ANU College of Law to host leading expert on cultural rights

Professor Alison Dundes Renteln
Wednesday 21 August 2019

Incoming Australia and the World Visiting Fellow, Professor Alison Dundes Renteln, says ANU will be the ideal place for her to do research on international law topics that relate to cultural rights.

Professor Dundes Renteln is the second Visiting Fellow in the program, which is run by the Australian Studies Institute.

"ANU is the ideal place for law and society scholars like me to do research on international law topics. It is perfect for those interested in cultural rights and indigenous issues," Professor Dundes Renteln says.

"ANU hosts such brilliant interdisciplinary scholars as Sally Wheeler, Paul Pickering, Jonathan Liljeblad, Kim Rubenstein, and Desmond Manderson. I look forward to collaborating with ANU faculty and students on topics of mutual interest."

The Fellowships were established by the Vice-Chancellor to bring exceptional academics to ANU, to share their knowledge and expertise, while also allowing them to participate in research within their own fields. Each Fellow participates in University life for one to two months.

Professor Sally Wheeler, Dean of the ANU College of Law, nominated Professor Dundes Renteln.

"Professor Renteln is a formidable scholar and I am delighted the College and University have the opportunity to host her," Professor Wheeler says.

"She is widely recognised as the leading expert on cultural rights and her experience with joint appointments in law, political science and anthropology will allow us to explore some very challenging questions that are currently facing the world."

While at ANU, Professor Dundes Renteln will give a public lecture, participate in two symposia on the regulation of online speech and comparative indigenous rights issues. She'll also deliver a masterclass on Law, Culture and Identity and will meet with students to discuss their research projects.

A broader goal of hers is to establish a program for Australian and US judges (and maybe even judges from Italy and Portugal) who are concerned with the challenges faced by arriving individuals from diverse cultures.

But, her overall goal will be to find ways to build partnerships between ANU and the University of Southern California (USC), her alma mater, and where she is currently the Professor of Political Science, Anthropology, Law, and Public Policy.

"It is my hope that we will launch research collaborations and establish new exchange programs.  We have a lot to learn from each other. I am grateful to have this opportunity," says Professor Dundes Renteln.

During her time at ANU, Professor Dundes Renteln will be attending the following:

Wednesday 21 August - Public Lecture

Lecture Title: Recognising the human right to a name and the implications for giving and changing personal names

Speaker: Professor Alison Dundes Renteln, Vice-Chancellor's 'Australia and the World' Visiting Fellow

Time: 5.30 - 6.30pm Wednesday 21 August, 2019

Venue: Phillipa Weeks Staff Library , Building 7, ANU College of Law


Thursday 22 August - Human Rights Symposium

Subject: This Symposium will focus on the human rights protection of identity including citizenship rights, cultural identity, and indigenous issues and will consider whether (and how) the Uluru Statement from the Heart has influenced Australian institutions.

Speakers: Prof Alison Dundes Renteln, Prof Kim Rubenstein, Prof Veronica Taylor, A/Prof Wayne Morgan, Dr Jonathan Liljeblad, Prof Richard Chisholm AM

Time: 12 - 2pm Thursday 22 August, 2019

Venue: Moot Court Teaching Room, Building 6A, ANU College of Law


Monday 26 August - HDR/ECR Masterclass: Research methods in law, culture and identity

Subject: This Masterclass will explore how to undertake ground-breaking research on the complex relationship between culture and law. The rule of law requires that like cases be treated alike. But what does this mean when it comes to cultural differences? How should cultural context be accounted for in law-making and judicial decision-making? When law refuses to consider cultural claims, is it repressive because it forces assimilation? The central normative question is whether the law ought to follow a policy of assimilation or one of accommodation. Since there are many pluralistic societies in the world, a pressing question is how dominant legal systems relate to the customary law of minority groups and indigenous peoples.

Speakers: Prof Alison Dundes Renteln

Time: 2 - 4pm Monday 26 August, 2019

Venue: Moot Court Teaching Room, Building 6A, ANU College of Law


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