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Post-Doctoral Research Associate- Appalachian Justice Research Center

Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Tennessee

Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024
Post-Doctoral Research Associate- Appalachian Justice Research Center - 2400000145



Post-Doctoral Fellow: The Criminalization of Pregnancy After Dobbs

College of Law / Appalachian Justice Research Center (https://ajrc.utk.edu/)

THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF LAW and the University’s newly-created

APPALACHIAN JUSTICE RESEARCH CENTER (AJRC) invite applications for a two-year

post-doctoral research fellow to join a multi-institution research team funded to document the

criminalization of pregnancy in the United States in the three years after the Supreme Court’s decision

in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Between 2006 and 2022 there were at least 1,400 arrests based

on pregnancy-related conduct in the United States. The vast majority of these cases took place in five

southern states and involved an allegation of substance use by the defendant during pregnancy. While

there has been significant speculation as to the nature and extent of pregnancy criminalization after

Dobbs, there is no good data on this question. This study has been funded to fill that gap. The research

team is led by Professor Wendy A. Bach, the author of Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care and

includes Dr. Michelle Brown, a criminologist in the Department of Sociology at the University of

Tennessee; Professor Madalyn Wasilczuk, at the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of

Law; state-level researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Alabama; and

researchers housed at Pregnancy Justice, a national non-profit that defends the civil and human rights

of pregnant people, focusing on those most likely to be targeted for investigation, arrest, detention or

family separation – poor people, people of color, and people who use drugs.

The full study includes an extensive, multi-institution effort to locate and describe every case of

pregnancy criminalization in the states during the three-year period after Dobbs. While the

post-doctoral fellow will participate in that work, the fellow will work primarily with Professors Bach,

Wasilczuk, and Brown as well researchers at Pregnancy Justice and grassroots partners to design and

conduct in-depth case studies of individuals whose pregnancies were criminalized during the relevant

period. This will likely include extensive travel and interviews of both former defendants and a wide

range of actors in the case of each included defendant. In addition, the fellow will work with

Professors Bach and Wasilczuk to document other aspects of pregnancy criminalization.

While this is primarily a research fellowship, the fellow will also participate in activities of the

Appalachian Justice Research Center and be mentored by scholars affiliated with the center. The

AJRC, which is co-directed by Professors Bach and Brown, is a transdisciplinary research and training

collaborative which leverages university resources to address urgent protracted and historically

under-addressed issues in the region. Among its innovations is the Appalachian Justice Research Lab,

a transdisciplinary curricular space in which faculty supervise students across disciplines in research

projects responsive to community articulated needs. The fellow will have the opportunity to teach and

supervise students in this research lab as a part of the fellowship.

Both the College of Law and the Department of Sociology at UTK have strong international

reputations for excellence. We have built a mutually supportive and collegial atmosphere in which

scholars make a variety of important contributions to research, teaching, and public engagement. We

seek candidates who can contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the

University. Currently the University has more than 29,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate

students. The City of Knoxville has an attractive and walkable downtown, active neighborhoods, and

eclectic cultural activities, restaurants, and shopping. Trip Advisor recently named it a Top Ten

Destination on the Rise. The Knoxville metropolitan area has a population of more than 907,000 and is

located within easy driving distance to Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, and the Great Smoky Mountains.


Required Education, Experience, and Abilities

· PhD in a relevant discipline previously awarded or to be awarded by start date of the post-doctoral position

· Experience utilizing qualitative methods

· A demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with both other researchers and affected communities

· A demonstrated ability to work independently.

Preferred Education, Experience, and Abilities

· Experience utilizing community engaged and/or participatory research methods

· Knowledge of the principles of reproductive justice and reproductive rights

· Knowledge of and/or experience researching the criminal legal and/or family regulation system

· JD


· $72,000 per year plus benefits


To apply please provide:

· Curriculum Vitae

· Cover letter outlining the skills and experience that prepare you for the position

· Writing samples—maximum of two, which may include dissertation chapters, journal articles, book chapters, and/or works-in-progress

· Names and contact information for three references.

Applications must be submitted through Taleo (https://ut.taleo.net) the University’s hiring system.

Screening of applicants will begin on June 1, 2024 and will continue until the position is filled.

Questions should be directed to the chair of the hiring committee, Professor Michelle Brown,

at mbrow121@tennessee.edu.


Research Professional

Primary Location





Campus/Institute Knoxville

Job Posting

Jun 4, 2024, 9:48:18 AM