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Life Narrative Research Group publication of its 3rd edited collection

Date:01 April 2014 to
30 April 2014

Contributors include former UN commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, writers Patricia Hampl, Eva Hoffman and Annette Kobak, Human rights activist and blogger Emin Milli, Human Rights Barrister Mark Muller and a group of internationally renown scholars of life narrative studies.

We Shall Bear Witness

Life Narratives and Human Rights, University of Wisconsin Press. Forthcoming 2014, Edited by Meg Jensen and Margaretta Jolly with a foreward by former UN commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

Personal testimonies are the life force of human rights work, and rights claims have brought profound power to the practice of life writing. This volume explores the connections and conversations between human rights and life writing through a dazzling, international collection of essays by survivor-writers, scholars, and human rights advocates.

In “We Shall Bear Witness” editors Meg Jensen and Margaretta Jolly assemble moving personal accounts from those who have endured persecution, imprisonment, and torture; meditations on experiences of injustice and protest by creative writers and filmmakers; and innovative research on ways that digital media, commodification, and geopolitics are shaping what is possible to hear and say.

The book’s primary sections—testimony, recognition, representation, and justice—evoke the key stages in turning experience into a human rights life story and attend to such diverse and varied arts as autobiography, documentary film, report, oral history, blog, and verbatim theater. The result is a groundbreaking book that sensitively examines how life and rights narratives have become so powerfully entwined.

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