About Nicole Rafter

Nicole Hahn Rafter

I am a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and Affiliated Faculty Member in the Law, Policy and Society Program at Northeastern University.

I began my professional life as an English teacher (high school and college levels), switching to criminology and criminal justice in my mid-thirties, at which point I earned my Ph.D. from the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York, Albany. I wrote one of the school's first historical dissertations and then, in 1977, began teaching at Northeastern University's College of Criminal Justice, where I developed one of the country's first courses on women and crime and, later, one of the first courses on crime films and another on biological theories of crime.

Current Projects

I am currently engaged in a comparative study of eight 20th-century genocides from a criminological viewpoint.

With Paul Rock of the London School of Economics, I co-edit a series of books, Compact Criminology, published by Sage UK.

With Michelle Brown of the University of Tennessee, I am writing an article on genocide films.

With Kristin Bell of Northeastern University I am writing an article on gender and genocide.

At the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in addition to teaching, I run a writing seminar for the junior faculty.

Awards and Honors

In August 2013 I was a Resident at the Gloucester Writing Center.

I am an honorary senior research fellow in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool.

In 2010, I served as Fulbright Distinguished Professor at Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria.

In 2005-06, I was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, affiliated with Wolfson College and the Centre for Sociolegal Studies, Oxford; in 2004, I was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at St. John’s College, Oxford.

Earlier (2001), I was a Resident Research Fellow at the Study Center of Liguria (Bogliasco Foundation).

I was elected to be a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology (2000) and received the ASC's prestigious Sutherland Award (2009).

Other awards include the 2009 ANZSOC Allen Austin Bartolemew award for Best Paper ("Criminology's Darkest Hour: Biocriminology in Nazi Germany," Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 41 (2): 287-306); Senior Scholar Award, Division on Women and Crime of the American Society of Criminology (1999); the American Association on Mental Retardation, Wilbur Founder’s Award (1999); and the Distinguished Alumni Award, State University of New York (1998).


State University of New York, Albany: Ph.D., Criminal Justice, 1978
Harvard University: M.A.T., 1963
Swarthmore College: B.A., 1962


I am married to the writer Robert Hahn. My son Alex Hahn is a writer and lawyer in Boston. My daughter Sarah Hahn is a neuropsychologist;  she is director of counseling at UC Davis, CA.


Phone:  (617) 523-0273
Email:  nicolerafter@yahoo.com