Dr. Richard F. Wetzell

Richard F. Wetzell

Research Fellow
Editor, GHI Bulletin

German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Phone +1.202.387.3355

Richard F. Wetzell is a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington DC, editor of the GHI's Bulletin, and an adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University. He studied at Swarthmore College (B.A.), and did his graduate work in European history at Columbia University (M.A.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and has taught at the University of Maryland and the Catholic University of America. His research focuses on the intersection of law, science, and politics in modern Germany. His publications include Beyond the Racial State: Rethinking the Third Reich (co-edited, 2017), Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany (ed., 2014),  Engineering Society: The Role of the Human and Social Sciences in Modern Societies, 1880-1980 (co-edited, 2012), Criminals and Their Scientists: The History of Criminology in International Perspective (co-edited, 2006), and Inventing the Criminal: A History of German Criminology, 1880-1945 (2000). Forthcoming publications include Criminal Justice in Modern Europe, 1870-1970. Wetzell is working on a legal and political history of penal reform titled The Politics of Punishment: German Penal Reform, 1870-1970 and pursuing research on Rassenforschung under the Nazi regime.

Main Areas of Interest

  • Modern German history
  • Legal history
  • Cultural history
  • History of science and medicine
  • History of deviance and social control
  • History of sexuality

GHI Research Project

Professional Positions

since 2002:Research Fellow and Editor, German Historical Institute Washington DC (Editor, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute)
2005/2008:Adjunct Associate Professor, BMW Center for German and European Studies, Georgetown University (Spring 2005, Spring 2008, Fall 2008)
2000-2002:Research Fellow, German Historical Institute Washington DC
1995-2000:Assistant Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park
1993-1995:Post-Doctoral Fellow, Center for European Studies, Harvard University
1991-1993:Assistant Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park