Professional and Biographical Information


J.D., Yale Law School, 1989
M.A., Columbia University, 1986
A.B., Brown University, 1982
A.M. (honorary), Amherst College, 2005

Short Biography

Professor Douglas is the author of seven books, including The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (Yale, 2001) and The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial (Princeton, 2016), a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” His most recent book is Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown in 2020 (Twelve/Hachette 2020).

In addition, Douglas has published two novels, The Catastrophist (2007), a Kirkus “Best Books of the Year,” and The Vices (2011), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Prize. His commentary and essays have appeared in Harper’sThe New York TimesThe Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times; and he is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian (US), where he is a contributing opinion writer.

The recipient of major fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Institute for International Education, and American Academy in Berlin, and the Carnegie Foundation, Douglas has lectured throughout the United States and in more than a dozen countries, and has served as visiting professor at the University of London and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.

Teaching Interests

Some of my courses directly touch on the substance of my research, others are a bit further removed; some are designed specifically for first-term students, others for juniors and seniors. They all share certain common features, however. They are all interdisciplinary in terms of both the materials that we read and the questions that we explore. For example, in my seminar “Judging the Holocaust,” we compare how jurists, historians, and creative writers have sought to understand and represent the Holocaust. In “Interpretation in Law and Literature,” we compare the strategies that scholars from disciplines as diverse as theology, anthropology, literature, and law rely on to locate meaning in a text. As would befit courses on law taught in a liberal arts setting, my teaching asks students to see law not a narrow system of rules, but as a complex system that serves to constitute and maintain ordered patterns of social life.

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The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial:

Building the Case Against Perpetrators of Genocide, OSU School of History, Philosophy, and Religion:

“Demjanjuk in Munich: War Crimes Trials in Historical Perspective” Annual Meyerhoff Lecture, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

NYU Taub Center, 50th Anniversary of the Eichmann Trial—A Look Back—Lawrence Douglas: