Dickinson Alumnus Shares Research on Race and Policing in New York City

Portrait of Matthew Guariglia standing on an urban street.

Matthew Guariglia '12

Race and the Origins of Modern Policing

by Isa Mester '26

Matthew Guariglia, senior policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will discuss his new book, Police and the Empire City: Race and the Origins of Modern Policing in New York during a lecture at Dickinson. The event, “Race and the Origins of Modern Policing,” will take place Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow the event, and the lecture will also be livestreamed.

Guariglia’s book explores the evolution of modern-day policing in the United States and its historic ties to colonialism. The lecture will examine how the institution of the police was explicitly created to consider race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality when enforcing laws, resulting in the repression of minority individuals and communities.

Guariglia’s position at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization centered on technology and civil rights, focuses on police surveillance and national security technology. He received his master’s degree at New York University and a Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. For his dissertation on the history of policing immigrants in New York City, he won the 2020 outstanding dissertation award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. He is also the co-editor of the Essential Kerner Commission Report with Jelani Cobb. His work has been featured in NBC News, The Washington Post, Slate, Vice, Time and The Journal of American Ethnic History. Guariglia is an advisory board member of the journal Surveillance & Society.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of American studies, history and the law & policy program.


Published March 1, 2024