Naomi Murakawa

Associate Professor
Department of African American Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of African American Studies
Ph.D, Political Science
Yale University
office:
206 Stanhope Hall
office phone:
(609) 258-6274
email:
murakawa@princeton.edu
Naomi Murakawa

Naomi Murakawa is an associate professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. She studies the reproduction of racial inequality in 20th and 21st century American politics, with specialization in crime policy and the carceral state. She is the author of The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America (Oxford University Press, 2014), and her work has appeared in Law & Society Review, Theoretical Criminology, Du Bois Review, and several edited volumes. She has received fellowships from Columbia Law School’s Center for the Study of Law and Culture, as well the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Program.

Prior to joining African American Studies at Princeton, she taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Professor Murakawa received her B.A. in women’s studies from Columbia University, her M.Sc. in social policy from the London School of Economics, and her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.

Courses

AAS 201
Introduction to the Study of African American Cultural Practices

As the introductory course required to concentrate or earn a certificate in African American Studies, this course examines the past and present, the doings and the sufferings of Americans of African descent from a multidisciplinary perspective. It highlights the ways in which serious intellectual scrutiny of the agency of black people in the United States and help redefine what it means to be American, new world, modern and post modern.

AAS 247 / POL 382
The New Jim Crow: US Crime Policy from Constitutional Formation to Ferguson

This course explores the political development of America’s racially disparate punishment regime. We trace the history US crime policy, moving through US constitutional formation, Reconstruction and lynch law, and Jim Crow punishment in the south and urban north. We focus on punishment in post-civil rights America, and we devote special attention to policing, the death penalty, and the interconnected wars on crime, drugs, immigration, and terror. Our overarching goal is to understand the political construction of crime, colorblindness, and legitimate state violence.

AAS 300
Junior Seminar: Research and Writing in African American Studies

As a required course for AAS concentrators, this junior seminar introduces students to theories and methods of research design in African American Studies. Drawing on a wide-ranging methodological toolkit from the humanities and social sciences, students will learn to reflect on the ethical and political dimensions of original research in order to produce knowledge that is intellectually and socially engaged. This is a writing-intensive seminar with weekly essay assignments.

AAS 500
Introduction to African American Intellectual Tradition

This interdisciplinary seminar introduces graduate students to African-American intellectual traditions. Reading across disciplines and genres, we will engage theories and histories of racial formation, racial capitalism, slavery and empire, social movements, and cultural representation. Particular attention will be paid to black radicalism, to the ways various thinkers have imagined the relationship between theory and praxis, and to black intellectual activity as a dynamic site of both critique and knowledge production