.Associate Professor of International Relations at UW Tacoma
Editor-in-Chief, Muslim World of Human Rights.
Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the School of IAS
Author of two books—one of which was just published last month
Turan Kayaoglu’s credentials are impressive, but there is so much more to his story.
A Long and Winding Road…
Kayaoglu grew up in Istanbul, after moving from his birthplace—Perçem village, in the Erzincan Province of eastern Turkey—when he was just four years old. A massive migration from rural villages to industrial centers was taking place, turning farmers into shopkeepers or factory workers at a dizzying pace. As a result, he was one of nearly 60 students crowded into an elementary classroom. Yet it was his family’s move to the city that made his presence in that classroom even possible.
Without the access to education that Kayaoglu enjoyed, his father has no formal schooling, but “kind of reads.” His mother’s longing to read—in her 60s—inspired him, and her failure to learn after two years of trying made him more sensitive to the difficulties faced by some of his own students.
Kayaoglu is the fourth of five sons born to Sadullah and Hanim Kayaoglu, with 19 years between the oldest and youngest. He and his younger brother are the only two with a university education, although one of his older brothers did go to a technical college. “But, I was the first to attend a four-year university.” He may have taken it “too seriously,” he said, as a way to compensate for his older brothers’ lack of educational opportunities.
PPPA professor Turan Kayaoglu traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark in February 2015 to take part in a workshop on the topic of human rights and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The workshop, organized by the Danish Institute for Human Rights–the third such meeting for the group which first met in 2013 at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)–had ten scholars presenting papers over a period of two days. Group members discussed their papers and developed a common framework for a forthcoming publication regarding the OIC and human rights. Kayaoglu and Marie J. Petersen will be editing the publication produced by workshop participants. Continue reading →
TPHIL 200 – Introduction to the Philosophy of Human Rights (Spring 2015)
As it always has, TPHIL 200 introduces diverse philosophical views on humanity, good, rights, universality and other concepts that have influenced our current understanding of human rights. It provides an overview of basic concepts in these areas, relating them to selected philosophical schools and thinkers, and discusses how they impact contemporary initiatives on human rights. However, during spring quarter 2015, we will focus on current writings on the philosophy of human rights and cosmopolitanism, particularly on the writings of contemporary German philosopher, Rainer Forst. Students will then engage in a direct dialogue with Forst during his visit to the University of Washington in April. Continue reading →
The Osheroff and Clark fund provides financial resources for undergraduate and graduate students to support human rights projects that promote social change through direct action. In 2015, we anticipate having approximately $4000 available to distribute; the entire amount may be issued in a single award or split between multiple awardees. The number of awards and amounts will vary depending on the number and quality of applications.In keeping with Abe’s and Gunnel’s belief that accountability begins at home, priority will be given to projects that speak to the particular roles and responsibilities of our own institutions (including government, private sector entities, and the university itself) in human rights.
Colin McCann came to UW Tacoma in the fall of 2011 as a transfer student from TCC. After taking advantage of the Running Start program in his high school, he was only 19 when he first arrived on campus. A self-professed “political junkie,” McCann chose to major in PPE (Law & Policy track), with a Human Rights minor. He was also a member of the Global Honors Program.
McCann attributes a great deal of his intellectual, personal, and academic growth to his experiences at UWT, noting that nearly everyone he encountered—from professors to fellow students—challenged him “intellectually, and encouraged me to broaden my perspectives.” He claims that he can’t speak highly enough of UWT’s culture of learning and encouragement of academic discourse. “It helped me develop into the person I am today.” Continue reading →
Scholars associated with the prestigious Muslim World Journal of Human Rights recently selected Professor Turan Kayaoglu to be its new Editor. The journal, how housed at UW Tacoma, serves as a forum for debate over various aspects of human rights in the Muslim World, and is edited by leading international scholars of Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies and human rights.
In April PPPA hosted political analyst and essayist Mr. Faisal Roble (below center) of the Institute for Horn of Africa Studies and Affairs. His lecture, entitled “Post Civil War Somalia: Challenges and Opportunities,” was well attended, and kicked off the first of several meetings and engagements he held with the UWT and Somali communities over a three-day period. His visit was jointly sponsored by UW Tacoma Arts & Lectures Committee and the Somali Student Association at UW Tacoma. As part of the same series, Dr. Nader Hashemi, Associate Professor Of Middle East and Islamic Studies and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, visited UWT in May to discuss current events in Iran and the Geneva Nuclear Deal. His presentation can be accessed via this link: Dr. Nader Hashemi at UW Tacoma
As part of this year’s Philosophy Roundtable, Andreas Neiderberger, Professor of Political and Social Philosophy at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany spoke at UW Tacoma and Seattle in April. AT UW Tacoma he spoke of the theme of “Human Rights & Global Constitutionalism,” and at UW Seattle he discussed “Are Human Rights Moral Rights?” While in the Puget Sound area, he also attended a music recital at the University of Puget Sound, and spoke to the Research Group on Human Rights in the Suzzallo Library at UW Seattle. His talks were part of the Interdisciplinary Research Cluster Human Interactions and Normative Innovation (HI-NORM). His talks were made possible by support from PPPA as well as the Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the UW Seattle Department of Philosophy.
PPPA’s seminar series focusing on the Middle East and Africa continues this Spring with a keynote address by Professor Nader Hashemi (right) of the University of Denver (UD). Prof. Hashemi is an Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at UD’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He is also Director of UD’s Center for Middle East Studies, and the author of several books on politics and the Middle East. As a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and with opinion pieces in places such as the New York Times, Prof. Hashemi has quickly become one of the most sought after experts on the Middle East. His address is titled “Is Hassan an Iranian Gorbachev? An Assessment of the Islamic Republic after the Geneva Nuclear Deal.” This talk will take place May 7th at 4 pm in the Tacoma Room.
Also on tap spring quarter: The distinguished Mr. Faisal Roble of the Institute for the Horn of Africa Studies will be visiting the UW Tacoma campus. Mr. Roble (left) is a well-respected intellectual, political analyst, and essayist with extensive experience in Africa’s Horn region. He will be delivering a lecture entitled “Post Civil War Somalia: Challenges and Opportunities,” on April 10th at 4 pm in the Carwein Auditorium. UW Seattle’s James Long (below), Assistant Professor of Political Science and an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, will follow this up with a talk on “Electoral Fraud and Political Violence in Africa.” Prof. Long’s research focuses on elections in fragile and developing countries, the dynamics of electoral fraud, the causes of electoral violence, and the effects of civil war and insurgency on state-building and development. Long studies these issues in both sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan, and will be speaking on campus April 23rd, 12:30 pm in CP 103. Rounding out the spring schedule will be our own Michael Wotherspoon, a senior in Law and Policy, who will discuss “The Press, Ethnicity and Free Speech in Kyrgyzstan”. His talk will be based on his experiences in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where he’s been working for Spektator Magazine. May 29th, 12:30 pm in the Tacoma Room. Thanks to both IAS and UW Tacoma’s Arts and Lecturer Committee for making these events possible. Continue reading →
IAS recently hired two new faculty members who will join PPPA faculty next year. Sarah Hampson will be joining us to teach courses in public law. She is currently finishing up her PhD. in Political Science at the University of Connecticut, and her specialty is in Law and Society, with a special interest in policies around a work/life balance. She is interested in connecting big questions in law and society with practical public policies. She is also interested in politics, women in the military, and race and ethnicity in American Politics. “I am very excited to be joining UW Tacoma this fall, and I look forward to teaching courses in public law, including Law in Society, Constitutional Law, and Law and Public Policy.”
Elizabeth Bruchis our new expert in human rights. She earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin, has a PhD in sociology from the University of British Columbia, and will be teaching courses primarily in the area of human rights. Her research focuses on international law and policy, human rights, and humanitarian intervention. Having worked as a human rights lawyer before she began teaching, Elizabeth brings this perspective to her classes and scholarship. “I am looking forward to joining the PPPA Division of IAS this coming fall. My family and I will be moving to the Tacoma area from Vancouver, BC, Canada, and we are excited to explore another part of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.” Next year she will be teaching International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, International Law and International Organizations.