Curriculum

University of Chicago faculty teach an unsurpassed array of courses which approach human rights from a variety of disciplinary, regional, and thematic perspectives. Human Rights instructors include faculty from the Departments of Anthropology, Cinema & Media Studies, Comparative Literature, History, Philosophy, and Political Science, as well as the Law and Medical Schools and the School of Social Service Administration. Doctoral students compete for annual Graduate Student Lectureships in Human Rights, creating new courses for College students.  

Human Rights courses are open to all University of Chicago students and over 30 courses are offered every year. College students may work toward a Minor in Human Rights in combination with any major. Students wishing to pursue a systematic study of human rights should take the Human Rights Core courses, which can be taken in any order.

The Human Rights core courses are offered every academic year:

  1. Human Rights I: Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights      (HMRT 20100/30100)
  2. Human Rights II: History and Theory of Human Rights              (HMRT 20200/30200)
  3. Human Rights III: Contemporary Issues in Human Rights         (HMRT 20300/30300)

Elective courses and seminars provide an opportunity for in-depth study of human rights and humanitarianism.

Not every elective course is offered every year. Recent courses include the following:

  • Democracy, Torture, and Mass Incarceration
  • The Practice of Human Rights
  • Global Justice: Distributive Justice & Humanitarian Intervention
  • Human Rights Activism in Recent Latin American History
  • Sex Trafficking and Human Rights: Migration, Coercion, Choice, and Justice
  • Health and Human Rights
  • Health Care and the Limits of State Action
  • Crimes against Humanity in History, Law, and Politics
  • Human Rights: Alien and Citizen
  • Human Rights in Russia and Eurasia
  • Non-Fiction Film: Representation and Performance
  • Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples in the New Millennium

For more specific information, you can also view: