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Karen Engle


CWGS Affiliate FacultyJD, Harvard University

Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law; Founder and Co-Director, Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice
Karen Engle

Contact

  • Phone: 512.232.7066
  • Office: JON 5.251
  • Office Hours: Wednesdays, 3:30-5 p.m., and by appointment

Interests


international human rights law

Biography


KAREN ENGLE is Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and Founder and Co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and of Women's and Gender Studies. She teaches courses and specialized seminars in public international law, international human rights law, and legal theory. 

Professor Engle writes on the interaction between social movements and law, particularly in the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law, and Latin American law. She is author of numerous scholarly articles and of The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Feminist Interventions in International Law (Stanford University Press, 2020) as well as The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (Duke University Press, 2010), which received the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Human Rights. She is co-editor of Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and After Identity: A Reader in Law and Culture (Routledge, 1995). 

Professor Engle received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with honors from Baylor University. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Jerre S. Williams on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then served as a post-doctoral Ford Fellow in Public International Law at Harvard Law School. She was Professor of Law at the University of Utah prior to joining the University of Texas in 2002.

Engle received a Bellagio Residency Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009 and an assignment as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Bogotá in 2010. In 2016-17, she was the Deborah Lunder and Alan Ezekowitz Founders’ Circle Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She has taught at a number of universities around the world and, most recently, was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2018.

Recent Publications

  • The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Feminist Interventions in International Law (Stanford University Press, 2020). https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=30534
  • "Introduction: Human Rights and Economic Inequality." Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 10, no. 3 (2019): 363-375. 
  • "Human Rights Consciousness and Critique", in A Time for Critique 91 (Didier Fassin and Bernard E. Harcourt, eds.; Columbia University Press2019).
     

Courses


LAS 381 • International Human Rights Law

39772 • Spring 2015
Meets MT 10:30AM-11:45AM TNH 3.125
(also listed as LAW 348E)

The course will consider some of the most pressing global issues of our time through an overview of the theory and practice of international human rights law, as well as the related fields of international humanitarian and criminal law.  It will examine the evolution and content of human rights and humanitarian norms since the 1940s, their sources and legal status, and domestic, regional, and international mechanisms for implementing the norms.  Topics include civil and political rights, economic and social rights, gender equality, development, indigenous peoples, children, corporations, individual criminal responsibility, and human rights in times of conflict and post-conflict.  Students will become familiar with the United Nations human rights system, as well as with regional regimes, especially that of the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.  Themes throughout the course will include tensions between universal rights and state and regional particularities, evolving notions of statehood and sovereignty, the responsibilities of states and non-state actors, the relevance of the private-public distinction, and the relationship between domestic and international legal orders.

LAS 381 • International Human Rights Law

40395 • Spring 2012
Meets TW 12:30PM-1:45PM JON 5.206
(also listed as LAW 348E)

The course provides an overview of modern international human rights law, including its history and development since the 1940s. It considers domestic, regional and international legal systems -including international criminal law- and the extent to which they incorporate and implement economic, social and cultural as well as civil and political rights. It also studies contemporary political and theoretical debates over the scope and interpretation of human rights law, such those involving the rights of indigenous peoples, women's rights and the right to economic development. 

WGS 393 • Intl Hum Rts & Justice Wrkshp

47167 • Fall 2011
Meets M 3:30PM-5:30PM JON 5.206
(also listed as LAS 381, LAW 397S)

Interdisciplinary speaker-based workshop on internati onal human rights law. We will read works in progress by academics and w ill hear them presented by their authors. Roughly half of the class week s will involve these outside speaker presentations. The other classes wi ll involve discussions of background readings on international human rig hts and class discussions of the papers to be presented by outside speak ers.

LAS 381 • Intl Human Rts/Justice Wrkshp

40315 • Fall 2010
Meets M 3:30PM-5:30PM CCJ 3.310
(also listed as LAW 397S)

This seminar is an interdisciplinary speaker-based workshop on international human rights law. We will read academic papers and hear them presented by their authors. Roughly half of the class weeks will involve outside speaker presentations. The other classes will involve discussions of background readings on international human rights and class discussions of the papers to be presented by outside speakers. Students will be expected to write short, critical reaction papers for several of the papers presented, and to submit a final writing project. Past speakers include Professor Betsy Bartholet (Harvard Law School), Judge Cecelia Medina (President, Inter-American Court of Human Rights) and Professor Eduardo Restrepo (Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Colombia). Topics range from human rights and international adoption to Afro-descendant rights in Latin America.
The seminar is open to application for all rising 2Ls and 3Ls and non-law grad students. It is limited to students who have taken courses at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level in international human rights, public international law or international relations. Appropriate experience might also substitute for the background course requirements. Students must receive the professor's approval to enroll in the class. To apply to enroll, please send a short (300 words, one-page) statement explaining your background and interest in human rights, including any international law courses you have taken, and a one-page resume, to Sarah Cline at scline@law.utexas.edu.

WGS 393 • Feminisms/Socl Movmnts/Hum Rts

48624 • Spring 2010
Meets W 3:30PM-5:30PM CCJ 3.336

Interdisciplinary topics relating to Women's and Gender Studies.  Seats restricted to WGS MA and Portfolio students during early registration.  Check cross-listings for home departments and originating field of study.

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