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. With 5% of the world’s population, the USA currently holds 25% of its prisoners. “Colored” by an over-representation of poor urban minorities, particularly African-Americans, American mass incarceration has been facilitated by the punitive turn in American criminal justice, illiberal tough-on-crime legislation, the structural and institutional legacies of slavery, the shifting sands of the post-industrial economy, the neoliberalization of the welfare state, and an increasingly futile War on Drugs.
Long considered a maligned medium, it is now common to speak of a new “golden age” of television. Indeed, American TV seems increasingly invested in social epistemologies and cultural imaginaries which venture into the dark sides of criminal justice. This has led many social scientists, perennially anxious of television’s influence over the American imagination, to fret over its potential to distort public perceptions.
This dissertation explores the mutual entanglements of socio-political discourses and contemporary TV in the age of mass incarceration, giving pride of place to “quality” series such as Orange is the New Black, Oz, The Wire and documentaries such as Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed 13th. It asks: what and how does contemporary TV know about mass incarceration? How is this knowledge shaped, serialized, circulated and put to work? What is its relation to other epistemic domains? What role do these televisual epistemologies play in the construction of American culture and society? And finally, what opportunities to re-describe, reimagine, and reshape American society in the age of mass incarceration are afforded by evolutions in our media ecology?
“Screening Campus Identity Politics: Dear White People, Cultural Studies and the American University.” Mapping Fields of Study: The Cultural and Institutional Space of English Studies. Ed. Smith, Matthew and Richard Sommerset. Presses Universitaires de Nancy; Collection: Regards sur le monde Anglophone, 2018. (forthcoming)
“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, the Punitive Turn and Contemporary Television.” Presentation. Fictions of Management. International Conference. John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University of Berlin, Germany, Dec 2016.
“Is Entertainment the New Activism? Orange is the New Black” Presentation. 10th Annual International Graduate Conference: The Revolution Will Not Be Peer-Reviewed. Graduate School for North American Studies, John F. Kennedy Institute, Free University of Berlin, Germany, May 2017.
“Justice in (Serial) Suspense: Rectify and Making a Murderer” Presentation. 5th Literature and Law Conference. Visualizing Justice. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, New York City, October, 2017. (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.