Social and Cultural Sciences
A cultural sociologist by training, Dr. Degenshein (Ph.D. 2019, Northwestern) examines the scope and consequences of the contemporary U.S. criminal justice system, with a particular interest in its relationship to social inequality. Her award-winning research has appeared in Punishment & Society, Theory & Society and Contexts.
Dr. Degenshein’s current book project, tentatively titled Speculative Justice: Adjudicating the Future in Counterterrorism Stings, investigates the adjudication of future wrongdoing in the courts through the rhetorical tactics that uphold, and challenge, it. The book is the first systematic examination of how the courts engage in future governance, producing punishment outcomes from counterfactual storytelling about what would have been but never was. Past research projects include an ethnography of a Chicago pawnshop as well as a study of Illinois prosecutorial lobbying that uses both FOIA-requested audio files of legislative hearings and in-depth interviews.
Dr. Degenshein is a member of the Northwestern University Society of Fellows and an inaugural instructor in Marquette’s Education Preparedness Program (EPP). Previously, she worked as an English as a Foreign Language teacher in Santiago, Chile, as well as a Court Advocate in the Manhattan felony courts for the Fortune Society's alternative to incarceration programs.
Introduction to Law Studies; Criminal Law and Procedure; Criminological Theory; Surveillance, Law and Society
Law and Society; Punishment; Surveillance and Prediction; Discourse and Narrative; Social Theory; Racial and Economic Inequalities
Court Advocate in the Manhattan Felony Courts for the Fortune Society’s alternative to incarceration program (2009-2011)
Degenshein, Anya. 2023. "Ruptured alliances: Prosecutorial lobbying, victims’ interests and punishment policy in Illinois." Punishment & Society, 25(2): 407–429
- Degenshein, Anya. 2020. “The Object Economy: ‘Alternative’ Banking in Chicago,” Contexts (19)1: 18-23
- Degenshein, Anya. 2017. “Strategies of Valuation: Repertoires of Worth at the Financial Margins,” Theory and Society 46(5): 387-409
- ASA Sociology of Culture Graduate Student Paper Award, 2018
- Sociology Open Access Recognition award, SocArXiv, 2018
- Winch Prize for Best Paper Published or Presented, Northwestern Sociology, 2018