Department of Sociology
Ph.D. Binghamton University (Sociology)
The University of Tennessee
905 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0490
Political Economy of Crime and Punishment, Youth Justice, Race, Class, Gender, Crime and Justice, Mass Supervision, Qualitative Research Methods
My overall research focuses on the historical and contemporary transformations of punishment and social control. I am interested in how race, gender, and class inequalities are reconstituted by policing, surveillance, incarceration and mass supervision. My current and future research engages with contemporary criminal justice reforms that seek to either challenge or replace formal state social control with community control initiatives (e.g., alternatives to incarceration, community policing) or private social control institutions (e.g., private detention facilities, security, and surveillance). I am particularly interested in contributing to critical scholarship and activism on the damaging consequences of non-carceral sanctions such as misdemeanor arrests, probation and other forms of community supervision. My dissertation project examined the role of lower criminal courts, probation and third party community supervision in the lives of working-class youth of color in New York City. I am expanding this research into a book length project that will contribute to how scholars and activists understand youth violence in the late neoliberal era.
There is a strong link between my research and teaching interests. Both are informed by an interdisciplinary approach that brings together sociology and critical scholarship on policing, punishment and social control to place criminal justice system transformations within the wider socio-historical, economic and political forces that shape American life.
- Soc 456 Punishment & Society
- Soc 449: Juvenile Justice
Past courses include: Introduction to CJ; Criminology; Social Deviance; Media, Crime, Sex and Violence; Carceral Crisis: Race, Class and Punishment in America and Crime and Punishment in Popular Culture
Peer Reviewed Journals
- Kurti, Z and Jarrod Shanahan 2018. “Rebranding Mass Incarceration: The Lippman Commission and ‘Carceral Devolution’ in New York City” Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict and World Order 45 (2/3) pp. 23-50
- Kurti, Z. 2017. Review of Zeynep Gonen’s "Politics of Crime in Turkey: Izmir Public Order Police and Criminalization of the Urban Poor" Meltem: Journal of the Izmir Mediterranean Academy
- Kurti, Z. (2018) Critical Reflection on George S. Rigakos “Security/Capital: A Theory of Pacification” Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics.
Public Policy & Opinion Essays
- “Probation and Second Chances in the Era of the Jobless Future” March 2017 Brooklyn Rail https://brooklynrail.org/2018/03/field-notes/Second-Chances-in-the-Era-of-the-Jobless-Future
- “Cuomo’s ‘Carceral Humanism’” Jacobin November 16, 2018 https://jacobinmag.com/author/zhandarka-kurti
- “Building a Kinder Justice System: Youth Experiences with Incarceration” December 2018 Abolition Journal https://abolitionjournal.org/building-a-kinder-justice-system-youth-experiences-with-incarceration/