UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Department of Sociology
500 S. State Street, Ste. 4207
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan. My research lives at the intersection of history, law, violence, and global processes. If I were to add "race" to that sentence, it may give you the false impression that I am a scholar who studies race, which I do. Yet, a more precise articulation is that I am a scholar who studies the above aspects of the modern world – the modern world that racial ideology made possible and in which racial ideology remains the organizing principle.
To that end, in my forthcoming book, I investigate the emergence of U.S. laws enacted ostensibly to protect battered women from abusive husbands. Historical in scope, my inquiry led me away from the northeastern states, where the nucleus of suffragist and feminist activism cohered. I instead landed in a region one could call a feminism desert: the post-Civil War South. In so doing, my investigation ultimately revealed that progressive U.S. family laws emerged not in the struggle for gender equality, but rather for white supremacy. The core argument of my book is thus: U.S. domestic violence laws emerged as a Southern postwar white-supremacist response to the legalization of black family formation. Far from the aim of protecting battered women, these laws simultaneously facilitated white control of free black labor and upheld a social hierarchy in which blackness remained a degraded status.
If you have any questions or comments about my research, working papers, or presentations, I'd love to hear from you! Email is the best way to reach me.