Activist Scholarship in Human Rights: New Challenges, 28 June 2017 

The Human Rights Researchers’ Network (HRRN) annual conference aims to facilitate a productive exchange between scholars and activists, working within the broad interdisciplinary field of human rights, on the epistemological, methodological and ethical challenges in activist scholarship. The HRRN, hosted by the Human Rights Consortium, is a distinctive platform aiming to promote and facilitate research and debate on the issues concerning academics and practitioners engaging in human rights research and activism.

The first HRRN annual conference ‘Activist Scholarship in Human Rights: New Challenges‘ was held on Wednesday, 28th of June 2017 at the Senate House, University of London. The conference brought together scholars, activists and NGO practitioners to reflect on the challenges facing activist scholarship from both within and outside, including the relationship between knowledge production on human rights and eradication of human rights violations, and the role of the scholar in bringing social change. During the parallel sessions, the conference participants

The opening panel featured Professor Donatella Della Porta, Dr Aziz Choudry, Professor Nadje Al-Ali and Dr Ornette Clennon. The themes of the parallel panel sessions included Law and Activist Scholarship, Methods in Activist Scholarship, Ethical Dilemmas in Activist Scholarship, Using Activist Scholarship in Education, Activist Scholarship in Social Movements, and Academia and Activism in Turkey: Challenging State Narratives and Defending Human Rights.

For the full conference programme, please click here.

Storify summary of the conference by Dr Ornette Clennon

We would like to thank the John Coffin Memorial Trust and the Taylor and Francis Publishers for their support.


Strategies to protect human rights researchers and academics at risk, 9 December 2016

Attacks on human rights defenders and academics are increasing at an alarming rate across the world. By carrying out their research, campaign and advocacy activities they become the target of both state and non-state actors. At a time when documenting human rights violations is more critical, human rights defenders face imprisonment, torture and threats of death. Similarly, academics face increasingly repressive reaction by the governments simply because of what they say or write.

On 9th of December 2016, the Human Rights Consortium organised a workshop on the strategies to protect human rights researchers and academics at risk with the participation of academics, students and human rights NGOs. The workshop aimed to contribute to the global efforts to develop collaborative and proactive strategies to protect and promote the rights of human rights defenders and academics at risk. We aim to bring together researchers in academic institutions and NGOs to reflect on creative tactics to prevent attacks and improve the conditions of researchers worldwide.


Ms Sinead O’Gorman, Scholars at Risk
Dr Alice Nah, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York
Mr Stephen Wordsworth, Council for At-Risk Academics
Ms Eva Blum-Dumontet, Privacy International
Ms Susi Bascon, Peace Brigades International UK
Mr Adán Guillermo López Lone, Association of Judges for Democracy
Ms Hannah Smith, Tactical Technology Collective


For the workshop concept note, please click here.

For the workshop programme, please click here.