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Human Rights Program

This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Faculty Director

  • Michael Geyer

Executive Director

  • Susan Gzesh


The University of Chicago Human Rights Program, founded in 1997, is currently led by Faculty Director Michael Geyer and Executive Director Susan Gzesh. The Program’s research and teaching in human rights integrate exploration of the core questions of human dignity with critical examination of the institutions designed to promote and protect human rights in the contemporary world. The Human Rights Program is an initiative unique among its peers for the interdisciplinary focus and the linkage of theory and practice its faculty and students bring to bear on these essential matters. The HR Program also supports conferences, workshops, lectures, and film series to bring the world to the campus, incorporating the broader community into its educational mission.

The Human Rights Program presents unique opportunities for graduate students within the Chicago tradition of rigorous academic preparation. The Human Rights curriculum includes a core sequence and elective courses which examine human rights from a variety of disciplinary, thematic, and regional perspectives. The Human Rights Program provides support for graduate students in addition to its courses. Graduate students can apply for paid summer internships, for small grants for research support, to work as Teaching Assistants in Human Rights courses, and for grants to create their own Human Rights courses as Graduate Student Lecturers. Graduate students are encouraged to submit papers for presentation at the Human Rights Workshop which has launched a three-year cycle of activities on any one of the following themes: Rights & Duties -- Crisis of Humanitarianism/Humanitarian Crises -- Health & Human Rights -- Human Rights at Home -- Women's Rights are Human Rights.


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