Professor Parikh's talk, "An Aesthetics of Kin and the Rights of the Child in Minor U.S. Literatures," comes from her recently released book, Writing Human Rights: The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). Books will be available for purchase at the lecture.
Human rights are usually understood to be that which Americans deliver unto others elsewhere, with little direct meaning for U.S. legal discourse, domestic political struggle, or American literary and cultural studies back at home. Writing Human Rights: The Political Imaginaries of Writers of Color instead proposes human rights as a method for reading “minor literatures,” or fiction authored by contemporary U.S. writers of color. By engaging the ethical deliberations that these minor literatures stage, it explores the conditions under which new norms, more capacious formulations of rights, and alternative kinds of political community emerge. Drawn from the conclusion of Writing Human Rights, this lecture examines in particular the rights of the child and the “right to family,” in tandem with the aesthetics of kin advanced by minor literatures.