Lyndsey P Beutin

Visiting Research Scholar
Term 2023-2024
Office Phone
004 Morrison Hall

Dr. Lyndsey Beutin is a Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Media Arts at McMaster University. She earned a PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies at University of Virginia.

Lyndsey’s research focuses on the racial politics of communication, with a particular interest in how memories and metaphors of slavery and abolition are mobilized in contemporary social movements. Her first book, Trafficking in Antiblackness: Modern-Day Slavery, White Indemnity, and Racial Justice (Duke University Press, 2023), explores how campaigns against human trafficking use the term “modern-day slavery” and the visual memory of transatlantic slavery in ways that reproduce antiblackness. The book argues that by invoking the specific language of slavery and reproducing Enlightenment narratives that justified the transatlantic slave trade – such as “Black incapacity for self-governance” and “slavery in Africa” – the anti-trafficking apparatus produces white indemnity, a rhetorical insurance policy for former slaving nations and their racial beneficiaries against being held liable for the dispossessions of transatlantic slavery and European colonialism. Her scholarly writing has appeared in Cultural Studies, Surveillance & Society, Feminist Media Studies, Anti-Trafficking Review, and Southern Cultures. She was organized into movement work in the radical US South over two decades ago and has been involved with community projects for migrant farmworker rights, queer liberation, prison abolition, and racial justice in NC, VA, PA, and NY.

While at Princeton, Lyndsey will be developing her next book project about land and Black freedom struggle. The project centers land as a material, historical, and philosophical point of entry for addressing the politics of representing histories of slavery and Black freedom struggle at public history sites without reproducing media spectacles of Black pain. Drawing on case studies from across the U.S. and Canada, the project asks: How can thinking with land connect the self-determination of Black freedom and decolonization struggles, while conceptually clarifying how slavery and colonialism worked together through liberal philosophies of property, rights, and recognition? In addition to her research interests in the memory of slavery, Lyndsey is working on a project about diabetes technology, the discourse “surveillance for care,” and the racial dynamics of techno-fixes for sick and disabled people. Across all her projects, Lyndsey’s research and teaching are motivated by a simple question: Why don’t we all have what we need and what will it take to get it? She also loves wildflowers and baking elaborate cakes.