Geoff Ward’s scholarship examines the haunting legacies of historical racial violence and implications for redress.
Geoff Ward is Professor of African and African-American Studies and faculty affiliate in the Department of Sociology and American Culture Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He is director of the WashU & Slavery Project, a university initiative based in the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2), in partnership with the consortium of Universities Studying Slavery. His scholarship examines histories and legacies of racialized violence and their reparative implications. This work has been generously supported by institutions including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Ford Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. In addition to numerous research articles and essays, he is the author of The Black Child-Savers: Racial Democracy and Juvenile Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2012), an award-winning book on the contested history and haunting remnants of Jim Crow juvenile justice.
Rooted in the black sociological tradition, Ward has been committed to an engaged academic practice. He combines scholarship with organizing and creative work including archives, exhibitions, and digital projects to engage broader audiences, support innovation in teaching, and facilitate the visibility, use and impact of his often collaborative research. He has served on the national advisory board for Monument Lab’s National Monument Audit, and is a member of the Mayor's Commemorative Landscape Taskforce in Clayton, MO, and the Reparative Justice Coalition of St. Louis, a network of volunteers working with Equal Justice Initiative to address legacies of racist violence in the region. He is collaborating with Prof. Anika Walke (History) to co-lead Memory for the Future in 2022, a reparative public humanities lab supported by the Redefining Doctoral Education Initiative of the Center for the Humanities.
Legacies of Racial Violence: Clarifying and Addressing the Presence of the Past
Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science. v. 694 March 2021
Edited by David Cunningham, Hedy Lee, and Geoff Ward
Table of Contents
Cover image: The "Old Jail" in St. Louis where, in 1836, a free black man named Francis McIntosh was abducted and lynched by a white mob, whose crimes went unpunished. The editors are working with the Reparative Justice Coalition of St. Louis to commemorate and address legacies of this grave injustice.
Other recent publications:
- Austin, R. et al. (2022). “Remembering St. Louis Individual—Structural Violence and Acute Bacterial Infections in a Historical Anatomical Collection.” Communications Biology, 5. LINK
- Ward, G. (2022). “Recognition, Repair & the Reconstruction of ‘Square One’” Daedalus: The Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 155(1): 153-169. LINK
- Gaby, S., D. Cunningham, H. Lee, G. Ward, and A. Jackson (2021). "Exculpating Injustice: Coroner Constructions of White Innocence in the Postbellum South." Socius 7. LINK
- Doering, Z. (2020). “From This Moment: Museum Futures. Conversations with Tom Freudenheim, Anika Walke, and Geoff Ward.” Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy 6(2): Museum-Politics-Management: 9-23. LINK
- Ward, G., N. Petersen, A. Kupchik, and J. Pratt (2019). "Historic Lynching and Corporal Punishment in Contemporary Southern Schools." Social Problems LINK
- Cunningham, David, G. Ward and P. Owens (2019). "Configuring Political Repression: Anti-Civil Rights Enforcement in Mississippi." Mobilization: An International Quarterly LINK
- Pérez, R. and Ward, G. (2019). "From Insult to Estrangement and Injury: The Violence of Racist Police Jokes." American Behavioral Scientist, 0002764219842617. LINK
- Ward, G. (2018). "Living Histories of White Supremacist Policing," Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 15(1). LINK
- Ward, G. and P. Hanink (2017). "Deliberating Racial Justice: Towards Racially Democratic Crime Control." In J. Jackson and J. Jacobs (eds.), Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics. New York: Routledge. LINK
- Ward, G. (2016). "Microclimates of Racial Meaning: Historical Racial Violence and Environmental Impacts." Wisconsin Law Review, 575. LINK
Selected creative projects:
- Memory for the Future, a year-long "studiolab" combining study of the interlinked histories and legacies of colonialism, slavery, and genocide with the development of public humanities projects.
- Alternative Atlas of St. Louis, exploring new ways of thinking, seeing, being and thus making the greater St. Louis through fugitive mapping.
- Monumental Anti-Racism, a StoryMap exploring the racial politics of public memory, and highlighting global practices and student proposals centering anti-racist commemorative intervention.
- The Racial Violence Archive, a digital resource for research, teaching, and engagement focusing on histories of racial violence and their legacies today.
- Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice, an exhibition at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and John M. Olin Library at Washington University (Spring 2020 and online).
- Black Memory Work, a StoryMap and podcast supporting the Spring 2020 Senior Seminar and Capstone in the Department of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.