Graduate Student Bios

Joseph Kaplan is a doctoral candidate studying the intersection of 20th Century African American political radicalism and the growth of the postwar surveillance state. Tentatively titled, "'We at War': The Revolutionary Action Movement, Police Intelligence, and the Surveillance of New York's Black Left, 1960-1975," his dissertation uses declassified intelligence files in conjunction with oral histories with law enforcement personnel and movement participants to analyze the NYPD's use of informer infiltration to monitor and disrupt Black radical organizations. Focusing on the lesser known activists who comprised the Revolutionary Action Movement's rank and file, he analyzes how surveillance impacted their personal, professional, and political lives. His work emphasizes the importance of police intelligence to histories of both the Black Liberation Movement and the carceral state.