Jeannine Bell, LAPA Fellow; Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Hate Thy Neighbor: Violence and the Defense of White Neighborhoods

Mon, 02/22/2010
4:30-6 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall
Event Category: 

We hope you will join us for a LAPA Seminar with LAPA Fellow Jeannine Bell, Professor of Law and the Charles Whistler Faculty Fellow at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, who will present ""Hate Thy Neighbor:  Violence and the Defense of White Neighborhoods."  Her commentator will be Kevin Kruse,  Associate Professor of History. 

An electronic copy of Professor Bell's paper is available upon email request (, or you may pick up a hard copy during regular business hours in 416A Robertson Hall.

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Kerstetter Room, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.

Professor Bell writes: "In Hate Thy Neighbor I address the ordinary folks who burn crosses on their neighbors' lawns.  Rather than being a relic of the past, violence targeted at racial minorities moving into white neighborhoods originated with the first of large numbers of minorities to move to white neighborhoods in the 1920s and continues in the present day.  The seminar will include chapters from my forthcoming book Hate Thy Neighbor which focuses on a little-examined, but surprisingly prevalent problem—white residents who, instead of fleeing when minorities move in, choose to stand and fight.   The chapters presented will analyze harassment directed at racial and ethnic minorities who have recently moved to or who are preparing to relocate to white neighborhoods.  The seminar also critically explores the pitfalls of the current legal response to this sort of violence."

Jeannine Bell is a Professor of Law and the Charles Whistler Faculty Fellow at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.  A nationally recognized scholar in the area of policing and hate crime, Bell has written extensively on criminal justice issues. Her first book Policing Hatred: Law Enforcement, Civil Rights, and Hate Crime (New York University Press 2002) is an ethnography of a police hate crime unit. Her newest book, Police and Policing Law (Ashgate 2006) is an edited collection that explores law and society scholarship on the police.  Bell's research is broadly interdisciplinary, touching on her work in both political science and law. In that regard, she has written in the area of qualitative methodology and she is co-author of Gaining Access: A Practical and Theoretical Guide for Qualitative Researchers (AltaMira Press 2003). Her scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Rutgers Race & the Law Review, Punishment and Society, and the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. An associate editor of the Law and Society Review, Bell has served a trustee of the Law and Society Association and as a member of the American Political Association's Presidential Taskforce on Political Violence and Terrorism. She received her A.B. from Harvard University and both her J.D. and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan.   At LAPA she will continue her work on a book Hate Thy Neighbor (forthcoming NYU Press), which explores hate crime in integrating neighborhoods.

Kevin Kruse studies the political, social, and urban/suburban history of 20th-century America, with particular interest in the making of modern conservatism. Focused on conflicts over race, rights, and religion, he also studies the postwar South and modern suburbia.  Professor Kruse is the author of White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (2005), as well as the co-editor of three collections: The New Suburban History (2006), with Thomas Sugrue; Spaces of the Modern City (2008), with Gyan Prakash; and Mobilizing the Movement (forthcoming) with Stephen Tuck.  He is currently at work on a study of the making of the modern Religious Right, tentatively titled One Nation Under God: Cold War Christianity and the Origins of the Religious Right.  His first book, White Flight, won prizes such as the 2007 Francis B. Simkins Award from the Southern Historical Association (for the best first book in Southern history, 2005-2006) and the 2007 Best Book Award in Urban Politics from the American Political Science Association.  In addition, Professor Kruse has been honored as one of America's top young "Innovators in the Arts and Sciences" by the Smithsonian Magazine and selected as one of the top young historians in the country by the History News Network.