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Professor Sir Richard J Evans Kt, MA, DPhil, DLitt, DLit, FBA, FLSW, FRSL, FRHistS

Professor Sir Richard J Evans, Kt, MA, DPhil, DLitt, DLit, FBA, FLSW, FRSL, FRHistS

President of Wolfson College

Wolfson College
Cambridge CB3 9BB
Office Phone: 01223 3 35938

Research Interests

Richard J. Evans's general area of research interest is modern German and European history, especially social and cultural history, since the mid-nineteenth century. He has worked on movements of emancipation and liberation, including the feminist movement and the labour movement, on social inequality in the urban environment, on the social history of death and disease, and on crime and punishment, especially the death penalty in German history since the seventeenth century. He also has an interest in historiography and the history of the discipline of history. Since acting as principal expert witness in the David Irving libel trial before the High Court in London in 2000, his work has dealt with Holocaust denial and the clash of epistemologies when history enters the courtroom. He has published a large-scale history of the Third Reich in three volumes, publioshed by Penguin. He has been Editor of the Journal of Contemporary History since 1998 and a judge of the Wolfson Literary Award for History since 1993. Over the years, his work has won the Wolfson Literary Award for History, the William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History, and the Hamburg Medaille für Kunst und Wissenschaft. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Birkbeck College, London. His most recent book is on British historians and the European Continent and he is currently completing a book on the years 1815-1914 for the Penguin History of Europe. He is PI for the Leverhulme-funded 5-year project on Conspiracy and Democracy.

Research Supervision

Richard J Evans will be retiring in September 2014 and is not taking on any new research students.


Richard J Evans is not teaching in 2013-14; his teaching is covered by a Leverhulme Programme grant.

Other Professional Activities

Richard J Evans is Deputy Chair of the Spoliation Advisory Panel at the DCMS, a judge of the Wolfson History Prize, and Chair of the Judges of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History. He is editor of the Journal of Contemporary History.

Key Publications

  • The Feminist Movement in Germany, 1894-1933 (London, 1976)
  • (Editor) Society and Politics in Wilhelmine Germany (London, 1978)
  • Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years 1830-1910 (Oxford, 1987)
  • Rethinking German History (London, 1987)
  • Kneipengespräche im Kaiserreich (Reinbek, 1988)
  • In Hitler's Shadow: West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past (New York, 1989)
  • Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany 1700-1987 (Oxford, 1996)
  • Tales from the German Underworld: Crime and Punishment in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1998)
  • In Defence of History (2nd edn. with Reply to Critics, London, 2001, first pub. 1997)
  • Telling Lies About Hitler: History, the Holocaust and the David Irving Trial (London, 2002)
  • The Coming of the Third Reich (London, 2003)
  • The Third Reich in Power (London, 2005)
  • The Third Reich at War (London, 2008)
  • Cosmopolitan Islanders (London, 2009)
  • Altered Pasts (London, 2014)