After completing his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1989, Joel Harrington joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University where he now holds the rank of Professor of History. Harrington is a historian of Europe, specializing in the Reformation and early modern Germany, with research interests in various aspects of social history. His most recent book is The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013). His previous publications include The Unwanted Child: The Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany (University of Chicago Press, 2009), which was the winner of the 2010 Roland H. Bainton Prize for History; and Reordering Marriage and Society in Reformation Germany (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback 2005), one of Choice’s Outstanding Academic Titles of 1996. Harrington is also the editor of A Cloud of Witnesses: Readings in the History of Western Christianity (Houghton Mifflin, 2001). His current projects include a study of the late medieval mystic Meister Eckhart and a comparison of the early modern prosecution of infanticide and witchcraft.
Harrington has been awarded fellowships from—among other institutions—the Fulbright-Hayes Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the American Philosophical Society. He has lectured widely in North America and Europe and he has resided as a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel), Institut für Geschichte der Medizin (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), and Clare College (Cambridge).