OAR Book Talks

Every year the Office for the Advancement of Research sponsors several book talks by our faculty members & external authors.
Smashing Statues by Dr. Erin L. Thompson

An urgent and fractious national debate over public monuments has erupted in America. Some people risk imprisonment to tear down long-ignored hunks of marble; others form armed patrols to defend them. Why do we care so much about statues? And who gets to decide which ones should stay up and which should come down?

In Smashing Statues, Erin L. Thompson races the turbulent history of American monuments and its abundant ironies, starting with the enslaved man who helped make the statue of Freedom atop the US Capitol, and explore the surprising motivations behind such contemporary flashpoints as the toppling of a statue of Columbus at the Minnesota State Capitol. Combining gripping narratives with legal, political, and historical analysis, the book aims to give readers the context they need to consider the fundamental question: Whose voices must be heard and whose pain must remain private?

December 7, from 5:00pm to 6:30pm Moot Court, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Register here to attend.

Behind Crimmigation by Felicia Arriaga

Book Summary: In recent years, dozens of counties in North Carolina have partnered with federal law enforcement to criminalize immigration—what many have dubbed "crimmigration." Southern border enforcement still monopolizes the national immigration debate, but immigration enforcement has also become common within the United States. While Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations are a significant part of American immigration enforcement, Felicia Arriaga maintains that ICE relies on an already well-established system—local law enforcement and local governments to identify, incarcerate, and deport undocumented immigrants.

Arriaga contends that the long-term partnership between local sheriffs and immigration law enforcement in places like North Carolina has created racialized social control in the Latinx community. Arriaga uses data from five county sheriff’s offices and their governing bodies to trace the creation and subsequent normalization of ICE and local law enforcement partnerships. Arriaga argues that the methods these partnerships use to control immigration are employed throughout the United States. Still, they have been evident in North Carolina, where the Latinx population increased by 111 percent between 2000 and 2010. Arriaga's evidence also reveals how Latinx communities resist and adapt to these systems.

Bio: Felicia Arriaga (Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University) is an assistant professor in the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. Her research focuses on race and ethnicity, immigration, and crimmigration (criminalization of immigration policy and procedure), aka La Polimigra. As a public sociologist, she highlights the intersection of criminal justice accountability, transparency, reform, and abolition. In her groundbreaking book, "Behind Crimmigration: ICE, Law Enforcement, and Resistance in America," Felicia sheds light on the impact of federal immigration enforcement programs, revealing the collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration authorities in the burgeoning immigrant haven of North Carolina.

Past Book Talks

On September 5, 2019, Deborah Blum, Director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and Pulitzer Prize-winner, was joined by John Jay Professors Gerald Markowitz and Nathan Lents to discuss her book The Poison Squad: One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.

On October 10, 2019, Gohar Petrossian, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College, gave a book talk to discuss her book The Last Fish Swimming: The Global Crime of Illegal Fishing.

On November 18, 2019, Alexander Long, Associate Professor of English at John Jay College, was joined by Professor of English Allison Pease and Associate Professor of English Dale Barleben for a reading from and commentary on his poetry collection On Distance.

On April 17, 2019, Philip Yanos, Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College, was joined by Kim T. Mueser, clinical psychologist and professor at Boston University's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, for a discussion of his book Written Off: Mental Health Stigma and the Loss of Human Potential.

On February 13, 2019, Mike Wallace, Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College, held a book talk to discuss his book Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919.

On October 29, 2018, Michael Brownstein, Associate Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College, held a book talk to discuss his book The Implicit Mind: Cognitive Architecture, the Self, and Ethics

On October 11, 2018, Lisandro Perez, Professor of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College, held a book talk to discuss his book Sugar, Cigars, and Revolution: The Making of Cuban New York

On September 6, 2018, Richard Rothstein, Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, held a book talk to discuss his book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

On April 25, 2018, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, held a book talk to discuss her book Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration. She was joined by Professor Martin Horn, Distinguished Lecturer in Corrections at John Jay College.

On March 20, 2018, Edward Paulino, Professor of History at John Jay College, held a book talk to discuss Dividing Hispaniola: The Dominican Republic's Border Campaign against Haiti, 1930-1961. He was joined by Professors Chantalle Verna, from Floria International University, Anne Eller and Dixa Ramirez, from Yale University. 

On March 6, 2018, Amy Adamczyk, Professor of Sociology at John Jay College, held a book talk to discuss Cross-National Public Opinion About Homosexuality: Examining Attitudes Across the GlobeShe was joined by Dr. Brian Powell, professor in Indiana University's Department of Sociology, and Ryan Thoreson, a researcher in the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch.

On November 7, 2017, John Pfaff, Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, held a book talk to discuss Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform.

On October 30, 2017, Monica Varsanyi, Associate Professor of Political Science at John Jay College and Doris Marie Provine, Professor Emerita of Social Inquiry at Arizona State University, held a book talk to discuss Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines.

On April 20, 2017, Ben Bierman, Associate Professor of Music at John Jay, held a book talk to discuss Listening to Jazz

On April 5, 2017, Michelle Holder, Assistant Professor of Economics at John Jay, held a book talk to discuss African American Men and the Labor Market during the Great Recession.

On March 6, 2017, Blanche Wiesen Cook, Distinguished Professor of History and Women's Studies, held a book talk to discuss, Eleanor Roosevelt III: The War Years and After

On November 15, 2016, Nathan Lents, Professor of Sciences, held a book talk to discuss, Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals

On October 13, 2016, Baz Dreisinger, Professor of English and Founder/Academic Director of the Prison to College Pipeline discussed her book , Incarceration Nations

On March 29, 2016, Arthur Browne, Editorial Page Editor for the NY Daily News, gave a book talk on, One Righteous Man: Samuel Battle and the Shattering of the Color Line in New York

On March 8, 2016, Professor Emerita Diana Gordon gave a book talk on, Village of Immigrants: Latinos in an Emerging America

On February 24, 2016, Joe Domanick, associate director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice, gave a book talk on, Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing.

On October 13, 2015, Professor Lucia Trimbur gave a talk on her book, Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason's Gym.

On October 27, 2015, Professor Jessica Gordon Nembhard gave a talk on her book, Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.

On November 5, 2015, Washington Post criminal justice blogger Radley Balko gave a talk on his book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.

Stay tuned for the recording of these events!