Doctoral Candidate at the Graduate School of North American Studies.Freie Universität Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin – JFK InstituteM.A. – North American Studies (Culture, Economics)
UC BerkeleyB.A. English - Highest Academic Honors
|2013-2015||Consultant – Market Logic Software, Berlin, Germany|
|2013||Research Analyst – Market Logic Software, Berlin, Germany|
|2012-2013||International Business Development & Marketing Assistant – CWT, Berlin, Germany|
|2009-2011||EFL and Legal English Instructor – Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey|
|2008||Executive Legal Assistant – W&P, San Francisco, California, USA|
Over the course of the last several decades, the United States has witnessed a drastic rise in its incarceration rate. This increase has been “colored” by an over-representation of poor urban minorities, with an outsized impact on African-Americans in particular. In general, this trend has been facilitated by political rhetoric, legislative acts and poorly considered public policy to be sure, not to mention its aggravation by the shifting sands of the post-industrial American economy.
This dissertation attempts to bring together sociology and cultural studies by looking at the mutual entanglements of sociological discourses and cultural texts in the age of mass incarceration. Towards this end, each chapter performs a set of operations which assemble together constellations of cultural and sociological texts which resonate thematically or formally in order to investigate the overlapping and intermingling terrains of social epistemologies, knowledge practices and cultural production.
In particular, this dissertation gives pride of place to four contemporary television series: The Wire, Oz, Orange is the New Black and Rectify. That these series have all had critical and/or popular success in dealing at length with controversial sociological themes which relate to issues surrounding mass incarceration sets them apart. Oscillating between the poles of consent medium and multi-vocal “cultural forum,” television has always to some extent addressed multiple and often conflicting viewpoints in some way, which means engaging, even if only tacitly, with other kinds of texts, narratives and mediums. The deployment of narrative complexity by these particular televisual texts provides focus and depth to their various engagements. Thus, they are able to provide a rich trove of interpenetrating contextual engagements from which I draw out thematic homologies, discursive debts, and formal resonances with other kinds of texts in order to understand the development, representation and circulation of social knowledge in the age of mass incarceration.
“Dangerous Declensions: Genre and the Cinematic Construction of Criminality.” Position Paper. Third Annual Graduate English Conference: Crime and Criminality. Carolina Graduate Literature Society, University of South Carolina, USA, April 2016
“Occupy Images: A Look back at the 99%.” Student and Graduate Conference: Culture, Identity, and Media: New Perspectives on Representation. Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, May 2016
“Native Son and the African American Critical Tradition.” Presentation. International Conference, Interdisciplinarity in English Studies: Mapping Fields of Study: Renegotiations of Disciplinary Spaces in the English-Speaking World. University of Lorraine, Nancy, France. June 2016
“Closing Remarks.” Project Manager, Organizational Committee, 9th Annual International Graduate Conference: Flows & Undercurrents Dimensions of Immobility in North America. Graduate School for North American Studies, John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University of Berlin, Germany, June 2016.
“On Failing to Manage: Oz between Prison Reform & Abolition.” Presentation. Fictions of Management. International Conference. John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University of Berlin, Germany, Dec 2016. (forthcoming)
“If it’s not TV, is it Sociology? The Wire…” Presentation. Futures of American Studies. Summer Institute. Dartmouth University, USA June 2016
“Unruly Epistemologies: TV, Sociologies & their Cultures in the Age of Mass Incarceration” Poster Presentation. Maurice Halbwachs Summer Institute: Crime, Dis/Order, Narration. Universitat Gottingen. Germany, August 2016