Richard F. Wetzell

Research Fellow & Editor

German Historical Institute
1607 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC 20009 U.S.A.
Phone +1.202.387.3355

Biographical Summary

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 (PhD). 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, [download open access introduction]), 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.

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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