Jennifer Lackey

Jennifer Lackey

Fellow: Awarded 2021
Field of Study: Philosophy

Competition: US & Canada

Jennifer Lackey is the Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University, the founding director of the Northwestern Prison Education Program, and the author of Learning from Words: Testimony as a Source of Knowledge and The Epistemology of Groups. Lackey works in social epistemology, examining how knowledge and other epistemic properties behave in social settings, including in groups and institutions like the judicial system. She also regularly teaches courses at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, IL, and at the Cook County Department of Corrections. Her next book project examines how testimony is often extracted from individuals in the United States criminal legal system through processes that are coercive, manipulative or deceptive, and is then unreasonably taken to represent the testifiers’ truest selves. Her work has been inspired by her students in the Northwestern Prison Education Program, whose own stories of extracted testimony through false confessions, eyewitness misidentifications, and coercive plea deals helped her see how undermining agency through widely used interrogation tactics inflicts a unique and pernicious form of injustice on testifiers.

Photo Credit: Baron Reed

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