Richard Hopkins

Richard S. Hopkins, PhD, MA, BA

  • Chair of History
  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • International Relations
  • Arts & Culture

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, European History (2008)
    Arizona State University (AZ)

About Me

I received my PhD in European history at Arizona State University in 2008. While a graduate student there, I was awarded an International Dissertation Research Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council, which allowed for a year of research abroad on the topic of the place of greenspace in the 19th century redesign of Paris. This research became the basis for my dissertation, Engineering Nature: Public Greenspaces in Nineteenth-Century Paris.

I was pleased to join the Widener faculty in 2014 and since then have enjoyed teaching and developing a variety of courses on the history of Europe from the Renaissance to the present. Most recently, I authored a book: Planning the Greenspaces of Nineteenth-Century Paris.

Research Interests

My research interests include urban space and urban populations with a particular focus on the human/environment relationship, urban planning and social geography, and transnational exchange and adaption of ideas about nature and cities. 

I am working on two research projects: One examines the assignation of meaning to and responsibility for public space through an examination of a particular park location that became a suicide destination in fin de sicle Paris. The other work considers Franco-British greenspace design and exchange from 1660–1880.


  • Hopkins, Richard S. Planning the Greenspaces of Nineteenth-Century Paris. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, Forthcoming in May 2015.
  • Hopkins, Richard S. "Sauvons le Luxembourg: Urban Greenspace as Private Domain and Public Battleground, 1865–1867." Journal of Urban History 37, no. 1 (2011): 43–58. Translated and published in China by the Institute of History Studies at Tianjin Academy of Social Science Press, Chengshi shi yanjin [Urban History Research] 27 (2011): 78–95.
  • Hopkins, Richard S. "From Place to Espace: Napoleon III's Transformation of the Bois de Boulogne." Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History Conference 31 (2003): 197–211.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Historical Association (AHA), Western Society for French History (WSFH), Urban History Association (UHA), SFHS


  • Faculty Development Grant, Widener University, 2014–2015
  • Michael A. Steiner Award, Best Dissertation, Arizona State University, 2009
  • International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), SSRC-ACLS, 2007



  • Professor Honored with Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award

    Professor Richard S. Hopkins received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award at the 2020 Faculty Awards event. The honor is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated a history of teaching at the highest level. It is endowed by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, a Philadelphia-based foundation that provides grants to institutions of higher education for the promotion of excellence in teaching. Hopkins’ highly distinguished teaching spans a diverse array of history courses including Madness, Crime, and Punishment; Sex and Gender in European History; French Revolution and Napoleon; and more. Students give him superior evaluations for active-learning teaching methods that include mock trials, debates, and engagement with primary sources. He has co-led multiple interdisciplinary excursions in French Philadelphia and at European Union simulation competitions around the nation and in Europe. He has also co-directed grant-funded public history and education projects in Chester including a Community Archival Workshop and the Chester Made Humanities Summer Camp. His productive scholarship on modern French history, urbanism, and women’s and gender studies has resulted in two books and multiple articles. 

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