Dan Berger

Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, University of Washington, Bothell
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About Dan

Berger's research focuses on the history of mass incarceration and its connection to movements for racial and economic justice. His work focuses on how prisons magnify inequality, how American social movements have contended with the realities of mass incarceration, and the challenges of decarceration in the contemporary moment. He is a blogger for Black Perspectives, has written for a variety of national as well as scholarly publications, and has served as coordinator of the Critical Prison Studies Caucus of the American Studies Association.


Why Incarcerated People Hold the Keys to Prison Reform

In the News

"Are Florida Prisons Suppressing an Inmate Strike or Just Lying about It?," Dan Berger, The Washington Post, January 24, 2018.
"When White Supremacists Strike, Police Don't Always Strike Back," Dan Berger, The Washington Post, August 18, 2017.
"Mass Incarceration and Its Mystification: A Review of The 13th," Dan Berger, Black Perspectives, October 22, 2016.


Rethinking the American Prison Movement (with Toussaint Losier) (Routledge, 2018).

Discusses the forced labor camps of the nineteenth century to the rebellious protests of the 1960s and 1970s to the rise of mass incarceration and its discontents. Chronicles the history of American prisons and the struggles for justice still echoing in the present day.

Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Shows how Black activists throughout the civil rights era thrust the prison into public view, turning prisoners into symbols of racial oppression while arguing that confinement was an inescapable part of Black life in the United States.