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Vesla Weaver, “No Name in the Polity: The Carceral State and Black Citizenship”

Vesla Weaver is Assistant Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Yale University. Professor  Weaver is broadly interested in understanding racial inequality in the United States, how state policies shape citizenship, and the political causes and consequences of the growth of the criminal justice system in the United States.

Her newest book with Amy Lerman, Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control, is concerned with the effects of increasing punishment and surveillance in America on democratic inclusion, particularly for the black urban poor. She is also the author of Frontlash: Civil Rights, the Carceral State, and the Transformation of American Politics (under contract with Cambridge), which uncovers a connection between the movement for civil rights and the development of punitive criminal justice. Weaver is also the co-author of Creating a New Racial Order, which explores how multiracialism, immigration, the genomics revolution, and generational changes are reshaping the racial order in the United States (with Professors Jennifer Hochschild and Traci Burch).

She is currently regional leader of the Scholars Strategy Network, member of the Executive Session on Community Corrections, and co-leader of SPIRE (the Symposium on the Politics of Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity).  She has previously worked for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

This event is a part of the “Mass Incarceration and the Carceral State” Series, an initiative supported by Humanities Writ Large. Co-sponsored by the Department of History, International Comparative Studies, the Program in Women’s Studies, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and the Duke Human Rights Center@FHI.



April 14, 2016
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


East Duke 209