Elizabeth K. Hinton

Associate Professor of History & African American Studies and Professor of Law


Elizabeth Hinton is Associate Professor of History in the Department of History and the Department of African American Studies at Yale, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Law at the Law School.

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Elizabeth Hinton

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Education & Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Columbia University, 2013

M.Phil., Columbia University, 2008

M.A., Columbia University, 2007

B.A., New York University, 2005

Courses Taught


Elizabeth Hinton is Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Department of African American Studies at Yale, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Law at the Law School.

Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty, racial inequality, and urban violence in the 20th century United States. She is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on criminalization and policing. 

In her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press), Hinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that transformed domestic social policies and laid the groundwork for the expansion of the U.S. prison system. In revealing the links between the rise of the American carceral state and earlier anti-poverty programs, Hinton presents Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of a shift towards surveillance and confinement that began during the Johnson administration.

Before joining the Yale faculty, Hinton was a Professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. A Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation Fellow, Hinton completed her Ph.D. in United States History from Columbia University in 2013.

Hinton’s articles and op-eds can be found in the pages of the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban HistoryThe New York TimesThe Atlantic, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Time. She also coedited The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan) with the late historian Manning Marable.

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