Geoff Ward’s scholarship examines racial politics of social control, and the pursuit of racial justice, historically and today.
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. His work appears in numerous academic journals and anthologies, and has been supported by 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.
His current projects examine broader histories of racist violence, their legacies, and implications for repair. In addition to research and teaching in this area, Ward serves as director of WashU & Slavery, an initiative of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2) aligned with the global consortium of Universities Studying Slavery. Finally, he is involved in several related community-based initiatives, including 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.
- 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 more traditional scholarly research and writing, I use creative and digital projects to support research and teaching, engage broader audiences, and facilitate the visibility, use and impact of this work. These include:
- Monumental Anti-Racism, a collaborative 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, a teaching gallery exhibition at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and John M. Olin Library at Washington University during Spring 2020;
- Black Memory Work, a StoryMap and podcast showcasing the work of several students in the Spring 2020 Senior Seminar and Capstone in the Department of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.