About Me

This is the blog of Alex Elkins. I’m a Ph.D. Candidate at Temple University, in Philadelphia, though I currently live in southeastern Michigan. As of spring 2016 I’m also a lecturer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

I hope to use this space to try out ideas related to the dissertation and to offer commentary on current events pertaining to rioting and policing. I will also note my publications, academic and otherwise. You can find a more-or-less updated list of my recent writing under the Writing tab.

I am nearing completion of my dissertation, which is tentatively titled, “Battle of the Corner: Urban Uprising and Get-Tough Policing in the United States, 1943-1968.” I chose — after some delay — to title this blog “get-tough” because after several years of working on the dissertation I have come to realize that get-tough politics and police practices lie at its core. Get-tough has been the backbone of the U.S. system of punishment since the 1960s, the moment when it moved from an idea enacted locally by police to an idea embraced by state and national legislators. The riots were central to this shift.

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