Pozen Family Center for Human Rights Laboratory Fellowship

The Human Rights Lab offers an exciting fellowship opportunity for rising fourth-year students whose BA theses examine human rights issues related to prisons, policing, and the criminal legal system (e.g. solitary confinement, the criminalization of sexuality and reproduction, police misconduct and violence, felony disenfranchisement, selective enforcement, alternatives to incarceration).

The fellowship provides:

- A research grant of up to $500. After acceptance into the program, Fellows will submit a detailed budget for approval of up to $500 in funds to support research, including stipends for interviews, meals, books, local travel, and more.

- Support on methodology for human rights research and writing

- Facilitated peer workshops where students will have the opportunity to share drafts and give and receive feedback from other Fellows

- Opportunities to connect with scholars and community leaders with lived experience on related topics

- Access to shared work space in the Pozen Center

Learn more and apply at the Human Rights BA Fellowship page.

The inaugural 2019-2020 cohort of the Pozen Center Human Rights Lab Fellowship Program:

AK Alilonu (Public Policy, Computer Science)
AK's thesis will explore how Chicago residents respond to incidents of police misconduct, and what this says about the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and the neighborhoods it serves.

Britt Dorton (Comparative Human Development, Human Rights)
Britt is researching the long-term mental health impacts of solitary confinement. She is particularly interested in the effects it has long after a person is released from prison.

Emma Ecker (Global Studies, Human Rights)
Emma's thesis seeks to examine the social and structural forces that influence police and the criminal-legal system to criminalize human trafficking survivors. Despite national and state laws meant to protect trafficking victims from facing criminal charges, they are often kept in police custody, prosecuted, and incarcerated for crimes committed as a result of their victimization. This project hopes to reveal the causes of these lapses in legal protections in the hopes of improving a system that often fails survivors.

Taylor Fox (Political Science, Human Rights)
Taylor’s project illuminates the relationship between power and freedom in the context of contemporary prison struggles. Uniting theory and discursive analysis of interviews with National Prison Strike organizers, her project raises questions about the possibilities and challenges for transformative prisoner-led social movements.

Alisha Harris (Public Policy, Human Rights)
Alisha is researching Radical Politics and government intervention as human rights issues through the comparative lens of the Black Panther Party (during the decade 1964 through 1974) and the current Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.

Ayo Idowu (Public Policy, Geography)
Ayo's thesis explores the spatial dimension of prison punishment by analyzing electronic monitoring. Using Cook County as a case study, her thesis uses geographic and policy texts to explore the future of U.S. prison reform. 

Madi Norman (Political Science, Philosophy and Allied Fields)
Madi’s thesis investigates the liberal tendency to seek gender justice through policing and punishment. In particular, the thesis uses discourse analysis and political theory to explore contemporary iterations of carceral feminism in recent political struggles, as well as their popularity despite a growing mainstream critique of mass incarceration.

Philip O’Sullivan (History, Math)
Philip is writing his thesis on a history of federal police misconduct lawsuits in Chicago in the 1960s.

Evan Zhao (Sociology, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies)
Evan conducts qualitative research on modernity and sexuality in China using interviews and ethnographic methods. Inspired by his bicultural upbringing, Evan's project questions totalizing notions of neoliberal identity politics, offering a historicist and culturally interpretive approach towards a politics of difference. Focusing on the relationship between globalization, the state, and civil society, he has spent the past two summers exploring local and international communities in urban China.