Trans-species Listening and Rights of Nature: Legal Persons beyond the Human

Yan Gao's picture
October 5, 2018
North Carolina, United States
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, Asian History / Studies, Law and Legal History

Duke Global Asia Initiative is pleased to announce the workshop "Trans-species Listening and Rights of Nature: Legal Persons beyond the Human" will be held on Duke campus on Oct. 5. The event is free to the public. Please RSVP to Ms. Thakkar at Please see the following website for details of the workshop:

The workshop includes a "discussion screening" of documentary film "Rights of Nature: A Global Movement" (2018) by Issac Goeckeritz, Hal Crimmel and María Valeria Berros. Discussions led by Prof. Hal Crimmel from Weber State University.

Speakers of the workshop are:

Joni Adamson, Arizona State University

Ambika Aiyadurai, IIT Gandhinagar, India

Hal Crimmel, Weber State University

Craig Kauffman, University of Oregon

Jeff Nicolaisen, Duke University 

Introduction of the workshop:

The legal traditions of liberal democracy and human rights relied on the exceptionalism of the human whether derived from rationality, the soul, or the “dignity of man.” These notions originated in the entanglement of Christian notions of the human with the formation of the secular sphere in Europe and spread across the world to define a global political configuration often termed “modernity.” Rapid and unprecedented ecological changes, however, shone light on the insufficiency of a regime of rights restricted to humans. Simultaneously, the recognition of the devastating impact of colonization on indigenous peoples sparked a global movement to grant rights to these communities and drew attention to the diverse ways indigenous communities related with non-humans. While the first non-humans to receive recognition as legal persons may have been corporations, the “rights of nature” extend the recognition of legal persons to rivers, mountains, and non-human animals. This workshop aims to think about the global rights of nature movement by transcending the assumptions of modernity and listening not only across human cultures but also across species.

Contact Info: 

Global Asia Initiative
John Hope Franklin Center
2204 Erwin Road, Box 90404
Durham, NC 27708
Rohini Thakkar

Contact Email: