University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

UND human rights center focuses on Syrian Civil war for second online symposium

Online Symposium: Syrian Civil War

The Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies (CHRGS) will launch another of its online symposia, beginning, Monday, April 29, with the Syrian Civil War being the focal point of web-based public interactions.

To get started, the public is encouraged to go to the CHRGS website titled Online Symposium: Syrian Civil War, and read the various articles as they become available. Then simply participate by posting a comment and wait for the reactions to roll in.

This week’s article, to get it all started, is from a presentation by Syrian Civil War expert Benjamin Brockman-Hawed (based on his keynote address that he gave at UND on Oct. 30, 2012): The Syrian Civil War: Prospects for Intervention and Justice.  Last October, CHRGS welcomed Brockman-Hawe, of New York's Bosman Law Firm, to the UND campus as a visiting fellow. During his stay, he took part in a week's worth of lectures, panels and other discussions on a myriad human rights topics.

Participants in the interactive symposium can begin posting comments about Brockman-Hawe’s article on Monday, April 29.

Then, Friday, May 3, Brian Urlacher, associate professor of business and public administration at UND, will post his own response: “Stalemate and Syria: The Cross Roads of Law and Realpolitik,” which also will be open to online comments and feedback from the public.

On Thursday, May 9, a second response is scheduled, this time, by Thomas Ambrosio, an associate professor of political science at North Dakota State in Fargo. The title of Ambrosio’s response will be “Global and Regional Dynamics in the Syrian Proxy War.”

Comments will finally close Friday, May 17.

The new online symposia are part of efforts by CHRGS to expand its programming to a wider online public. This is the second time CHRGS has started an online symposium, which feature papers, thoughts and responses from respected human rights scholars and thinkers in the Red River Valley – at UND and North Dakota State – and beyond. This first symposium centered on "Contemporary Issues in LGBT Rights." More online symposia are expected to be held in the future.

Here is how CHRGS describes the mission of its online symposia:

The Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies' online symposia expands our on-campus scholarly discourse to a larger academic community. Each symposium features a scholarly work related to human rights and genocide studies. Another academic then analyzes the work, providing a different perspective. Then, either the featured author responds, or yet another academic provides a third perspective. Along the way, online symposium attendees, which consist of interested members of the cyber-community, have the opportunity to participate in the conversation by posting comments. Focusing on significant human rights issues, the goals of the online symposia are to elicit dialogue, raise awareness, promote tolerance, and enrich the educational experience.

-- David L. Dodds, media relations/writer and editor, University and Public Affairs, 777.5529,

Tagged as: