Dr. Lindsey Feldman
About Dr. Feldman
Since 2015, across multiple research and teaching projects, I interrogate the lived experiences and lasting impacts of the American carceral system on the humans within and betwixt its walls. I am interested in understanding how incarcerated individuals creatively express their identities and maintain a sense of selfhood while living under hyper-restrictive conditions, with a particular interest in how men navigate and resist dominant modes of masculine identity in the prison space. I theorize masculinities in the plural, in order to understand the inherent emergence of self identity, and to center dignity and possibility of incarcerated peoples in my images, writing, and action.
I am still publishing work and conducting interviews regarding my dissertation project on the experiences of labor for incarcerated wildland firefighters in Arizona. For this project I conducted 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork examining the meanings of skilled labor for incarcerated men. I utilized a multimodal approach, with photography being a central component to my ethnographic technique. I found that participating in this program was an experiential paradox. Incarcerated wildland firefighters are offered little pay for risky work, and have very limited chances of continuing this career on the outside. Yet simultaneously, the daily work of firefighting is very meaningful and in some cases transformative for those who participate. These meaningful experiences allow individuals to participate in dignity-affirming identity work, and thus offers a resistance to the social death of incarceration. One way this occurs is through the expression of inclusive masculinities on the fire crew, which defies the violence of the modern prison experience.
Across my career I have designed and implemented individual ethnographic research projects at the University of Arizona and at the University of Memphis, and I have worked collaboratively within agencies like the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology. I have taught several courses, ranging from a 160-person introductory course on race and the American dream, a 20 person undergraduate/graduate seminar on gender and social identity, and most recently, an undergraduate anthropology course at the University of Memphis called American Communities. This course, taught as part of the Inside Out Prison Education Program, was held each week alongside incarcerated scholars at the Shelby County Division of Corrections.
Expertise and Interests
Cultural criminology, masculinity, identity, justice studies, intersectional race and gender studies, anthropology of emotions, ethnography of prison, critical social theory
My current research project is a visual ethnography titled "In pursuit of the 'Good Man': An ethnographic examination of complex masculinities after release from prison." This project combines photo elicitation and a participatory photovoice methodologies to explore the psychosocial effects of masculine identity on recidivism rates for men being released from prison in Memphis, TN. This project will result in policy recommendations, a public photography exhibit, and scholarly writing.
Selected Publications and Talks
Feldman, Lindsey Raisa, and Michael Vicente Perez. 2020. Living at the LUX: Homelessness and Improvisational Waiting under COVID-19. Visual Anthropology Review 36(2):379-400.
Feldman, Lindsey Raisa. 2020. On the Possibilities of Emotional Praxis for Feminist Prison Research. In: Prison Stories: Women Scholars’ Experiences Doing Research Behind Bars. Jennifer Schlosser, editor. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
Feldman, Lindsey Raisa. 2019. Anti-Heroes, Wildfire, and the Complex Visibility of Prison Labor. Crime, Media, Culture 16(2)1-16.
Simmons, William and Lindsey Feldman. 2018. “Ethnographic Approaches: Lived Experiences.” In: Research Methods in Human Rights. Smith, Rhona, ed. NY: Routledge.
Feldman, Lindsey Raisa and Luminita Mandache. 2018. Emotional Overlap and the Analytic Potential of Emotions in Anthropology. Ethnography 20(2):227-244.
Feldman, Lindsey Raisa. 2018. Forging Selfhood: Social Categorisation and Identity in Arizona's Prison Wildfire Programme. Howard Journal of Crime and Justice 57(1):21-36.
Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting (virtual), 2021. Chair of COPAA sponsored roundtable titled “COPAA Department Reflections on Applied Anthropology Training.”
Central States Anthropology Conference, Memphis, TN. Invited talk as featured speaker, titled, “Intimate Masculinities and the Complexities of Self-Making in an Arizona Prison Labor Program.” April 2019.
Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, March 19-22, 2019. Author of paper titled “Seeing Humanity: The Role of Visual Anthropology in Prison Research.”
Mississippi State University, Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies, Starkville MS. Invited talk titled “Forging Selfhood: Identity, Masculinity, and Work in Arizona’s Inmate Wildfire Program.” February 2019.
American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 14-18 2017. Author of paper titled “Men In Flames: Wildfire, Vulnerability, and Gendered Resistance in a U.S. Prison.”
University of Cambridge, UK, Prison Research Centre. Invited talk titled “Meanings of Work for Incarcerated Men: Arizona’s Inmate Wildfire Program.” October 2016
2017. Association of Political and Legal Anthropology. Winner, Graduate Student Paper Award
2016. Howard League Conference on Justice and Penal Reform. Winner, Best PhD Pape
2016. Riecker Dissertation Completion Grant (University of Arizona)
2015. Diebold Applied Anthropology Research Grant (University of Arizona)
• ANTH 4416/6416 Culture, Identity and Power
Courses Previously Taught
• Race and the American Dream (University of Arizona)
• Gender and Social Identity (University of Arizona)