Michael Geyer

Faculty Director

Harper Memorial Library, E681
1116 E. 59th Street

Michael Geyer is the Samuel N. Harper Professor of Modern German and European History at the University of Chicago. He is one of the founding members of the Human Rights Program (1996) and became the Faculty Director of the program in 2008. His main concern is human rights education and training. Ever since the inception of the program he has been teaching one of the core surveys on the History and Theory of Human Rights, but he has also taught a variety of courses on humanitarianism and humanitarians, on war crimes and war crimes trials, on overcoming torture, and on the contemporary international human rights regime. He is particularly concerned with finding ways of melding liberal arts oriented rights education with human rights and humanitarian skills training and professional schooling. His research interests fall into three areas: an inquiry of the place of human rights in early constitutionalism; the question of humanitarianism and equality; and the contemporary conundrum of a surfeit of human rights law, nationally and internationally, and an actual lack of rights for individuals and people; the proliferation of humanitarian activism and the suspicion that it will not alleviate misery and provide succor.