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

  • "Taxing the Poor: Incarceration, Poverty, Governance, and the Seizure of Family Resources" with Maureen Waller.  Perspectives on Politics.  13. 2015
  • "When All Else Fails, Fining the Family; First Person Accounts of Criminal Justice Debt" with Mitali Nagrecha and Estelle Davis.  Center for Community Alternatives  2015
  • "Neoliberalism, Race, and the American Welfare State; a Discussion of Disciplining the Poor, Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race by Joe Soss, Richard C. Fording and Sanford D. Schram, Review Symposium.  Perspectives on Politics.  10. 2012
  • "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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