Tim Wyman-McCarthy is an Associate in the discipline of Human Rights at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. With a background in the humanities and social sciences, he studies the circulation of discourses, concepts, and practices among human rights, development, and philanthropic organizations. His current book project, "In Search of the Political: How Social Movements Enter Liberal Social Change Projects," locates a search for a more ambitious and political kind of liberal social change by elite civil society professionals in the first two decades of the 21st century, and interrogates the epistemological assumptions, elite self-fashioning, metaphorical structures, and social scientific concepts that underwrite their turn to grassroots social movements.
Tim has worked at ISHR as program coordinator for the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability and the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Program, as a research fellow for CARE's Social Movements Advisor, disability rights law intern for Human Rights Watch, and as an editor of the Historical Dialogues Working Paper Series and editorial assistant for Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory. In 2022-2023 he was a visiting scholar at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities at Bard College. Tim's areas of teaching and research encompass the histories of human rights, philanthropy, and development; law and the humanities and socio-legal studies; social movements; postcolonial and settler colonial studies; narrative analysis and genre theory; the rhetoric of the social sciences; and contemporary political theory. He holds a BAH in English Literature and History (Queen's), MSt. in English Language and Literature (Oxford), MA in Human Rights (Columbia), and PhD Rhetoric (UC Berkeley).