- Ph.D., University of Chicago
Laurence Ralph is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University. He earned a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Science from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he majored in history, technology and society.
In 2014 Laurence’s first book, Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago, was published by the University of Chicago Press. This book grapples with the consequences of the “war on drugs” together with mass incarceration, the ramifications of heroin trafficking for HIV infected teenagers, the perils of gunshot violence and the ensuing disabilities that gang members suffer. Investigating this encompassing context allows him to detail the social forces that make Black urban residents vulnerable to disease and disability. Renegade Dreams received the C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) in 2015.
Laurence’s latest book, The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores a decades-long scandal in which 125 were tortured while in police custody.