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Watson Postdoc Benjamin D. Weber

Benjamin D. Weber

Benjamin D. Weber

Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies at the University of California, Davis
Postdoctoral Fellow in International and Public Affairs, 2019-2020


Benjamin Weber is an interdisciplinary scholar of African American History, Carceral Studies, and International Legal and Political Thought. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 2017, and served as ACLS Mellon Public Fellow in New Orleans. He is at work on his first book, a history of race, incarceration, and empire, under contract with The New Press. 

Ben has been recognized for his teaching and new media work, including being named the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the United States, and winning and Omni Gold Award for the Calderwood US History Series produced by WGBH Boston for PBS Learning Media. He has worked as a Senior Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice and Alternate ROOTS, and as a public high school teacher in Los Angeles. 

This fall, he will join the faculty at the University of California, Davis, as Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies. 



Benjamin D. Weber, American Purgatory: Race, Empire, and the Carceral State, The New Press (under contract), 2021

Benjamin D. Weber, The Strange Career of the Convict Clause: US Prison Imperialism in the Panamá Canal Zone, International Labor and Working-Class History (forthcoming), 2019

Benjamin D. Weber, Fearing the Flood: Prison Revolt and Counterinsurgency in the US-Occupied Philippines, International Review of Social History, 2018        

Benjamin D. Weber, Fugitive Justice: The Possible Futures of Prison Records from US Colonial Rule in the Philippines, Archive Journal, 2017

Benjamin D. Weber, Teaching Histories of Race and Incarceration in the Prison Capital of the World, American Federation of Teachers Journal, 2016

Benjamin D. Weber, Geography for Civic Action in East Los Angeles, in Todd Kenreich, ed., Geography for Social Justice in the Classroom (New York: Routledge), 2012 


Slow Drag in the Big Uneasy, BlueSpark Collaborative, (creative producer), 2020

Visions of Justice in New Orleans, Vera Institute of Justice, (director), 2017

Sentenced to Slavery, Stuck in Jim Crow, States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories, (director), 2016

Slavery in Effect: A History Design Studio Briefing (prod. Vincent Brown),  Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, (guest scholar), 2016

The Calderwood US History Series with Historian Ben Weber, WGBH Boston and PBS Learning Media, (series host), 2015

Primary Sources of the Civil Rights Movement, Congressional Moments, Center on Congress & Teaching with Primary Sources, (guest scholar), 2013


Beyond Money Bail: Looking Back to Move Ahead, Vera Institute of Justice’s Think Justice Blog, June 27, 2018

Bail Bondage: The Price of Freedom, The Advocate / The Gambit (cover story), June 4, 2018

New Orleans’ Money Bond System Puts a Price on Freedom, Report Says, The Times-Picayune / Nola.com, May 14, 2018

New Exhibit at Ogden Profiles History of Mass Incarceration, Imprisonment in U.S., The Gambit, April 6, 2017

Mom of Jailed No Limit Rapper Talks Impact of Incarceration: ‘Not Just a DOC Number,’ The Times-Picayune / NOLA.com, April 22, 2017

Mellon Foundation Awards $150,000 Grant to the Humanities Action Lab, Including University of New Orleans, UNO Campus News, February 13, 2017

National Endowment for the Humanities Gives $250,000 Grant to Coalition that Includes University of New Orleans, UNO Campus News, January 22, 2016

What is the Meaning of Death while Serving Life? Prison Photography, 2016