Crimes of the Powerful | Colonial-Carceral Systems | Vice Regulation


Courses offered at Rutgers University.

Black and Brown Bodies and Criminal Justice Systems

This course examines the impacts of criminal justice systems on communities of color in the United States, with particular focus on how various social, political, ideological, and economic structures have contributed to the disproportionate placement of Black and Brown bodies under systems of formal social control. After studying fundamental concepts of race and ethnicity, the course will cover mass incarceration, state surveillance, migration-related justice policies, and the history of criminal justice through a critical race theory and critical legal theory framework. The class format will generally consist of discussion-driven analyses of assigned readings and multimedia, in addition to substantive lectures.

Fall 2019 syllabus available here

Fall 2018 syllabus available here

Race, Ethnicity, and Drug Policies

This course examines the legal, sociological, and historical forces that influence the relationships between race, ethnicity, and drug policies. The course is divided into four areas of emphasis, with exams corresponding to each thematic section.

Part 1 – Fundamentals of Race, Ethnicity, and Drugs begins with an introduction to key concepts in studying race, drugs, and society. We will emphasize the ways in which everyday observations and experiences can serve as conceptual and empirical reference points for connecting drugs, race, and power to broader structural features of our society.

Part 2 – Before the War on Drugs: Colonial and Imperial Histories and Legacies, turns our focus to the historical evolution of drug regulatory regimes, with a particular emphasis on state-corporate interests in U.S. foreign policy and the embeddedness of racial, classist, and gendered processes.

Part 3 – Drugs and Formal Social Control: Domestic Dilemmas, emphasizes historical eras where drugs were part of domestic social control regimes, including Prohibition and the “War on Drugs”.

Part 4 – Drugs, Race, and Capital in the 21st Century, concludes the course with a focus on current developments, ongoing dilemmas, and structural contradictions in contemporary drug policy, with a focus on race, class, gender, and the carceral state.

Spring 2019 syllabus available here.