Ian Toller-Clark

 Ian Toller-Clark

Contact Information

309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801
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Biography

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying modern conservatism and the carceral state in the Global Midwest. My dissertation, tentatively titled, “Laboratory of Austerity: Mass Incarceration and Politics in the Rust Belt, 1945-2000,” examines how policymakers, politicians, and voters forged the modern carceral state in Wisconsin.

Research Interests

  • U.S. Political History
  • History of Modern Conservatism
  • History of Capitalism
  • Urban History
  • The Carceral State

Research Description

My research connects the “right turn” in U.S. politics and public policywith the growth of mass incarceration during the second half of the twentieth century. I am interested in how the political economy of mass incarceration influenced deindustrialization and electoral politics in the United States.

My dissertation asks us to reconsider the relationshipbetween political economy, electoral politics, and mass incarceration. I focus on the state of Wisconsin and particularly its’ suburbs because they serve as a useful microcosm to understand our contemporary politics and culture. Through the dissertation I show that the rise of the modern carceral state was not the inevitable outcome of deindustrialization or modern conservatism. Rather thegrowth of mass incarceration represented a series of economic and political choices that Midwesterners made from 1945 through 2000.

Education

  • B.A. - American University, 2013
  • Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies - American University, 2013

Distinctions / Awards

  • Widenor Teaching Fellow, Fall 2017

Grants

  • Departmental Fellowship, History Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2018
  • Departmental Fellowship, History Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2016
  • Research Travel Grant, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, 2015
  • Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant, History Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015
  • Departmental Fellowship, History Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013

Courses

  • Widenor Teaching Fellow, History of Modern Conservatism in the Global Midwest, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Fall 2017
  • Instructor, Illinois History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Summer 2017
  • Instructor, Technology and Western Society, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2016
  • Instructor, U.S. and the World Since 1917, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Fall 2015