Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton's picture
Professor of History, African American Studies & Law
On Leave: 
Spring 2025
HQ 219
Fields of interest: 

20th Century United States History; political history; urban history; African American studies; criminalization; policing; incarceration.

Elizabeth Hinton is Professor of History, African American Studies, and Law. Her research focuses on the persistence of poverty, racial inequality, and urban violence in the 20th century United States. 
Professor Hinton’s first book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press), examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that transformed domestic social policies, expanded policing in low-income communities, and facilitated the dramatic expansion of the U.S. prison system. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime received numerous awards and recognition, including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Her recent book, America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s (Liveright 2021), won a Robert F. Kennedy book award. America on Fire provides a new framework for understanding the problem of police abuse and the broader, systemic repression of Black people and other people of color in post-civil rights America. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime and America on Fire were both named New York Times Notable books. 
Professor Hinton’s articles and op-eds can be found in the pages of Science, Nature, The American Historical Review, The Journal of American History, The Journal of Urban History, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Time. With the late historian Manning Marable, she coedited The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan 2011). Professor Hinton served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences Committee on Reducing Racial Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2022.
With Professor Beverly Gage, Professor Hinton leads the Workshop in Modern U.S. History, a monthly speaker series for faculty and graduate students to discuss the latest scholarship in 20th-century U.S. history. 
Before joining the Yale faculty, Hinton was a professor in the Department of History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, where she continues to serve as founding co-director of the Institute on Policing, Incarceration, and Public Safety at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research. She spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. A Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation Fellow, Hinton completed her Ph.D. in United States History from Columbia University in 2013. 
Race & Ethnicity
War & Society