Laurence Ralph

Laurence Ralph

Fellow: Awarded 2021
Field of Study: Anthropology and Cultural Studies

Competition: US & Canada

Laurence 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. Laurence’s work explores how police abuse, mass incarceration, and the drug trade make injury and premature death seem natural for urban residents of color. His first book, Renegade Dreams (Univ Chicago Press, 2014), received the C Wright Mills Award. Laurence’s second book, The Torture Letters (Univ 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.

Laurence 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 both the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Photo Credit: Sameer A. Kahn

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