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Impossible Ethics: Justice, Responsibility to Protect and Operational Practice
January 31, 2012 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Human rights scholar Anne Cubilié will discuss her experiences in disaster zones and humanitarian interventions, focusing on the issue of testimony and issues of ethics and witnessing. What are our ethical obligations as witnesses to these events? How do different groups, among them women, experience abuses and then relate those stories to outsiders? In her work for the United Nations – ranging from the collection of survivor testimony in Afghanistan to policy guidance for emergency response to major reports and funding documents – she has maintained an insistence on remembering the individual within the broadest international discourses.
For the past decade, Cubilié has worked in humanitarian and development policy at United Nations headquarters while maintaining a consistent interest in bridging the gap between academic research and the political and policy considerations of international aid. Her book, Women Witness Terror: Testimony and the Cultural Politics of Human Rights, reads testimony by women survivors of war and human rights abuse through critical frameworks of ethics, trauma and witnessing. Prior to joining the United Nations, Cubilié was an assistant professor of transnational feminist cultural studies at Georgetown University. She has spent a year working for the UN in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has also lived off and on in Cairo, most recently participating in a joint United Nations/American University of Cairo program as a visiting scholar conducting research into women’s relationships to state structures.