Oxford Amnesty Lectures

Oxford Amnesty Lectures is one of the world’s leading name-lecture series. It is an independent charity created to sustain debate about human rights in the academic and wider community. Each year speakers of international reputation are invited to lecture in Oxford on a theme related to human rights. To date OAL has raised around £100,000 for Amnesty International.

The lectures are held every February, normally in the Oxford University’s Sheldonian Theatre, and many people involved in the organisation of the lectures over the years have been members of the University.

The lectures are sponsored by The Times Higher Education Supplement. There are few more widely attended events in the ambit of the University.

Please note, the lectures aren’t part of Amnesty International and they are not University events. OAL is a registered charity.

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If you have any queries, please contact us using these tarifs postaux 2021.

OAL Archive

Each series of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures has been turned into a book. Many of these books have become basic texts for students, and a number of them have been translated into other languages. As well as raising funds by yielding royalties, these books have served the educational objectives of the Oxford Amnesty Lectures by fuelling debate and raising the profile of human rights issues worldwide.

Visit the OAL Archive to view lecture flyers and links to buying the books online.

War on Terror

Oxford Amnesty Lectures invites internationally respected figures to debate the future of human rights. Lectures are open to the paying public and the texts are published as a book. Oxford Amnesty Lectures has to date donated over £100,000 to Amnesty International.

War on terror or war on rights? Is resort to the methods of terrorism ever justifiable? Does terrorism require us to curtail our civil liberties?

The dangers of terrorism are real enough. But terorism existed before 9.11, and has many causes: repression, poverty, and unendurable inustice. And the methods of terror have also been used by those who now claim to be at war with it.

Unless otherwise stated, all lectures take place in the Sheldonian Theatre, Broad St, Oxford at 5:30pm. View map.

Wednesday, 8 February

Joanna Bourke

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her book An Intimate History of Killing: Face-to-Face Killing in Twentieth Century Warfare (1998) won the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History for 1998 and the Wolfson Prize for Historical Writing in 2000. She is primarily a historian of emotions; her most recent books is Fear: A Cultural History (2004).

Thursday 9 February

Ahdaf Soueif

Ahdaf Souief was born in Cairo and educated in Egypt and England. She divides her life between Cairo and London, fiction and journalism. She is the author of two celebrated novels, In the Eye of the Sun (1992) and The Map of Love (1999, shortlisted for the Booker Prize). her essays are ublished in Mezzaterra 2004) and she is translator of Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah (2006).

Friday 17 February

Jeff McMahan

Jeff McMahan is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He completed the first volume of The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margin of Life (in 2002) and is currently working on the second volume (Self-Defense, War, and Punishment). He has written on nuclear deterrence, the justifications for war and the implications of terrorism.

Thursday 23 February

Conor Gearty

Conor Gearty is Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics. He has published widely on terrorism, civil liberties and human rights. His books include Terror (1990) and two books with K.D.Ewing, Freedom under Thatcher (1989) and The Struggle for Civil Liberties (2000). He has appeared in human rights cases in the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Friday 24 February

Thomas Pogge

Thomas Pogge is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. A pupil of John Rawls, he is celebrated for his analyses of global inequality and its relation to private and international ethics. He is the author of World Poverty and Human Rights (2002) and co-editor of Real World Justice (2005) and Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right: Who Owes What to the Very Poor? (2006).

Wednesday 1 March

Bat-Ami Bar On

Bat-Ami Bar On is Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is the author of The Subject of Violence (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), a study in non-violent methods of politics, and numerous articles on war, terrorism and violence against women.

Thursday 2 March

Khaled Abou El Fadl

Khaled Abou El Fadl is Professor of Law and Distinguished Fellow in Islamic Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Born in Kuwait, he is one of the leading authorities on Islamic law working in the West. He co-edited Shattered Illusions: Analyzing the War on Terrorism (2002) and is the author of Islam and the Challenge of Democracy (2004); The Place of Tolerance in Islam (2002) and Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women (2001).

You can also support us when you buy other books at Amazon.co.uk by using the following link (we are paid a commision on anything you buy):

Year Lecture Title Lecturers Flyer Buy the Book
1992 freedom and interpretation Ricoeur, Derrida, Kristeva … Lecture Flyer out of print
1993 on human rights Rawls, Lyotard, Rorty … Lecture Flyer
1994 historical change and human rights Patterson, Ginzburg … Lecture Flyer out of print
1995 the dissident word Vidal, Nasreen, Soyinka … Lecture Flyer out of print
1996 women’s voices, women’s rights Nussbaum, Wolf … Lecture Flyer
1997 the values of science Dawkins, Dennett, Midgley … Lecture Flyer
1998 the genetic revolution & human rights Putnam, Benatar … Lecture Flyer
1999 globalizing rights Appiah, Chomsky, George … Lecture Flyer
2001 human rights, human wrongs Todorov, Spivak, Singer … Lecture Flyer
2002 sex rights Winterson, Warner, Okin … Lecture Flyer
2003 city rights Rogers, Harvey, Williams, Wolfensohn, Ashrawi, Hall, Declerck Lecture Flyer
2004 displacement, asylum, migration

Zizek, Parekh, Phillips, Sassen, Hongju Koh, Rose, Mazrui

Lecture Flyer
2005 Land Rights Strathern, Glenny, Saganash, Leakey, Wiwa, Brennan and Baron-Cohen Not Available book in preparation
2006 “War on Terror” Bourke, Soueif, McMahan, Gearty, Pogge, Bar On, El Fadl Lecture Flyer book in preparation

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In 2003 we added a film component to the Oxford Amnesty Lectures. The Phoenix Picturehouse hosted “City Films” and “Movement of the People”, while The Vaults and Garden Organic Café hosted screenings to tie in with the series on “Land Rights” and “War on Terror”, in association with Undercurrents.

In 2007 OAL is pleased to partner with the Fifth Annual Oxford Brookes Human Rights Film Festival, Monday February 26th - Saturday March 10th 2007.

The Oxford Brookes University Human Rights Film Festival is now in its fifth year. An initiative of the post-graduate students on the MA programme in Humanitarian and Development Practice at the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP), the Human Rights Film Festival aims to raise awareness about a range of human rights concerns, through the accessible medium of film, to the Oxford community.

The 2007 festival will screen feature films, documentaries and animations, focusing on the theme of ‘Freedom and Belonging’. Each evening films will be followed by a discussion initiated by a relevant speaker or director.

In the interests of maximising accessibility, admission to all films and discussions is free.

For more information please refer to our website at: www.brookes.ac.uk/schools/be/cendep/humanrights, or contact Bethanie Cunnick at bcunnick@brookes.ac.uk or 01865 483239.