Luz Angélica Kirschner, assistant professor of German, Spanish and global studies, is the honored speaker for the J.P. Hendrickson and Herbert Cheever Jr. lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Her presentation, “Human Rights in the Americas,” is based on a book she authored and coedited with colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara. The book was published in March 2021 by Routledge.
“Though not consciously, I am sure my decision to compete for the lecture was also motivated by my desire to celebrate the publication of “Human Rights in the Americas,” said Kirschner. “After all, the publication of a book is an important milestone in the intellectual life of every scholar.”
Kirschner has been at South Dakota State University for six years. She received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and her research interests include Latina/o literatures and studies, Inter-American studies, human rights, transatlantic studies, Latin American literatures and cultures, ethnic literatures, minority writing in Germany, decolonization and globalization.
The application for the J.P. Hendrickson and Herbert Cheever Jr. lecture is competitive. Each year, a faculty member is selected for their contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of the university. Lynn Sargeant, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, stated, “This year’s speaker, Dr. Kirschner, represents the very best qualities of the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her research explores the social, political, economic and cultural implications of one of the central concepts of modern society – the idea of human rights.” Sargeant said the audience will be provided “an opportunity to explore the multifaceted and sometimes conflicted issue of human rights across the Americas.”
The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 5. “My talk calls for more inclusive and complete historiographies of the field of human rights that too often miss to incorporate important contributions of the Americas to the discourse since 1492 when Christopher Columbus made landfall in the hemisphere and incorporated it into global modern history,” explained Kirschner. Her talk will also include some of the complexities of human rights discourse and will give the audience a few tools to advocate for human rights.
“It is important to learn about human rights because those are the rights that we have simply because we exist as human beings,” said Kirschner. “Perhaps it is even more important to be aware of human rights to protect those who may face violence, marginalization, exploitation, neglect, etc..”
The J.P. Hendrickson and Herbert Cheever Jr. lecture will be held at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center in the Oscar Larson Theatre. This event is open to the public.