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Dr. Marcel Streng

researcher staff

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Thielallee 71
14195 Berlin

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Marcel Streng has been working as a research associate at the Charité Institute of Medical History since August 2023. He is conducting research in a DFG-funded third-party project (own position) on the "Therapeutization of the Penal System in West Germany, 1961-1985: The Case of North Rhine-Westphalia".

Current research project

In his current research project Marcel Streng deals with the reform of the penal system in West Germany between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s. Using the prison system in North Rhine-Westphalia as an example, the project examines how political, scientific, and social reform efforts affected prison practices. What consequences did state and federal policies such as the Prison Act, which came into force in 1977, have in the prisons? How were new guidelines for therapeutic, (social) educational, pastoral and medical care implemented? How did the recruitment, education and training of prison officers change? Beyond the complaints about the "failure" of prison reform that have often been voiced in the criminal policy milieu since the 1980s, and beyond the overly optimistic reports of success with regard to resocialization and recidivism prevention, this study deals with the consequences of a sociopolitical reform movement at the beginning of the 1970s whose relevance extended beyond the field of the penal system.

Research focus

  • Contemporary history of the penal system in West and East Germany
  • Perspectives on the history of the body in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Political and knowledge history of municipal food market and trade regulations in the 19th century, especially in France and Germany
  • Social history of economic activity ("économie des conventions")
  • History of victimology, victimization and victimhood in Germany since the 1970s
  • Contemporary history of forensic child and adolescent psychiatry

Selected publications 

Streng, M., Prison Labour, Psy-Sciences, and the Government of the Inmate in both German states since the 1970s, in: Geschichte und Gesellschaft 48 (2022), S. 220-246.

Streng, M., The Concept of ‘Leidensdruck’ in West German Criminal Therapy, 1960–85, in: Rob Boddice/Bettina Hitzer (Hg.), Feeling Dis-ease in Modern History: Experiencing Medicine and Illness, London 2022, S. 175-192.

Geisthövel, A., Streng, M., All you can treat. Therapeutisierungsprozesse im 20. Jahrhundert, in: Historische Anthropologie 27 (2019) 2, S. 296-309.

Vogel, J., Salais, R., Streng, M. (Hg.), Qualitätspolitiken und Konventionen. Die Qualität der Produkte in historischer Perspektive, Wiesbaden 2019.

Streng, M., Subsistenzpolitik im Übergang. Die kommunale Ordnung des Brot- und Fleischmarktes in Frankeich (1946–1914), Göttingen 2017 (= Kritische Studien zur Geschichtswissenschaft; 221).

Vita Dr. Marcel Streng

Marcel Streng is a historian. He received his PhD at the University of Bielefeld in 2014. His PhD project on the history of societal conflicts about basic food supply and the transformation of municipal trade and market regulations in France between 1846 and 1914 was part of the SFB 584 „The Political as a Communicative Space“ (2004-2008) at the same University.

Subsequently, Marcel Streng worked at the Historisches Seminar of the University of Cologne (2009-2011), as a fellow at the Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute for the European Public Sphere in Vienna (11/2011), at the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie of Humboldt-University of Berlin (2018) in the HERA project „Disentangling European AIDS/HIV Policies: Activism, Citizenship, and Health Care (EUROPACH)“, and at the Research Unit „History of Education“ at the Department of Education and Pedagogy of the University of Halle-Wittenberg (2023).

In 2012-2013, Marcel Streng worked as a lecturer at the Chair of Sociology at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, and since 2019, he is a lecturer at the Institute for the History, Theory, and Ethics of Medicine at the University of Düsseldorf.