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Congratulations to Criminal Justice Alum Justin Turner

Congratulations to Criminal Justice Alum Justin Turner

Justin Turner, a recent graduate of EKU’s Criminal Justice Master’s Program, has been awarded a PhD from Old Dominion University. His dissertation, titled “Killing the State: The Cultural Afterlife of Edward Byrne” examined the ways in which the death of police officers provides us a chance to understand our current histories. Engaging the political power of death, his dissertation analyzed the deaths of police officers as defining, and spectacular, events for the state. Focusing on the 1988 death of New York City Police Officer Edward Byrne that occurred at the height of the “crack epidemic”, Dr. Turner showed how a police officer’s death reveals the unequal politics of death in the contemporary US. Furthermore, he looked towards a thanatopolitics, a politics of death, to understand the ways in which Byrne’s death operated as a productive power for the state while subjecting marginalized communities and peoples of color to police power’s tactics of pulverization.

Dr. Turner has also developed research on understanding youth justice. Specifically, he has published an article in Social Justice that expands on the ways in which we understand youth in today’s neoliberal context. He is currently working, alongside fellow EKU Alum Travis Milburn, on a paper analyzing how security firms advertise products such as bullet-proof whiteboards and bullet-proof backpacks to school districts to satisfy their security needs.

Additionally, at ODU, where he was awarded a graduate assistantship in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Dr. Turner has taught both upper-level and introductory courses in criminology and sociology.

Beginning in Fall 2016, Dr. Turner will join the faculty in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, & Criminology at Morehead State University, where he will be teaching Theory and Juvenile Justice courses. There, he will continue his research on state power, police violence, and how death functions as a political power.

Published on July 13, 2016

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