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Michael Geyer is Samuel N. Harper Professor of German and European History and Faculty Director of the Human Rights Program. His research and teaching focus on twentieth-century German and European history. Among the topics on which he has written are the German military, resistance against the Third Reich, the culture of death and sacrifice, intellectuals in contemporary Germany, genocide, and the holocaust as well as on German and German-Jewish memory. His teaching includes courses on Hannah Arendt’s writings — less as a model than as a source of intellectual provocation. Dr. Geyer co-founded and currently serves as director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago. His interest in the history and theory of human rights emerges from his concern with war, peace, and the constitution of civil society. The question of rights – how people know that they have them and, equally important, that strangers have them too – informs his teaching on the matter.


Past Courses

HIST 296. Nazi Genocide and War. Winter 2000.

HIST 911. Contemporary European History. Spring 2000, Summer 2000, Autumn 2000, Winter 2001, Spring 2001, Summer 2001, Autumn 2001, Autumn 2009.

HIST 17202. Globalization. Spring 2006, Spring 2007.

HIST 21209. Imperial and Post-Imperial London. Autumn 2013.

HIST 22400. Humanitarian Movements and Politics. Winter 2002.

HIST 22906/32906. Thinking Total War. Taught with James Sparrow. Winter 2013.

HIST 23303/33303. Europe: 1930-Present. Winter 2007, Winter 2009.

HIST 23306/33306. Europe, 1914-Present. Springn 2014.

HIST 23507. The Russo-German War. Autumn 2008.

HIST 24301/56201. Berlin and Hong Kong in the Cold War. Taught with Prasenjit Duara. Spring 2007.

HIST 29507. Colloquium: Overcoming Torture: Past and Present. Autumn 2009.

HIST 29645. Colloquium: Humanitarianism a History. Winter 2014.

HIST 42104. Colloquium: History and Historigraphy of Central Europe. Autumn 2012.

HIST 43504. Colloquium: World War-A Moral History. Spring 2014.

HIST 53000. WWI History and Historiography. Spring 2003.

HIST 53100. German History and Historiography. Autumn 2001, Spring 2005.

HIST 53200. Catastrophic Nationalism. Spring 2003.

HIST 54101. Colloquium: Cultures of Defeat. Spring 2003.

HIST 54501. Colloquium: Modernism: A Global History. Autumn 2008.

HIST 60702. Colloquium: Contemporary European History.

HIST 66800. Jewish Writings of Hannah Arendt. Taught with Paul Mendes-Flohr. Autumn 2014.

HIST 67101. Colloquium: “The World”: History and Historiography. Winter 2013.

HIST 73501-73502. France and Germany I & II. Taught with Leora Auslander. Autumn 2003, Winter 2004.

HIST 74901. Seminar: Contemporary European History – I. Autumn 2010.

HIST 74902. Seminar: Contemporary European History – II. Winter 2011

HMRT 20200. Human Rights – 2. Winter 2000, Winter 2002, Winter 2003, Winter 2006, Winter 2009, Winter 2010, Winter 2011.

HMRT 22500. Reading Hannah Arendt. Winter 2003.

INST 28250. The Global Condition. Sprint 2011.

JWSC 22901/32901. Colloq: Arendt’s Texts on Jewishness, Palestine, Israel. Taught with Paul Mendes-Flohr. Winter 2010.

SOSC 28853. Jerusalem in Middle Eastern Civ – III. Spring 2013.