Unraveling the gendered character of carceral power is part of severing the carceral hold on everyday life. Through creative archival practice and activism, I work in the company of scholars who look to the past and present of Black feminist refusal and Black feminist labor, arduous and imaginative, collective and private, productive and reproductive, in order to envision and organize life beyond gendered racial capitalism and captivity.

Sarah Haley, PhD

Sarah Haley is an Associate Professor at Columbia University. Her work focuses on the history of gender and women, carceral history, Black feminist history and theory, queer history and theory, prison abolition, and feminist experimental archival methods. 

She is the author of No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity as well as essays and articles in edited volumes and journals including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society; The Journal of African American History; and GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies; Souls; and Women & Performance. She is working on a book titled The Carceral Interior: A Black Feminist Study of American Punishment, 1966-2016, and has been active in campus-based and broader prison abolitionist movements and the labor movement (as a lead organizer with the hospitality workers union, UNITE-HERE). She currently organizes with Scholars for Social Justice.

No Mercy Here

A landmark history of black women’s imprisonment in the South, this book recovers stories of the captivity and punishment of black women to demonstrate how the system of incarceration was crucial to organizing the logics of gender and race, and constructing Jim Crow modernity.

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