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Current Columbia Professor to Join Law School Faculty

By Tyler S.B. Olkowski, Crimson Staff Writer

Samuel Moyn, who currently serves as the James Bryce Professor of European Legal History at Columbia University, will join the Harvard Law School faculty in July as a professor of law.

“I’ve spent my life in history departments, and I’m looking forward to very different stimulation in moving to this intellectual community,” Moyn said.

After graduating from the Law School in 2001, Moyn joined the Columbia faculty as an assistant professor and was named professor of history in 2007.

“Sam Moyn’s deep learning is rivaled only by his originality,” said Law School Dean Martha L. Minow in a press release. “His work on the history of human rights gives experts as well as students so much food for thought.

Last spring, Moyn taught a course at the Law School entitled “Human Rights: History and Theory.”

With an academic background in history—Minow referred to Moyn as “an expert in European intellectual history” in the Law School’s press release—Moyn hopes to interact with Harvard’s History Department.

“I hope to have very close relations to the History Department as well,” Moyn said, citing his professional relationships with members of Harvard’s History Department.

Moyn’s book, “The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History,” was published in 2010, and his collection of essays, “Human Rights and the Uses of History,” will be released this spring.

Moyn also serves as the editor of Humanity, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes research on humanitarian and human rights issues in the contemporary world.

Moyn completed his undergraduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis in 1994 and earned a Ph.D. in European History from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000 before attending the Law School.

At Columbia, Moyn received numerous awards for his teaching. In 2007, Columbia College students awarded him the Mark Van Doren award for outstanding undergraduate teaching. In the same year, Moyn received the Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for “unusual merit across a range of professional activities.”

Moyn also received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2008, which seeks to “provide fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible,” according to the Foundation.

“We are delighted to welcome him back to his alma mater and I look forward to being his colleague,” Minow said.

—Staff writer Tyler S. Olkowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @OlkowskiTyler.

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