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Faculty Awards and Fellowships, Fall 2022

Several of our faculty members received prestigious awards and fellowships this year, which for them, meant study AND travel, a welcome opportunity post-pandemic.

Brown Serves as Visiting Scholar at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research

BrownMichelle Brown spent the summer in Scotland studying efforts to challenge criminalization and punishment and develop more meaningful forms of accountability, safety, and community building. She gave public lectures, seminars, and community workshops, while meeting and working with faculty and graduate students from the University of Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Edinburgh. 

She also built an ongoing set of connections to Scottish organizations and groups led by activists and formerly imprisoned people working to challenge punitiveness, including The Coalition Against Punishment Scotland, GalGael & Govan Free State, Inquest, Voices Against Punishment, and Vox Liminus/Unbound. 

Dahms Receives 2021 Senior-Level Excellence in Teaching Award

DahmsEach year, the UT College of Arts and Sciences recognizes tenured and tenure-track faculty excellence in teaching by presenting both junior- and senior-level teaching awards. Professor Harry Dahms received the 2021 Senior-Level award.

If you have ever wondered if you are living in The Matrix, Dahms’s classes are for you. Indeed, for many years he has taught a popular First Year Studies course on The Matrix Trilogy and Social Theory. It is one of several intriguing courses he teaches on theorizing society, which include Sociology of Science Fiction; Control, Utopia, and Democracy; American Exceptionalism; Planetary Sociology; and Prejudice, Ideology, Modernity. Generally, students dread taking required theory classes, but students rave about Dahms’s courses and his ability to bring clarity to complicated texts. 

As one student wrote: “I feel I was given a perfect understanding of conceptualizing theory.” 

Henricks Serves as Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Essen, Germany

HenricksDuring Casey Henricks’ time as a Fellow at the KWI (Kulturwissenschaftliches) Institute for Advanced Study in Essen, Germany, he worked on his second book manuscript tentatively titled Chicago on the Take: Ticketing and Towing in the City of Collision (under contract with Russell Sage). The project centers our current moment where we are witnessing two sweeping changes in a reconstitution of government under late capitalism, including punishment reform that increasingly welcomes "civil" penalties in the form of cash payment that are backed by lurking threats of coercion on the one hand and intensified financialization where the state mimics predatory business strategies in ways that deepen private pockets on the other. 

He provides us with two amazing photos: One is Kasey posing like Friedrich Engels in front of his boyhood home in Barmen. It is about 18 miles from where he lived with his family during his stay and 30 miles from Köln where Freddy (Engels) first met Karl (Marx). The "Engels-Haus" is where Engels completed his first major work, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. And among the things on display at the house is the second picture, a hand-written draft of The Manifesto penned by Marx himself. 

Presser Receives UT Chancellor’s Grant for Faculty Research

presserLois Presser received a UT Chancellor’s Grant for Faculty Research. This grant program helps faculty develop strong applications for extramural funding, especially via course release. In spring 2023, Professor Presser will prepare a proposal for a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award, for a project titled “Mobilizing Outbursts: Unsaid Messaging and Public Violence Over COVID-19 Mask Mandates in the United States.”

Wall Serves as American Bar Association Visiting Scholar 

wallIn April 2022, Tyler Wall received a Visiting Scholar position from the American Bar Association. The American Bar Foundation is an independent scholarly research institute committed to social science research on law, legal institutions, and legal processes. Its research community consists of leading scholars in the fields of law, sociology, psychology, political science, economics, history, and anthropology. 

During his ABF residency, Wall spent several weeks at the ABF offices in Chicago working on a book manuscript, co-authored with Bill McClanahan, under contract with Haymarket Books. The volume takes a deep dive into the “moral economies” of police power as observable in contemporary “police culture.” As a conceptually-driven, interdisciplinary, and theoretically-informed project, Wall writes “we aim to take seriously how a moral economy of cruelty undergirds the political economy of police as traceable in the cultural and aesthetic worlds of US policing over the last few decades of deep capitalist crisis, and of course a burgeoning Black Lives Matter and police abolition movement.” So, despite “police violence” routinely being justified by the law as rational, controlled, and proportional, the book demonstrates how this logic of justification so central to liberal thought (i.e. “the reasonable officer”) breaks down in drastic ways once we peer into the abyss of policing’s collective fantasy life. The project, then, sets out to track the moral economies of what Primo Levi called “useless violence” as they appear, and are often curated by police themselves in text, images, fashions, and various cultural artifacts.


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