Human rights and "humanitarian" interventions are surrounded by a web of good intentions and contradictions. This course will explore them. We begin with selected metanarratives about the history of human rights. We will then read some of the founding documents on which human rights theory rests. Defining human rights is difficult, enforcing them even more so, as will be clear when we examine issues of crimes of war, torture, economic and women's rights. Additional topics include human rights in Eastern Europe and Latin America in the 1970s, bombing civilians, and humanitarian aid. We conclude by looking at genocide and at liberal interventionism and the Responsibility to Protect in the contemporary Middle East.