I study the historical origins of racial inequality in incarceration in the United States, the social consequences of mass imprisonment, and the long-term effects of slavery and the economic institutions that succeeded it. I am generally interested in historical approaches to the study of inequality. 

My dissertation examines racial inequality in American incarceration in the postbellum South, during the Great Migration, and following postwar suburbanization. I have previously written on the relationship between mass imprisonment and trust in the law, poverty, health, and family life, on tenancy and marriage in the postbellum South, and on the relevance of pragmatist philosophy to sociology.

With a group of graduate students and professors in sociology and history, I co-founded and co-coordinate the Workshop in History, Culture, and Society, an interdisciplinary workshop on history and historical social science.  I am also affiliated with the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.