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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Micol Seigel

Picture of Micol Seigel

Associate Professor
Department of American Studies
Department of History

Office: Ballantine Hall 577
Phone: (812) 855-7707
E-mail: mseigel at


Ph.D. in American Studies, New York University

Research Interests

Policing, prisons, and race in the Americas; state violence; Critical Ethnic Studies; racial theory; transnational method; popular culture; Brazil; Latin American studies; history; mass incarceration; the Cold War; postcolonial and queer theory; Cultural Studies.


Micol's book on police border-crossing in the Americas, Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police, is forthcoming from Duke University Press in 2018. In 2017-2018 Micol will be a fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. In addition to research and teaching, Micol is involved in the Critical Prison Studies caucus of the American Studies Association and the Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas. She occasionally performs around town with Voces Novae and can sometimes be found in the water here.

Courses Recently Taught

  • AMST-G 751 Seminar in American Studies / Topic: Nation, State, Police (spring 2013)
  • AMST-G 620 / CULS-C 701 Critical Ethnic Studies (fall 2015)
  • AMST-G 603 Introduction to American Studies (fall 2014)
  • AMST-G 520 / AMST-A 350 Global Moral Panics (combines undergraduate and graduate course, fall 2014)
  • AMST-A 351 The American Prison in Global Context
  • HIST-A 300 The Postwar Prison An Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course (spring 2017; spring 2016; spring 2015)
  • AMST-A 100 What is America?: An Introduction to American Stuides (fall 2016, fall 2015; spring 2013)

Publication Highlights

Violence at Work: State Power and the Limits of Police, in production at Duke University Press.

Moral Panics for the Postcolonial Age: Transnational Cultural Studies, edited volume under contract with Routledge.

"The Dilemma of Racial Profiling: An Abolitionist History," Contemporary Justice Reivew 20, no. 3 (forthcoming summer 2017), special issue on penal abolition ed. Judah Schept & Michael Coyle.

"The 'Para' in the 'Paramilitary,'" Men with Guns: Cultures of Paramilitarism and the Modern Americas, ed. Anne Garland Mahler and Joshua Lund (forthcoming, Duke University Press).

"Nelson Rockefeller in Latin America: Global Currents of U.S. Prison Growth," in Comparative American Studies, no. 3 (September, 2015): 161-176.

"Objects of Police History," Journal of American History 102, no. 1 (June 2015): 152-161.

"Hypothecation: Debt Bondage for the Neoliberal Age," Transition 114 (2014): 134-145.

"Convict Race: Racialization in the Era of Hyperincarceration," Social Justice 39, no. 43 (April 2014): 31-51.

"Brazil's protests reveal the tension of a people moving ahead of their country," with Osmundo Pinho, Quartz, The Atlantic.

"Privatization in Mexico is a road to nowhere," with Elliott Young, Quartz, The Atlantic.

Uneven Encounters: Making Race and Nation in Brazil and the United States Uneven Encounters: Making Race and Nation in Brazil and the United States (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009).

"Beyond Compare: Historical Method after the Transnational Turn," Radical History Review 91, 62-90, Winter 2005.

Honors and Awards

  • Charles Warren Center for Historical Studies Visiting Scholarship, Harvard University, 2017-18.
  • United States Studies Centre Fellowship, University of Sydney, Australia, spring 2014.
  • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/Oscar Handlin Fellowship for Research in American History, 2012.
  • Finalist Mention, Lora Romero first book prize of the American Studies Association, 2010, for Uneven Encounters.
  • Society for the Humanities Fellowship, Cornell University, 2006-07.