Karen Engle

  • Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law
  • Founder and Co-Director, Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice


  • JD Harvard
  • BA Baylor

KAREN ENGLE is Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and Founder and Co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and of Women's and Gender Studies. She teaches courses and specialized seminars in public international law, international human rights law, and legal theory. She is at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton during the 2016-17 academic year, where she is the Deborah Lunder and Alan Ezekowitz Founders’ Circle Member.

Professor Engle received her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with honors from Baylor University. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Jerre S. Williams on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then served as a post-doctoral Ford Fellow in Public International Law at Harvard Law School. She was Professor of Law at the University of Utah prior to joining the University of Texas in 2002. Engle received a Bellagio Residency Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009 and an assignment as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Bogota in 2010.

Professor Engle writes on the interaction between social movements and law, particularly in the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law, and Latin American law. She is author of numerous scholarly articles and The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (Duke University Press, 2010), which received the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Human Rights. She is co-editor of Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and After Identity: A Reader in Law and Culture (Routledge, 1995).

Recent Publications

  • Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda (Cambridge University Press, 2016) (with Zinaida Miller & D. M. Davis).
  • The Distributive Politics of Impunity and Anti-Impunity: Lessons from Four Decades of Colombian Peace Negotiations, in Anti-Impunity and the Human Rights Agenda, 216 (Karen Engle, Zinaida Miller, & D. M. Davis, Cambridge University Press, 2016) (with Helena Alviar García).
  • Feminist Legacies [Symposium: The International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda: Broadening the Debate], AJIL Unbound (November 23, 2016), <https://www.asil.org/sites/default/files/Engle%2C%20Feminist%20Legacies_0.pdf>.

Full list of publications…