MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Students in a winter term course titled Policing the Globe: The Historical Origins of Contemporary Police Power, explored a wide range of subjects, and have shared several podcasts resulting from their research. Taught by Professor of the Practice Amit Prakash, the course explored a trend toward police militarization that has taken place around the world.
“The students completed remarkable final projects that included papers on such topics as the politics of body-worn cameras, paramilitary units and protest suppression in Nicaragua, stop-and-frisk in New York City, and a theoretical analysis of police violence as a form of contemporary state power,” said Prakash. “Additionally, a number of students produced podcasts that included interviews with the Addison County sheriff, the chief of police of Middlebury, and a global expert on masculinity who provided a gender analysis of police culture and training.”
The course was designed to trace the historical origins of police militarization by investigating the rise of modern police forces in the 19th century, the history of European colonialism, decolonization, and the Cold War. Students also studied the contemporary policing of dissent.
In one podcast episode, Grace Vedock ’20 presented “Militarized Masculinity: Examining the ‘Cult of Masculinity’ in Policing.” Miles McQueen ’20 presented “Dissent from Within: Stories of Minority Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department” in his podcast episode. A third episode, “Local and Federal Law Enforcement Surveillance in the U.S. Post-9/11,” was produced by a team of students including Julian DiPersio ’20, Jack Purcell ’20, and Cameron MacKintosh ’20. And Nate Gunesch ’21 and Peter Sergay ’22 interviewed the Addison County sheriff for their podcast episode titled “Local Police Militarization.”
The class website, including presentations and podcasts, can be found here.