In my professional life, I am a critical theorist who develops theory through historical and discourse analysis. In the language of the academy, I am an interdisciplinary social scientist and humanist. I prefer to think of myself as supra-disciplinary, or even undisciplined. I teach and study on topics related to social control, focusing mostly at intersections of race, police, surveillance, technology, and media. My recent work focuses on the origins and development of race and police in the United States and on the mediated visibility of police violence.
I am currently a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, resuming a position I also held from 2016 to 2018. In the 2020-2021 year, I was an Assistant Professor of social theory in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Framingham State University. Prior, I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Rhode Island College.
My first book, Race & Police: The Origins of Our Peculiar Institutions, is forthcoming with Rutgers University Press. It focuses on the historical co-origination and mutual reproduction of the unique race and police institutions in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American colonies.
My most recent publications have been in Social Justice, Big Data & Society, and American Studies Journal, and a book called Why Don’t The Poor Rise Up?: Organizing the Twenty-First Century Resistance (AK Press, 2017).
In 2015-16, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center For Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College. There, I continued research from my dissertation on the mediated visibility of racialized police violence. While at Amherst College, I published in Media & Communication and Surveillance & Society. The latter article won the 2016 Early Career Researcher award from the Surveillance Studies Network.
I finished my PhD in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in August 2015. My dissertation is titled “Watching Police Violence: Negotiating the Politics of Visibility.” Langdon Winner chaired my doctoral committee and examined the dissertation along with members Nancy D. Campbell and Mike Fortun, and outside members David Murakami-Wood (Sociology, Queen’s University, Canada) and June Deery (Media & Communication, RPI). In 2013 and 2014, I was a researcher in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center. While at RPI, I published in Humanity & Society, Anarchist Studies, and Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, as well as chapters in The Surveillance Industrial Complex: A Political-Economy of Surveillance (Routledge, 2013) and Policing The Campus (Peter Lang Books, 2013).
Prior to my doctoral studies, I earned a MA in Sociology at Northern Arizona University, where I also acted as the coordinator for the Laboratory for Applied Social Research. I earned an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s degree from the Honor’s College at Kent State University, with minors in Women’s Studies and Sociology, and extensive coursework in Pan-African Studies.
I serve on the editorial board of Criminological Encounters and on the advisory board of Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies.