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2014 Doctoral/Postdoctoral Fellows

Andrew S. Baer is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department at Northwestern University. 

 LSA/NSF/ABF Doctoral Fellow (2014-2016)
His research interests revolve around issues of race, law enforcement, social movements, and police accountability.  His dissertation, titled "From Law and Order to Torture: Race and Policing in De-Industrial Chicago," explores the appearance of police torture on Chicago's South Side during the 1970s and 1980s and the grassroots activism it inspired in the 1990s and 2000s.  Focusing on the cases linked to former police Commander Jon Burge, his dissertation asks: How could a group of white detectives coerce confessions from Black criminal suspects with impunity for two decades?  Relying on archival research, oral history interviews, and legal material provided by civil rights attorney and local police accountability groups, Andrew brings historical context to themes of racial violence and police brutality that may otherwise seem timeless.

Joshua Kaiser is a JD-Ph.D. candidate in law and sociology at Northwestern University.  
LSA/NSF/ABF Doctoral Fellow (2014-2016)
His research focuses on state control and state violence, ranging from genocide, crimes of aggression, and other atrocity crimes in Darfur and Iraq as well as criminal punishment in the United States.  He is the co-author of "The Displaced and Dispossessed of Darfur" and "Gendered Genocide," two articles which empirically illuminate the social, experiential process of genocide that occurs through displacement, sexual violence, and anti-livelihood crimes.  Kaiser is also the coauthor of "Atrocity Victimization and the Costs of Economic Conflict Crimes in the Battle for Baghdad and Iraq," two other articles, and a forthcoming book on the sectarian displacement, criminal entrepeneurship, and legal cynicism among ordinary Iraqi civilians.  His work on the United States focuses on "hidden sentences," all legally imposed punishments inflicted upon criminal offenders beyond their official, judge-issed sentences.  Kaiser's dissertation, "Punishment without Purpose? The Historical Rise and Effects of the Hidden Sentence in the United States," compares the rise of hidden sentences since the mid-twentieth century to the concomitant but more visible rise of mass incarceration.

Amy Myrick is a J.D.-PhD. candidate in Sociology at Northwestern University.
Mellon/ACLS Doctoral Fellow in residence at the American Bar Foundation (2014-2015), supported by the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2014-2015
Her research focuses on the political and social consequences of legal formats, in particular those that involve text.  Her dissertation is provisionally titled "The Politics of Texts: How Textual Norms Shape Substantive Agendas in U.S. Constitutional Amendment Advocacy, 1900 to 2010."  It documents and explains the universe of (mostly failed) proposals to amend the federal Constitution, demonstrating a historical shift from progressive to conservative advocacy.  Amy's research shows that judicial actions at critical junctures shape how groups view properties of the written effects for underlying progressive and conservative agendas.  At a more micro level of analysis, her Masters thesis examined state criminal records, treating them as material textual accounts with which people cannot successfully interact.  An article based on it appeared in Law and Society Review, winning the LSA Graduate Paper Prize for 2013.  Amy's work is also published or forthcoming in the Journal of Law and Politics, the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public PolicySociological Methods and Research, and Surveillance and Society.   She served as articles editor for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology at Northwestern Law, and is  National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

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