her book Defending Human Rights in Russia; Sergei Kovalyov Dissident and Human Rights Commisioner, 1969-96 (Routledge, 2004). Her second book, Terror in Chechnya: Russia and the Tragedy of Civilians in War (Princeton University Press, 2010) examines the war crimes committed by Russian soldiers against the civilian population of Chechnya. The study places the conflict in Chechnya within the international discourse on humanitarian intervention in the 1990s and the rise of nationalism in Russia. Emma Gilligan is the author of articles for the Chicago Tribune, 'Why there is no Peace in Chechnya,' 2005 and 'US Loses High Ground on Human Rights', 2006 and the International Herald Tribune. She has published in Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, Slavic Review and Political Science Quarterly.

Director HRI
emma.gilligan@uconn.edu

 

Kathryn Libal

Associate Director of the Human Rights Institute

Co-Director of the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights


Kathryn Libal is Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Connecticut and Associate Director of the Human Rights Institute. After completing doctoral studies in cultural anthropology at the University of Washington, she taught women’s studies and anthropology at the University of Kansas for several years. Since 2007 Kathryn has taught at the School of Social Work, specializing in human rights, social welfare and the state. She has published on women's and children's rights movements in Turkey and on the advocacy of international non-governmental organizations on behalf of Iraqi refugees. Her current scholarship has focused on the localization of human rights norms and practices in the United States, including a co-edited volume with Dr. Shareen Hertel on Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and a new project on the politics of food security and food policy in the United States as a human rights concern. Kathryn is also co-director, with Dr. David Richards, of the Economic and Social Rights Group at the University of Connecticut.

Co-Director of the Economic & Social Rights Group
kathryn.libal@uconn.edu

 

Samuel Martinez

Academic Program Directors

Director, Human Rights Institute Undergraduate Programs

Samuel Martínez is a Cuban-born ethnologist. He is presently on the board of the American Ethnological Society and has served as Chair (2003-04) of the American Anthropological Association's Committee for Human Rights. He contributed an extensive expert affidavit in support of the landmark case of Yean and Bosico v. Dominican Republic presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2005. He is the author of two ethnographic monographs and several peer-reviewed articles on the migration and labor and minority rights of Haitian nationals and people of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic. He is also editor of a contributory volume, International Migration and Human Rights (U California Press, 2009) and co-editor of two journal special issues. In his current research and writing, he brings critical scrutiny to the writings of northern human rights monitors, journalists and social scientists about Haitian-ancestry people in the Dominican Republic. He is also doing background research on antislavery narratives of the late 20th & early 21st centuries. One of his most recent publication is the book International Migration and Human Rights (2009).

Director of the Undergraduate program in Human Rights
samuel.martinez@uconn.edu

 

Hertel

Shareen Hertel

Director, Human Rights Institute Graduate Certificate in Human Rights

Shareen Hertel is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, jointly appointed with the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. She holds a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University (2003). Hertel is author of Unexpected Power: Conflict and Change Among Transnational Activists (Cornell 2006) and co-editor with Lanse P. Minkler of Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement and Policy Issues (Cambridge 2007). She has published in, among others, Political Science Quarterly, Polity, International Studies Review, Global Governance, Human Rights Review, and Journal of Latin American Studies. Hertel has served as a consultant to foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and United Nations agencies in the United States, Latin America and South Asia.


Associate Professor, Joint Hire Political Science & Human Rights

Director of the Graduate Certificate in Human Rights
Gladstein Committee Member
Economic & Social Rights Group Member
shareen.hertel@uconn.edu   

 

David Richards

David Richards

Research Program Directors

Co-Director of the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights

David Richards is Co-Director of the CIRI Human Rights Data Project (http://www.humanrightsdata.org), which annually rates the level of government respect for 15 internationally-recognized human rights in 195 countries. He has published research studying government respect for human rights, broadly defined, in a number of journals and books. He is currently writing two books: one (with Jillenne Haglund) is a global study of violence against women, and the other is a human rights textbook. His work has been funded multiple times by The National Science Foundation and The World Bank, among others.

Associate Professor, Joint Hire Political Science & Human Rights.

Gladstein Committee Member
Co-Director of the Economic & Social Rights Group
david.l.richards@uconn.edu

 

 

Eleni

Eleni Coundouriotis

Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism

Eleni Coundouriotis is Associate Professor of English and a faculty affiliate for the program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies. Her work has focused on issues of genre and literary history in anglophone and francophone literatures from Africa and the Caribbean, and across the tradition of the realist novel in nineteenth-century Europe. Her first book, Claiming History: Colonialism, Ethnography and the Novel (Columbia UP 1999), places the emergence of the postcolonial novel in Africa within the context of ethnographic discourse and argues that the novel’s engagement with history through realism provided a model of critique of ethnographic discourse for African writers. Most importantly, realism as an aesthetic enabled African writers to ironize their position as authentic subjects.  Her engagement with ethnography led to other publications: essays on the African short story and its relation to folktales, on Melville Herskovits and the idea of history, and on Bessie Head’s ethnography of the Botswana village of Serowe. Furthermore, she has published a number of essays on African women writers (Nadine Gordimer, Yvonne Vera, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Bessie Head). Her work on human rights has focused on victims’ narratives in South Africa, child soldier narratives, rape and testimony (with specific attention to Rwanda), and on the emerging genre of human rights history. She is currently completing a study on humanitarianism and the war novel in Africa, entitled “The People’s Right to the Novel: War Fiction in the Postcolony.” Coundouriotis has been involved in the human rights program at UConn since 2001. She has served as Associate Director and Acting Director of HRI and is currently Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism.

Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism
eleni.coundouriotis@uconn.edu

 

Sarah Willen

Sarah Willen

Director of the Research Program on Health and Human Rights


Sarah S. Willen is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and newly appointed Director of the Research Program on Health and Human Rights at the Human Rights Institute. A cultural and medical anthropologist, she holds a doctorate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Public Health from Emory (PhD 2006; MPH 2006) and held an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Medicine and Anthropology at Harvard (2006-09). She has edited or co-edited six volumes including A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities (2010), Shattering Culture: How American Medicine Responds to Cultural Diversity (2011), andTransnational Migration to Israel in Global Comparative Context (2007) as well as special issues of Social Science & Medicine (2012), Ethos (2012), andInternational Migration (2007). Her work has appeared in Social Science & Medicine (2012), the Journal of Human Rights (2012), Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2011), and the Harvard Review of Psychiatry (2010), among others. She is also a co-founder of the blog  AccessDenied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health.

Director of the Research Program on Health and Human Rights
sarah.willen@uconn.edu