Heather Mooney

Graduate Alumni


I am broadly interested in the intersections of race, gender, and emotion, in relation to social constructions of crime and deviance. My work links micro and macro-conceptions of culture to better understand identity and the “felt” experience of/engagement with the state.

My dissertation research examines race and gender in the production and consumption of true crime, a genre that typically features and is engaged by white college educated women between the ages of 18 and 35. Here, I examine how raced and gendered subject positions inform “dark leisure” practices (such as dark tourism), as well as perceptions of risk and vulnerability, crime and violence, and criminal justice more broadly.

My other ongoing project examines the relationship between care and control-based interventions to addiction and overdose, a condition that is simultaneously medicalized and criminalized. Using the ongoing opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, USA, as a case study, I explore how “state adjacent” actors working in care fields in a progressive state manage shared grief and death related to opioid use, and how they make decisions around therapeutic and/or punitive interventions for their service population.

Curriculum Vitae