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Laurence Ralph

Laurence Ralph

Princeton University
Fellow, 2021-22

At CASBS, Laurence Ralph will think through the ways Black victimization becomes embodied, disproportionately impacting the long-term health of Black Americans. His work explores how police abuse, mass incarceration, and the drug trade make injury and premature death seem natural for people of color. His first book, Renegade Dreams (University of Chicago Press, 2014), received the C. Wright Mills Award and the J.I. Staley Prize. His second book, The Torture Letters (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores a decades-long scandal in which hundreds of Black men were tortured in police custody. The Torture Letters is also the name of his award-winning, animated short film, which is featured in The New York Times Op-Doc series. 

Ralph is a researcher, writer, and filmmaker. He has held tenured appointments in the African & African American studies and anthropology departments at Harvard. He is currently a professor of anthropology at Princeton University. Ralph has been awarded many fellowships for his work, some of which include grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the National Research Council of the National Academies. He is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study and a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.  

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