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Valerie Jenness to Speak at Susquehanna University

Published on October 25, 2012

The University of California-Irvine’s Valerie Jenness will discuss the implications of genderValerie Jenness in prison on Nov. 7 at 7:15 p.m. in Susquehanna University’s Faylor Hall, located in Fisher Hall. The talk is free and open to the public.
Jenness is dean of the School of Social Ecology and a professor in the departments of Criminology, Law and Society, and Sociology at the University of California-Irvine. She recently completed the first systematic, empirical study of male-to-female transgender inmates in men’s prisons in California. Based on this research, her talk offers insights into the experiences of transgender inmates in prisons for men, and how gender roles, behaviors and expectations can shift in such sex-segregated institutions.

During the two days Jenness will spend on campus, she will offer a senior seminar in sociology and serve as a guest lecturer in such courses as Psychology of Gender and Crime and Justice.

Michael Smyth, assistant professor of sociology and director of the Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society at Susquehanna, said he is “pleased to present a scholar of this stature to the Susquehanna community. I imagine that exposure to Jenness’ research will be a unique and broadening experience for all concerned.”

Jenness’ years of scholarly research have focused on the politics of crime control and criminalization, the nexus between law enforcement and marginalized communities, and public policy related to policing and incarceration. Her research has garnered awards from numerous institutions, including the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. She has presented her work at conferences in more than 12 countries, as well as to the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Congress. Jenness has served as editor for such sociological publications as Contemporary Sociology, Criminology, Social Problems, and Gender & Society.

Sponsored by Susquehanna University’s Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society, Jenness’ talk is part of “The Adams Center Presents” series, a showcase for speakers of national and international stature confronting critical issues related to law and society. In addition to sponsoring high-profile speakers, the Adams Center provides a forum and research opportunities for examining issues that affect human rights and social responsibility, involve science and technology, or require constitutional interpretation.


Karen M. Jones

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