Robert H. Kirschner, MD, Human Rights Memorial Lecture

This annual lecture series honors the life and work of Robert H. Kirschner, MD, noted forensic pathologist and a founder of the University of Chicago Human Rights Program.

Robert H. Kirschner, MD, 1940-2002: Robert H. Kirschner, MD, a clinical associate in the Department of Pathology and Pediatrics and a founding faculty board member of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago, died at the University of Chicago Hospitals on September 15, 2002. Dr. Kirschner was an internationally recognized authority on forensic pathology, human rights violations, police brutality, torture and child abuse and an outspoken opponent of the death penalty. He also supported Asociacion Pro-Busqueda, a past project partner of the Human Rights Program, in their mission to reunite Salvadorean families with the children who disappeared or were adopted by U.S. families during that country's civil war. To learn more about the life and work of Dr. Kirschner, see:


Past Robert H. Kirschner, MD, Human Rights Memorial Lectures

June 5, 2014

"Health and Human Rights: Lessons from Haiti and Rwanda"

Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University and the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Co-Founder, Partners in Health; Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

[View Event Page; View Poster; View Program]

June 6, 2013

"What Has the International Human Rights Movement Accomplished?"

Aryeh Neier, Founder of Human Rights Watch [view poster, program]

May 31, 2012

"Reconnecting in the Aftermath of El Salvador's Civil War: The Joys and Challenges of Finding Family"

Prof. Margaret E. Ward and Nelson Ward de Witt [View poster, View program]

June 2, 2011

"Rage Against the Machine: Torture, Bystanders and the Failure of Journalism”

John Conroy, Author and Journalist [View poster, View program; watch: mov]

June 3, 2010

“Literature and Individual Sovereignty”

Aleksandar Hemon, Author [View poster, View program; watch & listen: mov & mp3]

April 15, 2009

“Prevention, Peacemaking and Transitional Justice”

Juan Méndez, President, International Center for Transitional Justice [View poster; watch: mov; listen: mp3]

June 5, 2008

“House of Secrets: The Place of Storytelling in Human Rights”

Alex Kotlowitz, Journalist and Author [View poster; watch & listen: House of Secrets: The Place of Storytelling in Human Rights]

April 12, 2007

"Truth, Lies, and Duct Tape"

Sara Paretsky, Author [View poster; video & audio:]