Human Rights Funding Past Awardees

2012-2013 Human Rights Research Grant Awardees

Faculty Research Grant Funding

Gary Levvis/Human Trafficking Service Provider Assessment Project (HTSPAP)
“Human Trafficking Service Provider Assessment Project (HTSPAP) Committee”

The need for this project stems from the fact that there is no monitoring and evaluation mechanism for non‐governmental organizations that either provide medical, psychological or life‐skills services to victims in Connecticut or that raise money within Connecticut for services provided elsewhere. It is, therefore, the goal of this project to prevent the re‐victimization of persons at the hands of ineffective or disreputable caregivers, and to provide legitimate organizations with feedback concerning their practices.

Lyle Scruggs, Political Science
“Generosity of state unemployment insurance systems in the United States”

The main research question posed in this project is whether policy changes in the generosity of federal and state unemployment insurance benefits—specifically the absolute level of benefit, the amount of income such benefits replace, and the duration of these benefits—affect various public health outcomes. This possibility was suggested but not examined in previous work on inequality and health. An essential element of the project is collecting information on programmatic differences in unemployment insurance systems in the US states.

Nathaniel Trumbull, Geography
“Post-Socialist Cities and their Discontents: from Urban Disenfranchisement to Human Rights Violations”

This book project examines urban disenfranchisement and human rights violations in the post-socialist city of St. Petersburg (former Leningrad), Russia. I investigate the attempts by representatives of civil society to assemble and organize, the accompanying public demonstrations and frequent imprisonment related to those efforts, police repression and brutality, a legal system whose decisions are widely viewed to be politically motivated, ongoing official obstruction to appointing an independent city ombudsman, and most recently, public reaction to widespread election fraud, in the wake of which the largest numbers of arrests of public protesters in the past two decades in the city have taken place.

Grad Student Research Grant Funding

Maria I. Berger, Latin American and Caribbean Studies
“Migrant Women: The Subordination of Domestic Workers in Chile”

This grant will allow me to observe and familiarize myself with the communities and obtain information/data for my research thesis and advancing my studies in this field. Additionally, it will help understand the relationship of Mapuche and Peruvian and their subordination to Chilean women. I will investigate how Chilean women treat Peruvian women in the same spaces and the intersectionality of power, class and ethnicity from the perspective of human rights. 

Rebecca Jacobs, Anthropology
“Selling Victimhood, Gaining a Voice”

With this project, I expect to develop new ideas on how testimonio converges with women’s economic development and empowerment, how the women have come to understand themselves as victims deserving of international aid, and how they construct their legitimacy for international audiences. I also intend to investigate how the trauma of their experiences in the war, and the ongoing omnipresence of post-conflicto violence in their lives, has molded their expectations of daily life and their approaches to doing business.

Jordan Kiper, Anthropology
“Propaganda and Mass Violence”

I have three specific aims for my preliminary field research in Serbia this summer. First, to administer a questionnaire on support for mass violence and identity fusion, social identity, and nationalism to test the hypothesis that support for violence on behalf of Serbs increases as one scores higher on identity fusion with Serbs. Second, to conduct semi-structured interviews with Serbs from multiple walks of life to attain an emic perspective on propaganda and violence in Serbia during its wars and after. Third, select the most pertinent community or communities for future research.

Roseanne Njiru, Sociology
“Crying for Justice”

This study proposes to document the conditions and lived experiences of women affected by the post-election violence in Kenya and who are still living in internally displaced persons' camps. The conditions under which these women live constitute gender based violence and are a gross violation of their human rights. My hypothesis is that the living conditions in the camps and the gendered role expectations for these women further increase their vulnerability to gender based violence.

Rachel Traficanti, History
“Congress and Human Rights Consciousness”

This study will evaluate the role Congress played in advancing human rights consciousness within American domestic politics. My research will analyze the various ways in which human rights concepts were turned into legislative and monitoring efforts, with a particular focus on the creation and development of the Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.

Farhan Yousaf, Sociology
"Women Trafficking in Pakistan"

This study will highlight the social, political, and economic dimensions of the issue of women trafficking in Pakistan through human rights perspective. In this connection, the study at hand will be helpful in explaining the overlapping and often confusing relationship of human trafficking with migration and smuggling. The research may be significant in the way that it will also analyze some of the recent measures adopted by the Pakistan and other regional governments in South Asia to counter trafficking.

2011-2012 Human Rights Research Grant Awardees

Faculty Research Grants Funding

Gary English, Drama
"Theatre and Human Rights: The Arab/Israeli Conflict”
This project will study the uses of theater production as public discourse within the occupied territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip) of Palestine and the State of Israel over the past 10 years, or from the so-called 2nd Intifada up till now. Through an oral history methodology and interviews across various aspects of Palestinian society, this proposed research will continue to inform my grasp of contemporary theatre aesthetics and practice in Palestine and will deepen my understanding of how public discourse and questions of human rights have been dealt with in Palestinian theatre.

Charles B. Lansing, History
"German Nazi Hunters: The Central Agency and Germany's Belated Search for Justice."
The grant will be used to fund research for the book project German Nazi Hunters: The Central Agency and Germany's Belated Search for Justice. The book explores both the role of the West German state in the transformation of popular German attitudes regarding German complicity in the Holocaust and also the relationship between this process and the larger social and political democratization of Germany.

Samuel Martinez, Anthropology
"Onion of Oppression Manuscript Translation and Review"
UCHRI funds will be applied to the revision and translation of a book manuscript, tentatively titled The Onion of Oppression: Complex Injustices and the Rights Struggles of Haitian-Ancestry Dominicans. The book applies the critical feminist theory of intersectionality to the domain of human rights, through description and analysis of various, interrelated limits to freedom encountered by Haitian nationals and Haitian descendants in the Dominican Republic.

Grad Student Research Funding
Issac Ampofo, International Studies
"The Formulation and Implementation of Policies in the Maternal Health Sector of Ghana,"
This project will address how public policies on health are formulated in Ghana, such that there is fair allocation of resources to the maternal health sector. Additionally, it will look into whether health care during maternity in Ghana is considered a basic right of a woman and if so, whether there are special concessions for such women to access health care.

Robert Allen Booth, Anthropology
"War Remembered: Museums and the Contestations of World War II Narratives."
This project examines how past societal traumas are contested within four museums in Slovenia through addressing questions of how these museums address deeply divisive, traumatic topics in a manner that is not also divisive and potentially harmful.
Cathy Buerger, Anthropology
"The Impact of Religious and Political Identities on Legal Strategies in Ghana"
This study aims to consider the impact of religious and political identity on the process of claiming rights within a plural legal system. The study will be organized around two main themes: what influences where individuals choose to settle disputes and how individuals prioritize their multiple identity based group memberships in the context of justice.

Michele Eggers, Social Work
"Reproductive Health and Human Rights in Chile"
This project investigates the criminalization of abortion in Chile as a violation of the human rights of women. The study will focus on the nature of community-based responses to the economic, political, social, and legal inequalities that exist within the context of restrictive reproductive health policies.
Maria Fernanda Enriquez, Political Science
"The Right to Nature in Ecuador"
In 2008, Ecuadorians endorsed a new constitution, the first in the world that grants rights to nature. This study asks why the environmental movement developed a right to nature frame, and whether environmental human rights and rights to nature are inherently compatible or not.             

Melissa Skye Kerr, Anthropology
"Assessing the Economic and Social Benefits of Carpet Weaving for Repatriated Afghan Refugee Women"
This project will determine whether repatriated refugee women working as carpet weaver achieve an increase in status due to carpet weaving activity. Additionally, it will consider whether there is the potential for negative outcomes for women when international programs encourage women to behave in ways that are not culturally legitimate in the eyes of the community.

 Jennifer Willett, Social Work
"Environmental Injustice in Mombasa, Kenya"
The following study proposes continued development of knowledge on the intersection of human rights and environmental harm in Mombasa, Kenya. This study aims to tell the stories of individuals seeking environmental justice, allowing for fusion with their completed environmental science studies to enable a better understanding of the complex dynamics of environmental inequality.

2009-2010 Human Rights Initiative Funding

Forum on Disabilities, Human Rights, and Social Inclusion, submitted by Kathryn Libal, UConn School for Social Work
The Forum on Disabilities will be held both at the School for Social Work, and at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and will feature Dr. Gunn Strand Hutchinson, of Bodo University College, Norway, who has been active within international social work on the Disabilities Convention, as well as a local speakers and activists who are experts on the American Disabilities Act and the debate over US ratification of the Convention.  The events are tentatively scheduled for Spring 2010.

The Asylum and Human Rights Law Clinic, submitted by Jon Bauer, UConn School of Law
The Asylum and Human Rights Law Clinic is an intensive law school clinical program in which students, under faculty supervision, represent clients who are seeking political asylum in the United States.  Clinic students interview and counsel clients, investigate facts supporting their claims, research human rights conditions in the client’s home country, prepare supporting documentation, affidavits and a legal brief in support of the asylum application, and represent clients at asylum interviews and hearings.  The clinic will also conduct an outreach program for undergraduate students at the Storrs campus.

The Parkville Project, submitted by Helene Kvale, Department of Dramatic Arts
The Parkville Project is an original site-specific piece of theatre which weaves text, music, and puppetry  into a magical realist narrative, exploring immigration and identity within the Brazilian and Portuguese communities of the Parkville neighborhood in Hartford.  A workshop of The Parkville Project will be held in conjunction with the conference, Human Rights in the USA, on October 23, 2009, and further developed for a full scale production in 2010.

The Litchfield County Writers Project Panels on Human Rights, submitted by Davyne Verstandig, Director of the Litchfield County Writers Project, UConn-Torrington
The Litchfield County Writers Project will host a series of evening panel discussions during  Fall 2009, entitled “Justice, Injustice, and Human Rights.”  The series will merge literature and human rights, and will focus on four main themes:  The Power of Media in Human Rights; The Justice System? Convictions and Innocence; Film, Plays and Gay Rights; and PEN: Writers on Human Rights.

Exhibition:  The Spirit of Afghanistan: Carpets of War and Hope, submitted by Karen Sommer, William Benton Museum of Art
This exhibition during the fall of 2009 will display 50 Afghan carpets created since 1979 when the wars started in Afghanistan.  The carpet industry, worked by women, thrives in Afghanistan and is its largest legal export despite continuous wars.  The modern carpets incorporate traditional design elements yet are constantly evolving and changing, some now depicting elements of warfare, such as landmines, grenades, and guns into traditional patterns.  This collection of carpets and textiles are viewed not just as art, but also as expressions of culture, history, and human rights.

Conference:  Hope in Hard Times:  The Human Rights of Domestic Workers, submitted by Fe Delos Santos, Asian American Studies Institute
This conference on domestic workers rights will explore the political and economic dimensions of gender/care work and human rights campaigns by domestic workers. While media coverage of the current economic downturn has largely focused on the losses of the affluent, the conference will focus on the struggles of the unheralded, low-wage, and mostly immigrant workers from the perspectives of activism, policy and scholarship.  The conference is planned to be held in March 2010 and is a collaborative effort between various centers, institutes, and departments on campus.

Forum:  Representing Crisis in Latin America: Humanitarianism and Beyond, submitted by Kerry Bystrom, Department of English
This roundtable discussion will be organized around a set of questions raised at the Foundation of Humanitarianism Program’s October 2008 conference on Humanitarianism and Responsibility.  Participants in this two hour roundtable will address the specific questions regarding the discourse surrounding humanitarianism and US relations and obligations to Latin America.  The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists and engage with participants.

IMPAX Global Health and Human Rights Film Series, submitted by Naomi Avery and Lauren Rosen, UConn Medical School
IMPAX, (International Medical Practice Action and eXchange) is a student organization serving medical and dental students interested in global health and medical service projects abroad.  The Global Health and Human Rights Film Series will screen four films on a variety of global health issues, and will invite local and regional experts on the topic to lead a discussion following the films.  Two films will be from the Human Rights Film Collection at Homer Babbidge Library, and two films will be purchased for the IMPAX film series and then added to the Human Rights Film Collection.

2009-2010 Graduate Student Funding

Robert Allen Booth, Anthropology

Ranita Ray, Sociology

2008-2009 Graduate Student Funding

Shweta Majumdar, Sociology
Widowhood in Vrindavan, India - A Case of Gender Based Violence and Violation of Human Rights

Katharine Hawkins, Anthropology
Local Perceptions of International Human Rights Law

2008-2009 Faculty Research Funding

Lanse Minkler & Samson Kimenyi, Economics
Constitutionalization of Human Rights

Tricia Gabany-Guerrero, International Affairs
An Anatomy of Mexican Repatriation: Human Rights and Boarderlands of Complicity

Emma Gilligan, History
Defending Human Rights in the 20th Century

2007 Graduate Student Research Funding

Malia Bajpai, Political Science
“International Human Rights Norms Internationalization and Implementation”

Kate Hawkins, Anthropology
“Evaluating Retributive Justice in Post Conflict Croatia”

Chaka Uzondu, Political Science
“Bellyful of Justice: Food Sovereignty and Human Rights”

Marisa Prosser, Anthropology
“Social boundaries and cultural identity in Costa Rica”

2007 Faculty Research Funding

Emma Gilligan, History
“War Crimes in Chechnya”

Kathryn Libal, Women Studies
“Politics of Educating Girls in Turkey”

Maya Beasley, Sociology
“South Africa Contemporary Race Relations”

2006 Graduate Student Research Funding

Laura (Kat) Burmeister, Anthropology
“Follow the Australian Indigenous Children: Social Justice in Education, Curriculum and Welfare”

Blaire O. Gagnon, Anthropology
“Federal Indian Policy, Art, and Economic and Cultural Rights”

Katharine B. Hawkins, Anthropology
“Revenge and Retribution in Response to Ethnic Cleansing in Croatia: A Preliminary Study”

Christine N. Newkirk, Anthropology
“Dignity and Domestic Care Work in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil”

Michael Rindge, History
"Cold War Organizers: The Chilean Labor Movement, the AFL-CIO, and the Globalization of Human Rights, 1964-1980"

Thomas Westerman, History
“Anglo-Saxons of the Western World”

Questions about the competition should be directed to Rachel Jackson at the, Tel: 486-5393, Fax: 486-6332, Email:

2006 Faculty Research Funding

Francoise Dussart, Anthropology and Women's Studies
“Living with Chronic Illness in Aboriginal Australia: Engendered Health Practices, Beliefs and Aspirations at Yuenduma, Northern Territory”

Questions about the competition should be directed to Rachel Jackson at the, Tel: 486-5393, Fax: 486-6332, Email:

2006 Socio-Economic Rights Research Funding

Oksan Bayulgen, Political Science
"Banking the 'Unbankable,' Empowering the 'Powerless':
Microfinance and Economic Rights in Central Asia and the Caucasus"

Bandana Purkayastha, Sociology
"Gender and Human Rights: (Re)Presenting the Voices of the Marginalized"

Lyle Scruggs, Political Science
"Social Welfare Rights in the United States: State Unemployment Insurance Policies, 1939-2006"

Questions about the competition should be directed to Lanse Minkler, Socio-Economic Rights Director, Department of Economics, U-1063, Email:; Phone Number 860 486-4070.

2005-2006 Human Rights Programming Funding

The Thomas J. Dodd Center and the announce the following awards for human rights research and programming in 2005-6. This year the annual Human Rights Initiative funding from the Provost’s Office has been combined with awards made possible by a generous endowment by UConn Alumni Gary Gladstein and his wife Judi Gladstein. This has meant an exceptional level of financial support for human rights teaching and research at the University of Connecticut. The goal of these awards is to encourage primary research on human rights issues by graduate students, and to facilitate events that facilitate a broad discussion of human rights issues across campus. These awards, with a combined total of over $20,000, build upon the excellent program of activities and research undertaken by faculty and students in recent years, and they raise the human rights program to a new level of significance at UConn and in the wider community.

Erin Andrew -- Undergraduate Philosophy Club & PR/LACC
Film Screening of "The Take" & lecture by co-director and
co-producer Avi Lewis

John Bauer, Clinical Professor of Law -- UConn Law School
Presentation to Uconn undergraduate students by the Uconn Law School's Asylum & Human Rights Clinic.

Shelley Buchbinder, VP of Social Justice -- Hillel (UConn)
Film Screening of "Hotel Rwanda" & lecture by Paul Rusesabagina

Fe Delos-Santos -- UConn Asian American Studies Institute
Film Screening: "Claiming Our Human Rights" -- The Japanese Latin American World War II Internment and the Campaign for Justice, Redress and Reparations.

Kathy Fluckiger, The Women's Leadership Committee
Seminar Series: “21st Century Field Work- Women as Change Agents in Stem Cell Research”

Dr. Tricia Gabany-Guerrero -- Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies;
Dr. Mark Overmyer-Velazquez -- History
Dr. Xae Reyes – Education

Seminar Series “Perspectives on Human Rights and Immigration: The Connecticut--Latin America/Caribbean Connection”

Barbara Gurr -- UConn Women's Studies Program
18th Annual Women's Studies Conference -- "Sisterhood is Global: From Theory to Practice." Keynote Speaker: Winona LaDuke

Gary M. English, Department Head -- Uconn Department of Dramatic Arts; Artistic Director -- Connecticut Repertory Theater
Connecticut Repertory Theater World Premire Production of “Prudence”. A new play by Barbara and Carlton Molette, about Prudence Crandall and the creation of the first school for African American girls in the United States.

Nancy A. Naples -- UConn Department of Sociology & Women's Studies Institute
Workshop: “Activist Scholarship for Human Rights”

Frederick S. Roden, Assistant Professor of English -- UConn Stamford
Lecture: Dr. Mark Jordan - “Homosexuality, Religion, and the Law”

Angela Rola, Director -- Asian American Cultural Center
Film Screening & Discussion with Director Film Screening of "My Migrant Soul: A Story of Modern Day Slavery" with Director Yasmine Kabir

Sal Scalora, Director -- William Benton Museum of Art
Exhibition & Lecture: Adam Nadel photographs -- "If My Eyes Speak: War Testimonies from Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia, and New York." Adam Nagel will also speak at the Dodd Research Center.

2005 Graduate Student Research Awards

Human Rights Graduate Research Funding Awards 2005-2006

Adam K. Kaloides, History
“Human Rights in South Africa: A Preliminary Appraisal”

Rebecca Aubrey, Political Science
“Human Rights Justice and Political Stability in Uruguay”

Natalie S. Wagner, UConn Law
“How Restorative Justice can be Implemented into the Criminal
Justice System in Connecticut”

Michelle R. Kaufman, Psychology
“Sex Trafficing in Nepal: The Maoist Insurgency and Increased
Risk for Girls and Women”

C. Patrick Heidkamp, Geography
“Credence Attributes, Alternative Trade, and Human Economic
Rights: The Case of 'Fair Trade' Coffee”

2004 Faculty Research Awards

Mary Crawford, Psychology
"Developing and Evaluating Interventions to Reduce Trafficking of
Girls and Women in Nepal"

Lawrence B. Goodheart, History
"A Profile of Capital Punishment in Connecticut, 1636-2004"

Michelle Kaufman, Ph.D. Candidate, Psychology
"Voluntary and Involuntary Sex Trafficking in Nepal: An Investigation
into Human and Cultural Rights"
$ 4,000.00

Marita McComiskey, Women’s Studies
Conference 2005 on "The Responsibility of the Present Generations
for the Protection of Women’s Human Rights"

Samuel Martinez, Anthropology
"Anthropology’s Human Rights Archive: A Preliminary Assessment
of the Documents of the AAA Committee for Human Rights"

Professor Nancy A. Naples, Sociology and Women’s Studies
"Sexual Citizenship and Human Rights: A Comparative Study of
Immigration Policies in Different National Contexts"

Olu Oguibe, Art and Art History
"A Decade of Freedom: Art after Apartheid 1994-2004"

2004 HRI Educational Awards

Rebecca Aubrey and Maytte Restrepo-Ruiz, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Seminar Series: “Perspectives on Human Rights in Latin America”

Gary English, Drama
The Connecticut Repertory Theater Production of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare”

Davita Silfen Glasberg, Sociology
New Course: “Human Rights in the United States”

Gregory Kneidel, English
Materials for New Course: “Literature and Human Rights”

Salvatore Scalora, William Benton Museum of Art
Photographic Exhibition: “James Nachtwey: Testimony”
$ 5,000.00