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Michelle BrownMichelle Brown

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Ph.D. 2003 Indiana University

The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0490

Curriculum Vitae

Interest Areas

Carceral Studies; Law & Society; Transformative Justice; Theory, Culture & Media; Feminist Perspectives

Michelle Brown's research interests include carceral studies; law & society; feminist perspectives; media, theory, and culture; and transformative justice.  Currently, she studies and advocates for anti-prison and racial justice movements in carceral regimes.  She is particularly interested in the use of rights claims and visual tactics in community and national organizing.  She is the author of The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, & Spectacle (NYUP, 2009) and co-author of Criminology Goes to the Movies (NYUP, 2011).  She is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology (2017) and Media Representations of September 11 (Praeger, 2003).  She is also senior editor for the Crime, Media and Popular Culture digital volume of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia, the US editor of the Palgrave McMillan Crime, Media, and Culture book series,  and co-editor of criminology's leading media journal Crime, Media, Culture.  Her article, "Visual Criminology and Carceral Studies: Counter-images in the Carceral Age," is recipient of the 2015 best article prize in Theoretical Criminology.  She is working on a series of articles and a book manuscript examining the production of death in American criminal justice and life-extending alternative forms of justice.


  • General Sociology (Honors)
  • Criminal Justice
  • Law & Society
  • Risk & Society
  • Punishment & Society
  • Media & Society
  • Drugs & Society
  • Inside Out Prison Exchange Seminar


  • Media & Society
  • Law & Society
  • Alternative Justice
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory


  • Brown, Michelle and Eamonn Carrabine (eds.). The Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology.  Under contract.
  • Rafter, Nicole and Michelle Brown. 2011. Criminology Goes to the Movies: Crime Theory and Popular Culture. New York: New York University Press.
  • Brown, Michelle. 2009. The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle. New York: New York University Press.
  • Chermak, Steven, Frankie Bailey, and Michelle Brown (eds.). 2003. Media Images of September 11th. Newport, CT: Praeger Publishers (Crime, Media, and Popular Culture series).


  • Bohon, Stephanie, Meghan Conley, and Michelle Brown, "Unequal Protection under the Law: Encoding Racial Disparities in the Case of Smith v. Georgia," American Behavioral Science, forthcoming 2014.
  • Brown, Michelle. 2014. "Of Prisons, Gardens, and the Way Out." Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Special issue: The Beautiful Prison), 64: 67-85.
  • Brown, Michelle. 2014. "Visual Criminology and Carceral Studies." Theoretical Criminology (Special Issue: Visual Culture and the Iconography of Crime and Punishment, eds. Michelle Brown and Eamonn Carrabine), 18(2): 176-197.
  • Brown, Michelle and Nicole Rafter. 2013. "Genocide Films, Public Criminology, Collective Memory." The British Journal of Criminology, 53: 1017-1032.
  • Brown, Michelle. 2013. "Captivity, Citizenship, and the Ethics of Otherwise in the Society-of-Captives Thesis: A Commentary on Arrigo." International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 57(6): 694-702.
  • Brown, Michelle. 2012. "Empathy and Punishment." Punishment & Society, 14, 4: 383-401.
  • Polizzi, David and Michelle Brown. 2012. "In Search of the Ethical in Criminal Justice Practice," The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology, 4, 2: 65-90.

Book Chapters

  • Brown, Michelle. 2015. Reprint: "Prison Otherwise: Cultural Meaning Beyond Punishment", in The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society and Spectacle (New York: New York University Press, 2009): 190–212 to be reprinted in Punishment, Eds. Richard Jones and Richard Sparks, London: Routledge.
  • Brown, Michelle. "'Which Question? Which Lie?': Reflections on Payne v. Tennessee and the 'Quick Glimpse' of Life."  Ed. Austin Sarat, The Punitive Imagination, University of Alabama Press, forthcoming 2014.
  • Brown, Michelle. 2013. "Penal Spectatorship and the Culture of Punishment." Ed. David Scott, Why Prison, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 108-124.
  • Brown, Michelle.  2012. "Social Documentary in Prison: Catching the State in the Act of Punishment" in The Arts of Imprisonment: Control, Resistance and Empowerment. Ed. Leonidas Cheliotis. Aldershot: Ashgate, 101-117.

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