Tamanika Ferguson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ph.D., Howard University

2105 Skinner Building
Professional Interests: 
Dr. Tamanika Ferguson is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. She is currently conducting her research under the mentorship of Dr. Shawn Parry-Giles. Her research centers on gender and carceral studies and has implications for effective social justice advocacy and informing policies related to decarceration and decriminalization. She is in the process of revising a book manuscript that illuminates social justice and media activism through the lens of women imprisoned in California. The goal is to situate incarcerated women’s advocacy into a broader, historical discussion of political activism for social change in the United States. Her research places emphasis on feminist communication and media theories and intersectionality as a social justice paradigm of theory. She uses feminist communication and media theories to illustrate incarcerated women’s capacity to advocate for human rights, decarceration, and decriminalization in a time of prison expansion, punitive social policies, and declining economic support. Her research draws on intersectionality to examine the varying relationships among race, gender, class and mass incarceration and oppressive circumstances that leave imprisoned women vulnerable to institutional violence, abuse, and human rights violations. She is also expanding her work on imprisoned women’s advocacy and media activism to a discussion of the #MeTooMovement.
Dr. Ferguson’s research builds on her grassroots organizing and non-profit work and personal and family experiences with the juvenile and criminal justice systems in California. She has a strong interest in bringing her academic work into alignment with community-engaged initiatives aimed at dismantling toxic narratives and policies that impact the lives of marginalized women of color.