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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

W.E.B. Du Bois Department

Toussaint Losier, Assistant Professor





Room 321, New Africa House, 545-2751


Office Hours: and by appointment


Fall 2016

AFROAM 161, Introduction to African American Political Science

AFROAM 692U, Dynamics of Race and the Law


Brief Biography

Toussaint Losier is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. he is in the process of completing his book manuscript entitled War for the Cities: Mass Incarceration, Black Liberation, and the Remaking of the Carceral State.

Drawing on a history of the prisoner’s rights and police reform movements centered in Chicago’s black neighborhoods, this book examines the post-WWII shifts in policing, sentencing, and incarceration that spurred the growth of the Illinois’ prison population. Through a close examination of the responses by local, county, and state officials to these organizing efforts, this book calls attention to the way in which these movements – and the broader struggle for Black Liberation that informed them – deeply impacted the legal and administrative changes that spurred the crisis of mass incarceration. Losier’s research and teaching interests include African American history, nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history, modern African and Caribbean history, slavery and capitalism, the state and social movements, and the politics of abolition.

Prior to coming to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Losier held the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has also been the recipient of a number of fellowships and grants, including the Social Science Research Council’s Dissertation Completion Grant, the Mellon Mays Dissertation Fellowship, and the Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellowships. He is currently a fellow in the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.




War for the Cities: Mass Incarceration, Black Liberation, and the Remaking of the Carceral State (Book manuscript in preparation)

(co-authored with Dan Berger) Rethinking the American Prison Movement (Routledge, Book Manuscript in Preparation)

“‘We oppose the authorities because we never gave them the authority …’:  Aspects of Non-Collaboration in the Political Resonance of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign,” in Gary Minkley and Richard Pithouse, Ed., Out of Order: Popular Struggles in Contemporary South Africa (University of Fort Hare Press, Forthcoming)


 “’…For Strictly Religious Reason[s]’: Cooper v. Pate and the Origins of the Prisoners’ Rights Movement,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society (Summer 2013)


 “Jean Anil Louis-Juste, Prezan!” Radical History Review (Winter 2013)