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Gina Dent


Gina Dent (Ph.D., English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University) is Humanities Associate Dean of DEI and Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she has won awards for her teaching (Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award, 2019), advocacy (Chancellor’s Award for Diversity, 2007), and research (Innovator of the Year, 2023).

She is the editor of Black Popular Culture ([1993] New York: The New Press, 1998) and author of articles on race, feminism, popular culture, and visual art. Currently, she serves as PI and Co-Director for the Mellon Foundation-funded Visualizing Abolition (, a project designed to redirect social resources away from prisons by accessing the power of the arts.  Her recent projects also grow out of her decades-long work as an advocate for prison abolition—Abolition. Feminism. Now. (co-authored with Angela Davis, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richie, Haymarket 2022), and the in-progress works Visualizing Abolition (co-edited with Rachel Nelson) and Prison as a Border, on popular culture and the conditions of knowledge.  Professor Dent has offered graduate courses and faculty seminars in black feminisms, critical race studies, critical theory and postcolonialism, and legal theory and visual culture in Brazil (Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador and Universidade Federal Recôcavo da Bahia, Cachoeira), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), and Sweden (Linköping University), as well as at the European Graduate School, and lectures widely on these and other subjects. She is a member of the Scholars for Social Justice and the Portal Project, and works with several organizations nationally and internationally, primarily on justice-related concerns. She previously held positions at Princeton University and Columbia University and was Director of the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research at UCSC, as well as Principal Investigator for the University of California Multicampus Research Group on Transnationalizing Justice.