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Joseph D. Hankins

In his teaching and research, Joseph Hankins examines the distribution of ethical, affective, and sensory obligation at the intersections of contemporary capitalism and political action. His first book, Working Skin: Making Leather, Making a Multicultural Japan, traces the circulation of rawhide from his hometown in Texas to tanneries in Japan, examining forms of political oppression and economic exploitation in that connection. He is currently working on a second book that investigates how economic disenchantment and the romanticization of nature and rural life play into de-urbanization projects in Japan and the United States. He teaches classes on racial capitalism and gender, prison abolition, liberalism and sympathy, the transnational circulation of ethical and political commitments, and relationships between the human and non-human. 

Professor Hankins is affiliate faculty and former director of Critical Gender Studies and was the recipient of the UCSD Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in AY2018-2019. He is also a founding member of the University of California Sentencing Project and helps advise UCSD Underground Scholars and UCSD Students Against Mass Incarceration. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2009.