About

Joshua Aiken is a poet and black studies scholar. He is a J.D./Ph.D. candidate in History and African-American Studies at Yale where his research focuses on the relationship between the regulation of firearms in the United States, state-sanctioned violence, and racial hierarchy since the Civil War. His research more broadly is concerned with 20th-century histories of how violence sanctioned and facilitated by “equal justice under law” has shaped and been shaped by racial capitalism, settler empire, and anti-blackness. He is interested in how race, gender, sexuality and ability relate to legalized notions of danger, safety, criminality, depravity and deviance.

Joshua is also a Cave Canem Fellow and winner of the Martin Starke Prize. His poetry can be found in publications like Assaracus, BOAAT, Green Mountains Review, Sixth Finch, The Indianapolis Review, Muzzle Magazine.

Joshua is the former Policy Fellow at the Prison Policy Initiative and received graduate degrees from the University of Oxford in History and Forced Migration Studies where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar (Missouri & Pembroke 2014). His research on the criminal legal system has been featured in The New York Times, he has presented his research on gender and gun laws in the Reconstruction South at the American Studies Association, and written about blackness and captivity in Transgender Studies Quarterly. He is the former co-convenor of the Racial Capitalism and the Carceral State Working Group and in 2020 served as the Researcher-in-Residence at Artspace New Haven for their exhibition on the New Haven Black Panther Party for Self-Defense entitledRevolution on Trial.”

Joshua is the 2022-2023 Research Affiliate at the Duke Center on Firearms Law where he will continue his research on guns, race, and violence in American social life.

He can be reached at joshua.aiken[at]yale.edu

 

Photo credit: Marcus Jackson