Ralph Grunewald

Assistant Professor



2408 Sterling Hall

Photo of Ralph Grunwald's face

Ralph Grunewald has appointments in the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies and the Center for Law, Society, and Justice. He is a German trained lawyer (Assessor Jur.) and holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Law and Criminology (University of Mainz, Germany, 2002). Following his Ph.D., Grunewald studied comparative questions of wrongful convictions with the Wisconsin Innocence Project. He received his Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) in 2005 from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Grunewald’s research focuses on legal and interdisciplinary aspects of wrongful convictions. From a legal perspective Grunewald studies how questions of factual truth and justice are addressed in criminal procedure, and from a literary perspective he looks at the role of storytelling in the legal discourse. He currently works on a book project with the preliminary title “The Guilt Paradigm.” The book will provide a comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of wrongful convictions and what they tell us about the construction of legal responsibility.

Selected Publications, Productions:


Die De-Individualisierung des Erziehungsgedankens im Jugendstrafrecht, (Strafrechtliche Abhandlungen) Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. (“The De-Individualization of the Principle of Education in the Juvenile Court Act”), 2003.


Recent Articles

(Co-authored with Marvin Zalman) “Reinventing the Trial: The Innocence Revolution and Proposals to Modify the American Criminal Trial,” Texas A & M Law Review, Vol. 3, 2015-2016.


“Comparing Injustices: Congruence, Conflict, and the System,” 77 Albany Law Review (Miscarriages of Justice Special Issue, 2014).


“The Narrative of Innocence, or: Lost Stories”, Law and Literature, Special Journal Issue, November 2013.

Recent or Recurrent Courses Taught:
  • Law and Literature (CL 203, 475)
  • Criminal Justice in America (Soc/LS 131)
  • Guilt (CL 500)
  • Juvenile Justice (LS 400)