Emily Kaufman

  • PhD Student
  • Instructor
  • Geography
  • Social Theory
818 Patterson Office Tower
Other Affiliations:
  • American Association of Geographers
  • Hannah Arendt Center
  • University of Kentucky Committee on Social Theory
Research Interests:

MA, Socio-Legal Studies, The International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain
MA, Geography, Syracuse University
BA, Geography and Women's and Gender Studies, Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon


I have explored discourses of fear that demarcate 'dangerous bodies', and resulting lived experiences. My BA thesis examined how welfare reform strategically used fear and disgust to control the fertility of poor women of color. My Geography MA thesis analyzed the convergence of experimental policies of social control within a neighborhood, focusing on the everyday experience of those whose bodies, behaviors, and mobility is criminalized. It also examined how a conditional cash transfer addressed issues of national and global security at the scale of the household and the body. My Socio-Legal MA thesis examined social control through emplacement and ex-placement. To banish the fear once associated with Bryant Park, design and marketing strategies branded elements like trash as in-place, while marking certain bodies and behaviors as 'unclean' and 'unsafe' and thereby out of place. 

Current research is on New York City strategies of containment and control, particularly crime mapping, hot-spots-policing, biometric data gathering, and police street-stops. I investigate how such tactics at times literally reach into the body, investigating, disciplining, and recording biometric, social, and spatial data. How is this technological profiling experienced in everyday life? In what ways do 'dangerous' bodies move through or become constrained within public space? My dissertation focus will shift to the lived experiences of young Black children in New York City police hot-spots.


By appointment, POT 818

Selected Publications: 

Kaufman, E (2016) Policing Mobilities Through Bio-Spatial Profiling in New York City. Political Geography 55, 72-81

Kaufman, E (2015). Bryant Park as a Site of Production: Revenue and Social Control. Emily Kaufman. Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 26 (4)

Kaufman, E (2013). The Dangers of Desiring the Law's Discipline. Book review of Yvonne Zylan's States of Passion: Law, Identity, and the Social Construction of Desire. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique 26 (4)

Kaufman, E. and Nelson, L (2012). Malthus, gender and the demarcation of ‘dangerous’ bodies in 1996 US welfare reform. Gender, Place & Culture 19 (4)

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