The Source Project

The Source Project :

First-year Research Program in Human Rights

What are human rights and where do they come from? How can studying rights violations help to build a better world? Start your academic career at Binghamton University by developing your research skills in human rights and exploring majors with human rights applications. This two-semester sequence will introduce first-year students to foundational histories and concepts alongside research methodologies drawn from social sciences and the humanities in human rights. We will look at the various ways scholars and human rights workers define research questions about human rights past and present and how research can be used to protect and promote human flourishing in difficult times.

Our first semester course, HMRT 176: Human Rights Concepts and Methods, will center around case studies that ask us to bring different research methods together to address specific violations. Students will conclude the semester by designing their own research projects within the Human Rights Institute. In the second semester, students in HMRT 276: Research in Human Rights will have the opportunity to work individually or in groups with faculty members in the human rights Institute who are engaged in a wide range of human rights problem solving. Not only will students participate directly in ongoing research projects, they will also learn about different ways of disseminating and applying their research to reach diverse audiences. The program's courses will also count toward the human rights minor for students who are interested.

This course sequence counts toward Global, Humanities, and Social Sciences General Education requirements and is open to all first-year students without prerequisite.


Project Leader: Alexandra Moore, professor of English and co-director of the Human Rights Institute, will lead the program. Moore publishes widely in contemporary literary and visual representations of torture, enforced disappearance, incarceration, gendered rights violations, child soldiers, humanitarian interventionism and related topics. She also works with torture survivors and those fleeing political persecution.

Spring 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023 research projects:

  • Anti-Trafficking Data Project (ATDP)
  • Anti-Democratic Movements and the Capitol Riots
  • Technology and Human Rights
  • Climate Change and Human Rights
  • Asian Americans in Social Historical Contexts
    • Expatriated American women
  • Vulnerability and Age-Friendly Communities
  • Contemporary Fascisms
  • Guantánamo and the War on Terror
  • The Guantánamo Art Project
  • Human Sexualities Lab
    • Consent and Sexual Assault
    • Variations in Family Acceptance of LGBTQ People
  • Carceral Studies -- Local, National, and International Conditions of Confinement
  • Measuring Global Human Rights
  • Contemporary Feminist Approaches to International Law
  • History of Indigenous Land Claims on BU Territory
  • Forced labor of Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province, PRC
  • Protecting Reproductive Rights Post-Dobbs
  • Death Penalty Inequalities in the US
  • The Constitutional Right to Public Defense