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Human Rights, Truth Telling and Justice Symposium

The symposium focused on truth telling and justice in the context of human rights, and included speakers:

Eduardo González Cueva, Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice’s (ICTJ) Truth and Memory Program. The program provides advice to countries on truth commissions, declassification of archives, memorialization activities, museums, and other instruments.  He has given technical and strategic support to truth-seeking initiatives in places as diverse as East Timor, Morocco, Liberia, Canada, and the Western Balkans. Before joining ICTJ, he helped organize and carry out the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Previously, he worked as an advocate for the establishment of the International Criminal Court.  The historical records of ICTJ are also part of the Human Rights Archive in the Rubenstein Library.

Pamela Merchant, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), and an attorney with 25 years of experience in the conduct and management of complex state and federal litigation. She joined CJA in October 2005 and has overseen a period of significant growth – both programmatically and financially. Under her leadership, CJA has grown from an organization devoted solely to human rights litigation in the U.S. to one that also engages in human rights litigation in foreign jurisdictions, such as Spain and Cambodia. Ms. Merchant has testified before Congress on accountability for human rights abusers and other human rights issues and received degrees from Georgetown University and Boston College School of Law. Ms. Merchant will explore changes in the field over the past 30 years with a particular focus on the resilience of survivors and their communities and the critical role they play in building high impact human rights cases. 

Andrea Petö, Associate Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. Her research focuses on European comparative social and gender history, gender and politics, women’s movements, qualitative methods, oral history and the Holocaust.

Kimberly Theidon, medical anthropologist focusing on Latin America. Her research interests include domestic, structural and political violence; gender studies; theories and forms of subjectivity; human rights and international humanitarian law; transitional justice; the politics of post-war reparations; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs for ex-combatants; and US counter-narcotics policy. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Theidon was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C, and is currently the Henry J. Leir Chair in International Humanitarian Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University.


9:00 am- Coffee and Pastries

9:30-10:30 am- Andrea Petö, “Revised and Revisionist Histories in Eastern Europe” (followed by Q & A)

10:30-11:30 am- Kimberly Theidon, “Incarnations: Legacies of Violence in Peru” (followed by Q & A)

11:45-1:00 pm- Lunch

1:00-2:00 pm- Pamela Merchant, “Truth telling, Human Rights Litigation and Resilience” (followed by Q & A)

2:00-3:00 pm- Eduardo Gonzalez Cueva, “Truth Orthodoxies: The Truth Commission Model, 30 Years after Argentina” (followed by Q & A)

3:00-4:00 pm- Roundtable discussion

Open to the public

Sponsored by The Human Rights Archive at the Rubenstein Library, the Duke Human Rights Center at FHI the Trent Memorial Foundation. Cosponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, Duke History Department, and Duke Cultural Anthropology.


November 14, 2014
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Smith Warehouse, FHI Garage, Bay 4
114 S Buchanan Blvd
Durham, NC 27701 United States
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