Richard A. Wilson
Gladstein Distinguished Chair of Human Rights
Professor, Law and Anthropology
Richard Ashby Wilson is the Gladstein Distinguished Chair of Human Rights, professor of anthropology and law, and founding director of the Human Rights Institute.
Wilson is the author or editor of eleven books on anthropology, international human rights, truth and reconciliation commissions, and international criminal tribunals. His articles have been published in American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Anthropological Theory, Current Anthropology, Human Rights Quarterly, and the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, as well as in media outlets such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Times Higher Education Supplement and the Washington Post. He served as the editor of the journal Anthropological Theory and associate editor of the Journal of Human Rights.
His book Writing History in International Criminal Trials, selected by Choice in 2012 as an “Outstanding Academic Title,” analyzed the ways in which international prosecutors and defense attorneys marshal historical evidence to advance their cases. His latest book Incitement on Trial: Prosecuting International Speech Crimes (Cambridge University Press, 2017) integrates the international law and social science of hate speech, advances a new way of thinking about how speech contributes to genocide and crimes against humanity, and reconceptualizes criminal liability for incitement as a form of complicity.
Having received his BSc. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Professor Wilson held faculty positions in anthropology at the Universities of Essex and Sussex, as well as visiting professorships at the Free University-Amsterdam, University of Oslo, the New School for Social Research and the University of the Witwatersrand. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has consulted for various policy organizations including Conciliation Resources, UNICEF in Sierra Leone and from 2009-2013, he served as Chair of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Presently he is working on a research project on incitement and hate speech on social media.