Mary Fainsod Katzenstein

Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies, Emerita


Mary Fainsod Katzenstein is the Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies, Emerita.  You can find her CV here. Her most recent work addresses the newly developing practice of "taxing the poor" as an intended or unwitting offshoot of particular policies (levying fines and fees) associated with mass incarceration. Her earlier work has focused on political activism and gender in the United States and cross-nationally and on ethnic activism in India.  Professor Katzenstein is currently teaching a course on incarceration in a distance learning format, DL Government 3141, over winter break and in the summer session. 


Academic Articles

  • Jacob Swanson and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, "Turning Over the Keys: Public Prisons, Private Equity, and the Normalization of Markets Behind Bars," Perspectives on Politics October 2021
  • Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Nolan Bennett and Jacob Swanson, "Alabama is US: Concealed Fees in Jails and Prisons" CJLR, UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review Vol. IV 2020
  • Rosemary Batt and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, “Importance of ongoing contact for prisoners,” The Hill, 04/1//8/20

  • Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, guest editor, “Teaching Politics in Jails and Prisons” PS January 2019, Vol 52, No. 1. Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Julie Ajinkya and Erin Corbett, “Introduction: Teaching
    Politics in Jails and Prisons.”

  • Mary Fainsod Katzenstein and Jill Frank, “Why Teach in Prison: Co-Constructing the Prison Classroom,” PS January 2019, Vol 52, No. 1.

  • “Human Dignity and the Incarcerated,” What Makes Us Human? Cornell University Podcast series November 2017

  • "Institutionalizing Debt; Child Support and the Fines and Fees Regime" with Mitali Nagrecha. Criminology Public Policy.  August. 2011

  • "Felony Disenfranchisement and the Dark Side of American Liberalism" with Leila Mohsen Ibrahim and Katharine D. Rubin.  Perspectives on Politics.  8:1035-1054. 2010


  • Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics.  Lanham, MD: Rowman Littlefield Publishers. 2005
  • Beyond Zero Tolerance; Discrimination and the Culture of the US Military with Judith Reppy.  Rowman and Allan Held. 1999
  • Faithful and Fearless: Moving Feminist Protest inside the Church and the Military.  Princeton University Press . 1998


  • Rights without Citizenship: Activist Politics and Prison Reform in the United States.  Routing the Opposition: Social Movements, Public Policy, and Democracy. 2005
  • "Redividing Citizens", Divided Feminisms: The Reconfigured U.S. State and Women's Citizenship. Women Movement Facing the Reconfigured State. 2003
  • Social Movement Politics in India: Institutions, Interests, and Identities.  The Success of India's Democracy. 2001

Editorial Article

  • "Book 'Em" with Glenn Altschuler Inside Higher Education, March 3 2014
  • "State would be smart to educate prisoners" Albany Times Union Feb 21 2014


  • Defiant Dads.  Perspectives on Politics. 2010

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