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Finding Aid

Papers of Kenneth J. Cmiel
RG 99.0042
Collection Dates: 1986-2005
14.25 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: The Papers of Kenneth J. Cmiel were transferred to the University Archives from the UI Dept. of History as Accessions 2006-58 and 2007-40. The collection was processed by Alexis Bushnell and David McCartney. Guide posted to the Internet November 2007.

Photographs: None

Kenneth J. Cmiel
Kenneth J. Cmiel

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Kenneth J. Cmiel consist of his published and unpublished writings, book reviews, correspondence, and materials pertaining to courses he taught in the University of Iowa Department of History. At the time of his death in 2006, Prof. Cmiel was working on a book chronicling the history of human rights in the twentieth century, including a discussion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The collection includes his notes, draft manuscripts, and copies of documents he had assembled for the project. Also included are notes and draft manuscripts for two other projects: papers on genocide and Raphael Lemkin. The collection reflects Prof. Cmiel's academic interests, which ranged from global human rights to popular culture.

Biographical Note

Kenneth J. Cmiel was a professor of history and American studies at the University of Iowa and director of the U.I. Center for Human Rights. In 1977 he received the B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1986. His dissertation won the Society of American Historians' Allan Nevins Prize in 1987. He joined the U.I. faculty that same year.

His first book, "Democratic Eloquence: The Fight Over Popular Speech in Nineteenth-Century America," was based on his dissertation. At the time of his death he was writing "Ambiguous Origins: The United Nations and Human Rights" (working title), chronicling the political ideas that contributed to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.D.H.R.). Though unfinished, portions of the planned book began to emerge as articles, including "The Emergence of Human Rights Politics in the United States," which appeared in a special issue of the Journal of American History in 1999.

Mr. Cmiel served as chair of the U.I. Department of History from 2000 to 2003. In 2004 he became director of the U.I. Center for Human Rights. He was the U.I. Presidential Lecturer in 2005 and during his career won many of the University's other top research and scholarship awards.

Kenneth Cmiel was born in Chicago, Illinois, on August 31, 1954, the son of Henry and Jean (Gasiorek) Cmiel. In 1980 he married Anne Duggan and they had three children. He died on February 4, 2006, at age 51, due to a previously-undetected brain tumor.

Related Materials

Cmiel, Kenneth. A Home of Another Kind: One Chicago Orphanage and the Tangle of Child Welfare. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Cmiel, Kenneth. Democratic Eloquence: The Fight Over Popular Speech in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: W. Morrow, 1990.

Records of the UI Center for Human Rights (RG 23.14)

Folder, "Cmiel, Kenneth," in the Faculty and Staff Vertical Files Collection (RG 01.15.03)

Box Contents List

Box 1

Published and unpublished writings, book reviews; 1989-2004

Course materials, 1993-2003: Music History (including CDs)

Box 2

----. Image in America, U.S. History 1877-present

----. Visual Culture Seminar

----. Pictures in American Life

----. American Intellectual History

----; n.d. Human Rights History and Politics

1970s Project: Thinking Through the 70s - notes and correspondence

U.I. Center for Human Rights correspondence

Box 3

Awards and grants correspondence

History Department administrative files

Department correspondence, A-Z

Box 4

Correspondence for review articles

Course evaluations

History of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U.D.H.R.) book project:

Photocopies of correspondence between H.G. Wells and the following: Richard Acland, Daily Herald, Francis Delancour, Gandhi, Domingo Hidalgo, A.D. Lindsay, E.V. Mold, Nehru, Sankey, Smuts, Frank Swinnerton, Chaim Weismann

Wells' comments on the Rights of Man

Summaries written by Ken Cmiel on papers from H.G. Wells Archives

Papers on the International Rights of Man, International Bill of Rights, and Jacques Maritain

Box 5

Indexes from LeMonde, Guide to Periodical Literature, The New York Times and the Times of London on genocide

Newspaper articles about genocide / Genocide Convention

Hans Peter article on the Genocide Convention

Genocide timeline and genocide definitions

Photocopies of letters to ratify the Genocide Convention to U.S. senators and United Nations members

Photocopies of correspondence from Melville Herskovitz and papers written by him

Photocopies of papers and correspondence from archives on Raphael Lemkin

Correspondence and notes from Cmiel paper presented at a Columbia University conference

Articles on international lawyers including Alfaro, Alvarez, Cassin, Mandelstam, Malik; photocopies of correspondence and articles by these individuals

Papers on international law and the U.D.H.R.

Draft of International Bill of Human Rights

Paper on Hersch Lauterpacht

Correspondence with Sir Elihu Lauterpacht

Box 6

Photocopies of articles on Malik and Cassin, including the U.N. Bulletin and opinions on Freedom of Information

Cmiel paper on freedom of information with comments

U.N. Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Meeting records

U.N. meeting records from 106-180th Sessions, 1407th Session

E.C.O.S.O.C. Human Rights papers

Cmiel notes on U.D.H.R., E.C.O.S.O.C.

Notes from Cmiel presentation at University of Pennsylvania

U.N. draft of U.D.H.R. with Cmiel notes

U.N.E.S.C.O. newspaper articles

State Department biographies of individuals on Human Rights Commission

National security papers

Eleanor Roosevelt papers pertaining to the Human Rights Commission

C. Wilfred Jenks

Box 7

National Negro Conference Petition

Draft of U.D.H.R. chapters with notes

Articles on colonialism, self-determination and sovereignty

Photocopies of La Magna Carta and Les Droits Internationaux de l’Homme

Articles on Leon Blum, Jessie Street, and Crystal Eastman

Box 8

Global Scholar and N.E.H. grant papers/proposal

Notes pertaining to books for possible use

Notes from books in use for project

Articles for background research

Article on human rights documents in the U.N.

Human rights articles written in 1930-1950, including speeches by Nehru and Gandhi

Articles on human rights in various regions: India, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, former U.S.S.R.

Official papers from African summits

Virginia Thompson book reviews

Mary Anne Glendon and Michael Ignatieff review articles on U.D.H.R.

Articles on P.C. Chang and George Kennan

Articles and notes on human rights theory

Human rights and Amnesty International projects:

Amnesty International staff correspondence

Papers on human rights in the 1970s

Papers from the Ford Foundation

Papers from U.S. Congress on human rights

Amnesty International contact information

1970’s New Information Order papers

Box 9

Final drafts of articles:

(1) Cmiel, K. The Recent History of Human Rights. American Historical Review 2004;109(1):117-135

(2) Cmiel, K. Human rights, freedom of information, and the origins of third-world solidarity. 2000:1-40

(3) Cmiel, K. The Emergence of Human Rights Politics in the United States. Journal of American History 1999;86(3):1231-1250

(4) Cmiel, K. Talking About Truth. Modern Intellectual History 2004; 293-304

Reviews by Cmiel

Reviews of Cmiel's works

Human rights class materials from U.I. Center for Human Rights (divided into six folders of 10 articles each):

(1) Egypt vows to battle female circumcision at internatlonal conference. Jordan Times. June 22, 2003

(2) What is female genital mutilation? October 1, 1997; ACT 77/06/97: 1-5. Amnesty International

(3) Why and how Amnesty International took up the issue of female genital mutilation. October 1, 1997; ACT 77/11/97:1-3

(4) Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples. July 4, 1976: 1-5

(5) Secretary Kissinger attends OAS General Assembly at Santiago. Department of State Bulletin, July 5, 1976; 75(1932): 1-5

(6) Charter of the United Nations. June 26, 1945

(7) The Declaration of Independence: The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America. 1776

(8) Abu-Nasr, D. The veiled life of Saudi women. Washington Post. December 8, 2000: A59

(9) Agnew, P. Pope voices "bitterness" at gay rights festival in Rome. Irish Times. July 10, 2000; City edition; World News: 13

(10) Alston, P. Human Rights Quarterly. May 1984; 6(2): 224-235. Book review of “Human Rights and the U.N.: A Great Adventure,” by John P. Humphrey

(11) Antoniopoulos, N. L'influence de la declarin universelle des droits de l'homme sur les constitutions contemporaines. Politique: revue internationale des idees des institutions et de la vieque. January-March, 1961; 13:1-35

(12) Applebaum, A. Inside the Gulag. New York Review of Books. June 15, 2000; 48: 33-35

(13) Arnold, H.M. Henry Kissinger and human rights. Universal Human Rights. October-December, 1980; 2(4): 57-71

(14) Bardach, J. Man is wolf to man : surviving the gulag. Berkeley: University of California Press; 1998 (segment only)

(15) Benjamin, M.R., Young, L. Lib in a land of macho. Newsweek. July 7, 1975: 28-30

(16) Bentham, J. Of the principle of utility. An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation. Printed in the year 1780, and now first published. London: T. Payne, and Son; 1789

(17) Bentham, J. Anarchical fallacies: being an examination of the Declaration of Rights issued during the French Revolution

(18) Bunch, C., Frost, S. Women's human rights: an introduction. Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women : global women’s issues and knowledge. New York: Routledge; 2000

(19) Carleton, D., Stohl, M. The foreign policy of human rights: rhetoric and reality from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. Human Rights Quarterly. May 1985; 7(2): 205-229

(20) Carter, J. Address before the General Assembly (United Nations). March 17, 1977: 444-450

(21) Carter, J. U.S. responsibility toward peace and human rights. Department of State Bulletin. November 28, 1977; 77: 759-762

(22) Christenson, G.A. Kennan and human rights. Human Rights Quarterly . August 1986; 8(3): 345-373

(23) Christopher, W. Human rights: principle and realism. Department of State Bulletin. August 29, 1977; 77 (1992): 269-273

(24) Christopher, W. Human rights: an important concern of U.S. foreign policy. Department of State Bulletin. March 28, 1977; 76 (1970): 289-291

(25) Cmiel, K. The recent history of human rights. American Historical Review 2004; 109(1): 117-135

(26) Conklin, M., Davidson, D. The I. M. F. and economic and social human rights: a case study of Argentina, 1958-1985. Human Rights Quarterly. May 1986; 8(2): 227-269

(27) Davies, R.W. Forced labour under Stalin: the archive revelations. New Left Review. November-December, 1995; 214: 62-80

(28) Derian, P.M. Western hemisphere: the role of human rights policy in arms transfer. Department of State Bulletin. November 1978; 78(2020): 51-53

(29) Donnelly, J. Recent trends in U.N. human rights activity: description and polemic. International Organization. Autumn 1981; 35(4): 633-655

(30) Englehart, N.A. Rights and culture in the Asian Values Argument: the rise and fall of Confucian ethics in Singapore. Human Rights Quarterly. 2000; 22(2): 548-568

(31) Eyal, P. Human rights - the next step. The Nation. December 25, 2000; 271(21): 13-18

(32) Fish, S.E. There’s no such thing as free speech : and it’s a good thing, too. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press; 1994

(33) Freeman, J. Beijing Report: The Fourth World Conference on Women. 1996: 1-17

(34) Friedman, T.L. Foreign affairs: the new human rights. New York Times. July 30, 1999; A(51599): 19

(35) Haq, F. Cairo meet prompts shift on circumcision. February, 1999; 8:1-3

(36) Johnson, M.G. Historical perspectives on human rights and U. S. foreign policy. Universal Human Rights. July-September, 1980; 2(3): 1-18

(37) Jones, P. Human rights, group rights, and peoples' rights. Human Rights Quarterly. 1999; 21(1): 80-107

(38) Kaplan, R,D. Idealism won't stop mass murder. The coming anarchy : shattering the dreams of the post Cold War. New York: Random House; 2000. p. 99-104

(39) Kissinger, H. The future of America's foreign policy. Department of State Bulletin. August 2, 1976; 75 (1936):149-160

(40) Kowalewski, D. Human rights protest in the U.S.S.R. : statistical trends for 1965-78. Universal Human Rights. January-March, 1980; 2(1): 5-29

(41) Lake, M. Childbearers as rights-bearers: feminist discourse on the rights of aboriginal and non-aboriginal mothers in Australia, 1920-50. Women's History Review 1999; 8(2): 347-363

(42) Leopold, E. Beijing women's conference : what is gender? World Tibet Network News. April 11, 1995

(43) Lo, C. Human rights in the Chinese tradition. Human rights: comments and interpretations: a symposium edited by UNESCO. UNESCO, ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 1949. p. 186-190

(44) Locher-Scholten, E. The colonial heritage of human rights in Indonesia: the case of the vote for women, 1916-41. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 1999; 30(1): 54-73

(45) MacIntyre, A. Community, law, and the idiom and rhetoric of rights. Listening: Journal of Religion and Culture. 1991; 26: 96-110

(46) Mahbubani, K. The ten commandments for developing countries in the nineties. In: Kirdar U, editor. Change : threat or opportunity for human progress. New York: United Nations, 1992.

(47) Marks, S.P. From the "Single Confused Page" to the "Decalogue for Six Billion Persons": the roots of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the French Revolution. Human Rights Quarterly. 1998; 20: 459-514

(48) Martin, J.P. Re-thinking human rights. Rights News. Fall 2003; 25(1): 1-8

(49) Mattar, M.Y. Trafficking in persons: an annotated legal bibliography. Law Library Journal. Fall 2004; 96(4): 669-726

(50) Mazower, M. The strange triumph of human rights, 1933–1950. Historical Journal. June 2004; 47(2): 379-398

(51) Mezvinsky, E.M. Human rights and international organizations. Department of State Bulletin. 1978; 78(2018): 52-53

(52) Nicholls, D. Ideology and political protest in Haiti, 1930-46. Journal of Contemporary History. October 1974; 9(4): 3-26

(53) Onishi, N. Gulf grows over the use of Islamic law in Nigeria. New York Times. August 23, 2000; A(51489): 10

(54) Peerenboom, R. Human rights and Asian values: the limits of Universalism. Book review. China Review International. Fall 2000; 7(2): 295-320

(55) Schneider, M.L. Human rights policy review. Department of State Bulletin. December 5, 1977; 77: 829-833

(56) Tolley, H., Jr. The concealed crack in the Citadel: the United Nations Commission on Human Rights' Response to Confidential Communications. Human Rights Quarterly . November 1984; 6(4): 420-462

(57) Ibid. Abstract only.

(58) Toubia, N. Female genital mutilation. In: Peters, J.; Wolper, A., editors. New York: Routledge, 1995. p. 224-236

(59) Whitaker, J.S. Women of the world report from Mexico City. Foreign Affairs. October 1975; 54(1): 175-181

(60) Wildenthal, L. Human rights advocacy and national identity in West Germany. Human Rights Quarterly 2000; 22(4): 1051-1059

Human Rights Politics course material (15 folders)

Seeing War from a Distance - 2005 presentation notes

History of the Book in America project

Dictionary of American History project

Computer diskettes: curriculum planning, vitae, writings

Box 10-12

Citation note cards used for dissertation (not organized), 1983-86