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Historian-Philosopher to Discuss Human Rights

Historian-Philosopher to Discuss Human Rights


Ute Ritz-Deutch is a human rights activist on a mission to make the world a better place. And she’ll use whatever form of communication is available to help her do it — leading classroom discussions, giving lectures, hosting her own radio show and generating news coverage.

Most recently, that coverage was by national news organizations in India.

Ritz-Deutch, a SUNY Cortland History Department lecturer and volunteer leader for Amnesty International, gave a series of talks this January in Mangalore, where SUNY Cortland has a study abroad program. Several Indian media outlets reported on her lectures.

She will discuss an updated version of that presentation, “Talking about Human Rights in India,” on Tuesday, April 2. The lecture will run from 5 to 6 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

“It is a global review of 2017 based on human rights reports,” Ritz-Deutch said of her Indian lectures. “I first gave my talk in India in January and at that point we didn’t have the 2018 review data yet. I plan on covering some of the same data, but part of the presentation is reflecting on my India talks.”

 Ritz-Deutch was invited to speak in Mangalore because of her involvement with Amnesty International. While there, she gave 10 human rights talks in 13 days, six of them at St. Aloysius College and affiliated campuses. The other lectures took place at Padua College, St. Agnes College, Karnataka Theological Research Institute and at EMPOWER, a Muslim graduate student association.

“St. Agnes, where I gave my last talk, invited the press and much to my surprise I ended up in three newspapers and their campus publication,” Ritz-Deutch said. “Two of the papers, The Indian Expressand The Hindu,are national news organizations.”

Ute Ritz-Deutch teaches part time in the College’s History and Philosophy departments and also is an instructor at Tompkins Cortland Community College. She has taught courses on teaching, public speaking, research, writing, ethno-history, immigration studies, human rights, immigrant rights and indigenous rights.

Photo by Michelle Bonkosky on Unsplash. The image above left is by from Pexels.

She currently teaches a course on Prisons and Punishment through the Philosophy Department. She plans on taking her students to Albany, N.Y., to lobby for solitary confinement reform.

“I have done that in previous semesters as well,” she said. “It is one of my areas of activism.”

The seasoned grassroots organizer is a member of both the Ithaca Chapter of Amnesty International and the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition. She has a doctorate in history from Binghamton University.

Radio listeners in the region might have heard Ritz-Deutch’s brand of enthusiastic historical discussion combined with human rights advocacy on the “Out of Bounds” radio show broadcast on Community Radio WRFI Radio at 88.1 FM in Ithaca, N.Y., or at 91.9 FM in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Her “Framing Our Democracy” talk series for the show bills itself as fostering intelligent radio interviews with people thinking outside the mainstream. Ritz-Deutch, who for her outstanding community service was awarded the 2012 Civic Engagement Leadership Award by SUNY Cortland and the City of Cortland, also is a DJ on Radio Free America.

For more information, contact Ritz-Deutch at 607-351-8033.