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. His scholarship examines the racial politics of social control and the pursuit of racial justice, historically and today, and has been supported by fellowships and grants from 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 rise, fall, and haunting remnants of Jim Crow juvenile justice.
Current projects focus on broader histories of racist violence, their legacies, and implications for repair. Committed to a publicly-engaged and collaborative academic practice, he combines traditional scholarship with organizing and creative work including exhibitions and digital projects to engage broader audiences, innovate teaching, and facilitate the visibility, use and impact of scholarly work. Ward is director of the WashU & Slavery Project, an initiative of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2) in partnership with the consortium of Universities Studying Slavery. He also serves on the 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 and other partners to address legacies of racist violence in our region.
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
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 articles:
- 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
In addition to traditional scholarly research and writing, I use creative and digital projects to support this scholarship, engage broader audiences, and facilitate the visibility, use and impact of this work.
- 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.