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PhD  Yale University, African American Studies and Sociology  (2006)
MA   University of London, Culture, Communication and Societies (1999)
BA    Brown University, American Studies and Human Ecology (1997)


Lucia Trimbur is an Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center as well as a Global Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her doctoral degree in African American studies and sociology at Yale University. Her work focuses on the relationships among embodied practices, perceptions of racial, class, and gender difference, and hierarchies of power. Her first book, Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason's Gym, was published on Princeton University Press in 2013. She is currently working on her second book, Lights Out: The Creation of the Concussion Crisis, under contract with Columbia University Press, which looks at how rule changes in American football transform the play of the game as well as attitudes toward and investments in the sport. Specifically she is interested in how increasing attention to the neurological conditions produced by concussive and subconcussive hits is altering both the regulations by which football is practiced and the interpretations that participants make in response. Her work has been published in academic journals such as the American Studies JournalAntipode, ContextsEthnography, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, Qualitative Sociology, and Quest as well as popular journals such as The Allrounder and Urban Omnibus.  


Courses Taught

The Graduate Center

Contemporary Social Theory, Sociology PhD Program

Classical Social Theory, Sociology PhD Program

Independent Study, Sociology PhD Program

Thesis Supervision, Liberal Studies Program

Introduction to American Studies/ American Social Institutions: The Rise and Fall of the American Prison, Program in American Studies/ Liberal Studies Program

Dissertation Supervision, Sociology and Criminal Justice PhD Programs

Race, Racisms, and Punishment, Criminal Justice Department

Social Theories of Crime, Criminal Justice PhD Program

John Jay College

Social Inequality, Department of Sociology

Teenagers and Punishment, Department of Sociology

Senior Seminar, Honors Program

Theories of Social Order, Department of Sociology

Revenge and Forgiveness, Interdisciplinary Studies Program 

Violence and Justice, Interdisciplinary Studies Program 

Immigration and Its Discontents, Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Human Trafficking, Department of Sociology

Senior Seminar: Writings from Prison, Department of Sociology

Justice and the Individual, Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Solitary Confinement: Real and Imagined, Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Slavery, Sex, and Human Trafficking, Interdisciplinary Studies Program 

Controlled Violence: The Fighting Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Political Prisoners, Political Imprisonment, Department of Sociology

Citizen, Subject, State, Department of Sociology 

Introduction to Sociology, Department of Sociology 

Professional Memberships

American Sociological Association; American Studies Association (Critical Prison Studies Caucus, Ethnography Caucus, Sports Studies Caucus); Collegium for African American Research; Eastern Sociological Society; London Conference on Critical Thought

Scholarly Work

Works in Progress

Lights Out: The Creation of the Concussion Crisis (under contract with Columbia University Press)   


2013  Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason’s Gym. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

forthcoming  “All in Their Heads: Sport Activism and the Fight Against Race Correction in the National Football League’s Concussion Settlement.” In Athletic Activism: Global Perspectives on Social Transformation, edited by Jeffrey Montez de Oca and Stanley Thangaraj. Bingley, England: Emerald Publishing.

forthcoming  “The Moral Economy of the Urban Gym.” In Rings of Dissent: Boxing and the Performance of Rebellion, edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson, David J. Leonard, and Rudolfo Mondragón. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press.

2021  “Lights Out: The NFL, Concussion Research, and the Duty of Care.” In The Politics of Sport Injury, edited by Stephen Wagg and Allyson Pollock. London: Palgrave MacMillan.         

2020  “Boxing and Black Culture.” In African American Culture: An Encyclopedia of People, Traditions, and Customs, edited by Omari L. Dyson, Judson L. Jeffries, and Kevin L. Brooks. Greenwood Press: Santa Barbara, CA. 

2019  “Taking a Knee, Making a Stand: Social Justice, the Politics of Sport, and Trump America.” Quest 72(2).

2016  “Studying Sport in the University: Some Problematics and Problems.” American Studies Journal 55(3). 

2011  “Buying and Selling Blackness: White-Collar Boxing and Racialized Consumerism.” In Modes of Social Identification and Division: Reconsidering the Structures of Race, Gender, Class, and Caste, edited by Abdul JanMohamad. London: Routledge Press. 

2011  “‘Tough Love’: Mediation and Articulation in the Urban Boxing Gym.” Ethnography 12(3). 

2009  “‘Me and the Law is Not Friends’: How Former Prisoners Make Sense of Reentry.” Qualitative Sociology 32(3).

Popular Press, Policy Reports, Briefing Papers

2021  The NFL's Reversal on 'Race Normin' Reveals How Pervasive Medical Racism Remains with Lundy Braun. NBC Think

2020  “Race-ing the NFL: How Anti-Black Standards Are Built into the 2015 Concussion Settlement” with Lundy Braun. Tropics of Meta

2020  Sport, Presidents and the US Election” with Grant Jarvie and Yujun Xu. Sports Observations Briefing Paper. Edinburgh: Academy of Sport, University of Edinburgh. 

2020  “Sport, Protest and Black Lives Matter” with Grant Jarvie and Yujun Xu. Sports Observations Briefing Paper. Edinburgh: Academy of Sport, University of Edinburgh.

2018  “Method for Determining the Probability of Silicosis in Deceased Claimants with No Medica Records.” Report submitted to the Q(h)ubeka Trust, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

2008  “Report of the Subcommittee on Incarceration and Reentry.” Submitted to the New York State Sentencing Commission.

2001  “Asbestos in South Africa” with Lundy Braun et al. Submitted to the South African Parliament. Cape Town, South Africa. 

Invited Articles

2016  “Change Doesn’t Necessarily Mean A Paycheck.” Contexts Fall.

2016  “Still My Brother.” The Allrounder.

2015  “Finding Mike Tyson.” The Allrounder.

2015  “The Professor’s Guide to Pugilism: How to Watch the Fight of the Century.” The Allrounder. 

2014  “Rings of Refuge: The Boxing Gym in a Shrinking City.” Urban Omnibus

2007  “Boxing ‘For a Living’ in Brooklyn.” In Critical Solidarity 7(2). 


2021  Review (invited) of Coerced: Work Under the Threat of Punishment by Erin Hatton. Contemporary Sociology, 51(5).

2017  Review (invited) of Doing Qualitative Research: The Craft of Naturalistic Inquiry by Joost Beuving and Geert de Vries. Contemporary Sociology, 46(5).

2015  Review of Military Migrants: Fighting For YOUR Country by Vron Ware. Antipode.                            

2013  Review (invited) of Searching for SugarmanNew Labor Forum 22(2). 

2012  Review (invited) of Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America by Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 39(2).

2003  Review (invited) of Environmental Justice in South Africa by David McDonald. African Studies Review 46(1). 


Fall 2016  Editor (with Noah Cohan, Daniel Gilbert, and Theresa Runstedtler), American Studies Journal Special Issue on “Sport in the University.” 

Honors and Awards

Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies; Global Fellow, The Academy of Sport, The University of Edinburgh; Honourable Mention for the 2014 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Outstanding Book Award; Faculty Fellow, The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center; Dean’s List for Teaching Excellence Award, John Jay College; Faculty Fellowship Publication Program recipient, CUNY Graduate Center.