Natasha Simonsen (Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at New College) and Tessa Roynon (Research fellow at the Rothermere American Institute) have secured funding for an interdisciplinary project on 'Fiction and Human Rights'. The new research network, funded by the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) is primarily a collaboration between the faculties of Law and English, although it also includes colleagues from across the university in History, Modern Languages, Classics, Philosophy and Politics and International Law. The project takes as its theoretical starting point Lynn Hunt's 2007 work, Inventing Human Rights: A History, and Joseph Slaughter's study of the same year, Human Rights Inc: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law. The specific focus is the relationship between the novel since 1948 and the legal and political discourse of human rights. The programme begins in Michaelmas 2015 with a one-day symposium on 7 November 2015. The theme is 'Dignity and the Novel since 1948', and the event will explore the ways in which the ever-evolving forms and concerns of the modern novel might (or might not) shed light on debate about the status and function of human dignity in legal theory and practice.

For more information, and if you are interested in joining the network, please contact Natasha or Tessa on