This event takes place via YouTube livestream.

"Freedom Will Be Defended": Race and Rights in U.S. Security

Lecture and Discussion via YouTube livestream / No registration necessary

This lecture is part of the event series Internationale Wochen gegen Rassismus


This event will take place via YouTube livestream: youtu.be/FR0v7QxrDm8


In the self-proclaimed ‘land of the free’, the assertion of individual ‘right’ is common parlance of political and cultural discourse, a birth-right as American as apple pie. Yet, in the summer of 2020 the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd sparked worldwide protest, once again the racist fault-lines in the “right to life, liberty, and security of person” were so brutally exposed. 

In this discussion, we will explore the place of ‘human rights’ in US international security imaginaries to trace the racialised exclusions at home and abroad of the universal ‘human’. Wielding a supposed monopoly on liberty, how are the borders of freedom inscribed and defended?


Dr. des. Sarah Earnshaw, is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley. She completed both her under- and post-graduate studies at the University of Glasgow: a joint honours MA in History and English Literature as well as an MLitt in War Studies. Moving to Germany to pursue her doctoral degree in the American History, History of the Americas program at the America-Institut, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Sarah Earnshaw successfully defended her PhD in May 2019 and was awarded a 'summa cum laude. Her dissertation was focused on U.S. human rights foreign policy, and specifically how postcolonial sovereignties are problematized and pacified according to colonial and racialised standards of the human-rights-respecting, ‘developed’, (neo)liberal-democratic state.


Moderation: Prof. Dr. Uwe Lübken, Amerika-Institut, LMU München


Please note: 

Following the talk, you may ask Sarah Earnshaw your questions online. If you prefer to do so even before the lecture, you can write us an e-mail at held@amerikahaus.de – just include “Question for Sarah Earnshaw” in the subject line.


Organizer: Bavarian American Academy, Amerikahaus - Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations


Contact: Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm



(Photo: Sarah Earnshaw © Sarah Earnshaw)


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