The Oral History Criminology Project, under the guidance of its Advisory Board and through its partnership with the American Society of Criminology, represents an ongoing effort to preserve prominent scholars’ accounts of their role in shaping the evolution of the field. Through the use of taped interviews, an enduring record—an “oral history”—is established of how personal and professional factors have intersected to give rise to criminology’s landmark ideas. Scholars are asked to reflect on the development of their careers, on their most significant writings, and on the discipline in general. The goal is to move beyond what is captured in published texts to explore the story behind these scholar’s careers and research contributions. Collectively, it is hoped that the interviews will enrich our understanding of criminology as a craft and of how scholarly paradigms arise and are elaborated.
The Oral History Criminology Project intends to conduct, and make available, interviews on a continuing basis. The generous participation of major figures in criminology—and of the scholars who volunteer to prepare for and conduct these interviews—promises to yield an invaluable living account of criminology. Most important, the intent is for the interviews to be used not only for possible research purposes but also in the classroom. The interviews offer students the opportunity to hear criminology as told in scholars’ own voices—including the voices of those who have passed away.
Finally, this Project is dedicated to Freda Adler. Without her persistent efforts over two decades to support and then, more recently, to resurrect the Project, no interviews would be available. We owe Freda our deep appreciation for her commitment to preserving our past and to providing us with special insights into the criminological enterprise.
Project Committee Cheryl Lero Jonson, Northern Kentucky University
Production Assistant: Daren Fisher, University of Maryland
Director of International Scholars Section: Jay S. Albanese, Virginia Commonwealth University
Advisory Board Freda Adler, University of Pennsylvania
Todd R. Clear, Rutgers University
Francis T. Cullen, University of Cincinnati
William S. Laufer, University of Pennsylvania
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Rolf Loeber interviewed by David Farrington, November 2012