Samuel Moyn is Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and History at Yale University.
He received a doctorate in modern European history from the University of California-Berkeley in 2000 and a law degree from Harvard University in 2001. Previously the Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, he came to Yale from Harvard University, where he was Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History. Before this, he spent thirteen years in the Columbia University history department, where he was most recently James Bryce Professor of European Legal History.
Trained in modern European intellectual history, he spent a decade writing some books about the history of international law and human rights, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010); Christian Human Rights (2015), based on Mellon Distinguished Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2014; and Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (2018). His newest book, Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, appears with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in fall 2021, and is out in a paperback edition in 2022 with Picador in the United States and Verso in the United Kingdom. He delivered the Carlyle Lectures in the History of Political Thought at the University of Oxford in early 2022, and the book based on them is planned for fall 2023 as Liberalism against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times with Yale University Press.
Currently he is working on (different) projects on aging, constitutional law, and the Vietnam war.
Moyn is a fellow of the new Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Over the years he has written in venues such as the Atlantic, Boston Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education,Commonweal, Dissent, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He helps with several book series: the Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought, the Cambridge University Press “Human Rights in History” series, and the University of Pennsylvania Press “Intellectual History of the Modern Age” series. He cofounded and for a decade served as coeditor of the journal Humanity; he served as coeditor for seven years of Modern Intellectual History. He is on the editorial boards of Constellations, Global Intellectual History, the Historical Journal, Humanity, the Journal of the History of International Law, Modern Intellectual History, and Modern Judaism.
He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Berggruen Institute, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. In 2020, he delivered the Page-Barbour lectures at the University of Virginia, and he gave the Carlyle Lectures in the history of political thought at the University of Oxford in 2022. His books have won the Morris Forkosch Prize of the Journal of the History of Ideas and the Sybil Halpern Milton Memorial Book Prize of the German Studies Association. At Columbia, he was given the Mark van Doren Teaching Award (46th Annual) by undergraduates.