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Michael Galchinsky


PhD, Berkeley, 1994


Human rights literature and law, 19th c. British literature, Jewish studies


Michael Galchinsky writes on human rights literature, international human rights law, nineteenth century British literature, and Jewish studies.  HIs most recent book The Modes of Human Rights Literature: Towards a Culture without Borders (Palgrave, 2016) investigates the four major modes of human rights writing:  protest, testimony, lament, and laughter.  His study of Jewish human rights activism after World War II, Jews and Human Rights: Dancing at Three Weddings (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), explores Jews’ initial enthusiasm for the growing international human rights regime in the wake of the Holocaust, but then the waning of their support, starting in the late 1960s, as the human rights began to be used to delegitimize Israel.  In The Origin of the Modern Jewish Woman Writer: Romance and Reform in Victorian England (Wayne State UP, 1996), he explored the writings of the first Jewish women who ever published novels, including Grace Aguilar and Marion and Celia Moss.  He has also edited Grace Aguilar: Selected Writings (Broadview Press, 2003) and, with David Biale and Susannah Heschel, co-edited Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism (Univ. of California Press, 1998).  Recent journal articles, addressing human rights in counterterrorism, genocide prevention, the international law respecting the West Bank settlements, and various aspects of human rights culture have appeared in Human Rights Review, Journal of Human Rights, International Studies Perspectives, Israel Studies, and South Atlantic Review.  Professor Galchinsky is an affiliate of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy at Georgia State University, and a Fellow at the Yale University Center for Cultural Sociology


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The Modes of Human Rights Literature: Towards a Culture without Borders. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Jews and Human Rights: Dancing at Three Weddings. Lanham, MD:  Rowman and Littlefield, 2008.

ed., Grace Aguilar: Selected Writings.  Calgary, Canada:  Broadview Press, 2003.

David Biale, Michael Galchinsky, and Susannah Heschel, eds., Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1998.

The Origin of the Modern Jewish Woman Writer: Romance and Reform in Victorian England. Detroit:  Wayne State University Press, 1996.

“Prevention Cascade: The United States and the Diffusion of R2P,” in David Jason Karp and Kurt Mills, eds., Human Rights Protection in Global Politics: Responsibilities of States and Non-State Actors (New York:  Palgrave, 2015), 268-287.

“Framing a Rights Ethos: Artistic Media and the Dream of a Culture without Borders,” in Tristan Borer, ed., Mediating Atrocity: Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights (New York:  Zed Books, 2012), 67-95.

“Jewish Non-governmental Organizations.” Routledge Handbook of Human Rights, ed. Thomas Cushman (New York:  Routledge, 2011), 560-569.

“Otherness and Identity in the Victorian Novel,” in William Baker and Kenneth Womack, eds., Victorian Literary Cultures: A Critical Companion, (Westport, CT:  Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001), 403-420.

“Lament as Transitional Justice,” Human Rights Review 15.3 (2014):  259-281.  First publ. online (January 30, 2014):  1-23, DOI 10.1007/s12142—14-0304-8.

“’Quaint and Obsolete’: The ‘War on Terror’ and the Right to Legal Personality,” International Studies Perspectives 14.3 (2013):  255-268.

“The Problem with Human Rights Culture,” South Atlantic Review 75.2 (Spring, 2010):  5-18.

“Is There a Global Jewish Politics?” invited article for Policy Debate, Institute for Jewish Policy Research,” Jan. 2009.

“The American Jewish Committee and the Birth of the Israeli Human Rights Movement,” Journal of Human Rights 5.3 (July-September, 2006):  303-321.

“The Jewish Settlements in the West Bank: International Law and Israeli Jurisprudence,” Israel Studies 9.3 (Fall, 2004):  115-136.

“Political Pamphlet.” The Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature. Burwick, Frederick (ed). Blackwell Publishing, 2012. Blackwell Reference Online. 23 January 2012