Anya Degenshein
Dr. Anya DegensheinMarquette University

Lalumiere Hall, 424

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3443Personal Website
Curriculum Vitae

Assistant Professor

Social and Cultural Sciences

A cultural sociologist by training, Dr. Degenshein (Ph.D. 2019, Northwestern) examines the scope and consequences of the contemporary U.S. criminal justice system, with a particular interest in its relationship to social inequality. Her award-winning research has appeared in Theory and Society and Contexts

Dr. Degenshein’s current book project, tentatively titled Criminal Biographies: The Narrative Creation of Crime in Counterterrorism Stings, asks how terrorism cases with numerous indicators of entrapment prevail in federal court despite case law designed to prevent these very policing practices. Using an original archive of court filings and official press releases, as well as trial transcripts, she finds that federal prosecutors use a variety of social and legal tactics to craft compelling narratives of criminal behavior that may have been but never was. Past research projects include an ethnography of a Chicago pawnshop as well as a study of Illinois prosecutorial lobbying that uses both FOIA-requested audio files of legislative hearings and in-depth interviews.

 Dr. Degenshein is a member of the Northwestern University Society of Fellows and an inaugural instructor in Marquette’s Education Preparedness Program (EPP). She has also previously worked as an English as a Foreign Language teacher in Santiago, Chile, as well as a Court Advocate in the Manhattan felony courts for the Fortune Society's alternative to incarceration programs.

Courses Taught

Criminal Law and Procedure; Criminological Theory; Surveillance, Law, and Society

Research Interests

Law and Society; Punishment; Surveillance and Prediction; Discourse and Narrative; Social Theory; Racial and Economic Inequalities

Professional Experience

Court Advocate in the Manhattan Felony Courts for the Fortune Society’s alternative to incarceration program (2009-2011)


  • Degenshein, Anya. 2022. "Ruptured Alliances: Prosecutorial lobbying, Victims' Interests, and Punishment Policy in Illinois,"  Punishment & Society
  • Degenshein, Anya. 2020. “The Object Economy: ‘Alternative’ Banking in Chicago,” Contexts (19)1: 18-23
  • Degenshein, Anya. 2017. “Strategies of Valuation: Repertoires of Worth at the Financial Margins,” Theory and Society 46(5): 387-409
    • ASA Sociology of Culture Graduate Student Paper Award, 2018
    • Sociology Open Access Recognition award, SocArXiv, 2018
    • Winch Prize for Best Paper Published or Presented, Northwestern Sociology, 2018

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Social and Cultural Sciences
Lalumiere Hall, 340
1310 W. Clybourn St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-6838

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