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Acknowledgments Since finishing my PhD, I have taught at three different institutions in as many states. The result has been no small amount of personal and professional chaos but also the good fortune of connecting with many extraordinary people without whom this project would not have come to fruition. I am undoubtedly leaving some people out, but hopefully they know how much I value them. Deciding to leave Illinois for the first time in my life to pursue a PhD at the University of Texas was difficult, but ultimately transformative. I chose UT in order to work with Dana Cloud, who quickly became, and remains, one of my dearest friends and comrades. She is family. Her guidance through this project and countless others taught me to be a careful reader of texts and theory. She also continues to motivate me to account for the fact that rheto­ ric has real consequences for people and their communities. Whatever talents or virtues I currently possess as a professional, activist, and, in many respects, a person would not exist without Dana’s influence. Several other mentors have helped shape this project, in­clud­ ing Barry Brummett , Jennifer Fuller, Josh Gunn, and Stephen Hartnett. Other senior scholars inside and outside the communication discipline have provided support in the form of direct feedback on this project or by simply taking me seriously as a scholar early in my career. Thus I am grateful to Harry Cleaver, Dan Brouwer, Rick Cherwitz, Randy Cox, Rod Hart, Chuck Morris, and John Sloop. Those friends and colleagues who entered this line of work at or around the same time as I did also helped make this book project a reality. Thank you to my Indianapolis writing group, consisting of Casey Kelly, Kristen Hoerl, and xviii / Acknowledgments Jonathan Rossing, for their feedback on some of the earliest versions of this project . I am also grateful to Matt May and Jeff Bennett for allowing me to model my book proposal after theirs. Other peers, scattered across the country, whose excellent scholarship, generous engagements with my work, and friendship helped inspire this monograph in vari­ous ways, include Jennifer Asenas, Adria Battaglia, Diana Bowen, Karma Chávez, Lisa Corrigan, Amanda Davis-­ Gatchet, Roger Davis-­ Gatchet, Johanna Hartelius, Kevin Johnson, Amber Kelsie, Matt Morris, Tiara Na’puti, Kristen Stimpson, Luke Winslow, Jaime Wright, and Amy Young. The members of the Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education collective (PCARE), especially Lindsey Badger, Ed Hinck, Karen Lovaas, Eleanor Novek, Emily Plec, Jennifer Wood, and Bill Yousman, have consistently energized my commitment to this project, as well as engaged scholarship and activism regarding crime and pub­ lic culture in general. Since 2009, I have taught at Marian University in Indianapolis, Wayne State University in Detroit, and, currently, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Colleagues past and present have supported this project in a variety of ways. I offer deep thanks to Sarah Becker, Dana Berkowitz, Graham Bodie, Jim Cherney, Chris Collins, Gay Lynn Crossley, Renee Edwards, Stephen Finley, Stephanie Houston Grey, Rachel Hall, Jim Honeycutt, Ashley Jones-­ Bodie, ­ Loraleigh Keishly, Andy King, George LaMaster, John LeBret, Judith Moldenhauer, Loretta Pecchioni, Kashif Powell, Billy Saas (who generously provided feedback on portions of this book), Tracy Stephenson Shaffer, Trish Suchy, David Terry, Sue Wein­ stein, and Kelly Young. This project also owes much to the energy and talents of students past and present, both graduate and undergraduate. Whether we had a series of conversations about the subjects covered in this book or shared moments that reminded me why I do what I do, I thank Michael Alt­house, ­Nygel Anderson, Minu Basnet, Brandon Bumstead, Savannah Ganster, Raquel Robvais , Cynthia Sampson, Taylor Scott, Matthew Tougas, the students of Marian University’s Peace and Justice Studies Program, and my forensics students over the years. Furthermore, I thank the far-­too-­of­ten unsung heroes of every department where I have ever worked. The work of amazing administrative profession­ als like Donna Sparks and Tonya Romero make all of our scholarship, teaching, and service possible. My interest in the cultural politics of race and crime is fundamentally inspired by my encounters with a vast community of activists. The idea for the project emerged during my time doing anti-­death-­penalty work in Texas and its development benefited from explicit conversations about the subject matter with fellow activists and, crucially, from the plain fact that doing grassroots work has helped keep me honest and focused on the very real consequences of mass...


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